Dave Ramsey is one of my favorite people. I don’t know him personally, but I’ve never seen anyone as enthusiastic about helping people as he is. For those of you who have never heard of him, he is a financial guru who has workshops, books, and a radio show. A little background on him: He was just like many people in the United States today who had a quite a bit of debt. Eventually, the piper came, ready for his payday. Dave and his family had to declare bankruptcy, and they lost just about everything. At this point, he became angry. Angry enough to work off all his debt, willing to do whatever it took to have financial peace. It is very easy to look at him as a great financial role model. He is a financial guru who can say that he’s walked a mile in our shoes. He’s been there and done that. He learned from his mistakes and has spent the rest of his life dedicated to helping us all learn from them, as well. Now, I’m not here to shove Dave’s books or workshops down your throat, I just thought his background was a little important to the true reason I’m writing to you today. He is the source of this amazing quote that should be a way of life for all of us: “Happiness is where you are right now. Claim it.”
Such powerful words. Many of us spend our time wondering, “What if…?” Or we might think to ourselves, “I could do this, but….” When we spend our time thinking “What if…” or loading our lives with “I could…but…,” we’ll never see the forest for the trees. Another saying we tell ourselves quite often is “I’ll be happy when….” Happiness is right now, but we are not claiming it. There are so many amazing aspects our lives that we overlook because they are there everyday. Think about your “I’ll be happy when…” statements. We’ve all had them. However, great things are happening in our lives right now. What have we missed because we were thinking instead of living?
Just a couple of weeks ago, I was driving with my ten-year old stepson in the car. Katie Perry’s song “Firework” came on the radio. My stepson loves to sing to the radio, and this day was no exception. When the “boom, boom, boom” part came on, he was in rare form. He put on his own little concert right in the Jeep. He was moving around so much that I thought the seatbelt would tighten just to keep him in place. He had no restraint. He had no fears of being called stupid by his peers. It was just a moment of pure joy (and off-key singing) that he has probably forgotten all about, but I will remember forever. And it was such a simple moment that I will always have because I was happy right where I was.
Instead of living in the past or the future, it’s important to claim our happiness now. We must live each day, appreciate the things and people that we have, and give gratitude that we live our lives now. Remember, there is always someone struggling more than you. Dave has another quote that he says quite often. It is usually in regards to how a person spends his or her money, but it’s quite appropriate here. He always says, “Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else.” Wouldn’t it be great to live a life of no regrets? Don’t get me wrong. There will be times in life when we will all regret something, but I know I don’t ever want to regret missing the now of my life for what could have been or what might be. Great moments happen all of the time, and I want to live like no one else by being happy now instead of later. Thanks, Dave, for that little piece of insight.