Living a Life of Passion and Laughter

What my parents taught me about living life successfully.

My parents were and continue to be huge influences on my life. They are both amazing loving people whose are wonderful role models on how to live life successfully and fully. 

When I think about the main lessons I learned from them, it is this.  My dad taught me how to laugh at myself.  My mom taught me how to live life with passion.

I was talking on the phone to a friend last night and of course, had to deal with my kid who needed my attention and who was NOT doing what I had asked him to do.  I approached the problem as I always did, by laughing and passionately making clear – he needed to do what I needed him to do or – who knows what crazy mamma will do.  I remarked to my friend, yeah – now you know – I threaten my kid. I’m a horrid parent. She said – you laugh too much to be a horrid parent.

Her comment got me thinking – she’s right. I don’t take myself of the situations I find myself in seriously. They are all transient and really, being too serious makes things unpleasant. I find that injecting a dose of humor helps my son want to comply more with my requests.   He still has to do what I need him to do, but yelling at him and getting angry doesn’t make getting him to do it fun.  Using humor helps me to not lose my cool and help him find reasons to comply that make him want to comply while laughing all the while. And that’s actually a really incredible way to approach these sorts of every day disagreements that happen in every family. This doesn’t mean I don’t lose my cool, I just try to make the humor a habit so that the family works well and isn’t unnecessarily stressed.

This doesn’t mean that I’m not passionate. I am. There is no reason why passion can’t be fun. It should be and it must be if we are to be successful. I am passionate about many things. Things that matter, like the people I love, being alive to share life with them. I am also passionate about my work, and about doing what I can to make the world a better place. I am an engaged active citizen of the world. I really don’t suffer from ennui (one of my favorite words) because, well, how could I. Life is life. I always have something I think is worth working on. Even if it is a chore, like making cookies for tomorrow night’s Monty Python film fest with some friends.

I figure I have a choice. I can be cranky about all the little things that have to be done to sustain me and my family’s life, or I can approach it with joy and passion. There are no little projects.. Doing dishes can be fun, if you decide to take pride in it. Writing my blog is fun, it’s not work, because I’m helping other people live life more successfully. I’m actively engaged with my life and with my community and with the world. What more can I ask for.

It’s an attitude really. What my mom taught me about passion is that caring matters. Its an essential ingredient to living a happy life. Caring is not a burden. It’s the essential motivation of life. Embrace it and life opens up to you.

But like everything, passion has to be balanced. I balance my passion with laughter so that when I am tempted to think things matter too much, I am able to step back and find the balance I need to keep my passions from overpowering me.

Thanks Mom and Dad – I love you both oodles!

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