We have all been affected by this strange life with so many unknowns, but we have seen some unexpected positives arise. Mother Earth has shown her gratitude by allowing us to see nature as it hasn’t been visible for so long. Hands of kindness have reached out to others – albeit with the required distance being observed. I have watched each sunrise with a new feeling of awe, marvelling at the painted sky as the bright orange rim peers over the hills opposite my deck heralding another magic day, and once more I am touched by gratitude.
I remember a time in another life as I sat beside a glittering pool outside the mansion that was my home at that time. I remember saying that I hated my life and yet I was living a more privileged life than I ever had. My memories living in poverty in cane barracks in North Queensland are etched in my memory as a far more peaceful and fulfilling lifestyle.
So, what really is the secret to happiness?
I have experienced so much over the years and watched the world become a different place. I am privileged to spend some time on ABC radio with Kat Feeney in a slot called, Back in the Day. A few days ago, the subject of home movies came up and as I, alongside some listeners, raided our memories of family movies, we marvelled at the continual changes and the developments that have taken place in our lifetimes.
When my children were small, we had been quite proud of owning a super eight movie camera and projector which allowed us to take embarrassing shots of our family. I laugh when I remember how self-conscious we were as we attempted to look natural but only managed to achieve robotic, Charlie Chaplin like movements that made us look quite vulnerable. Now it seems a way of life to have a movie taken of us on our little phones. I think we are far less self-conscious. In fact, recently I had a trial run of producing some training videos online, something I’ve always said I would never do, but actually I found it much easier than I thought. As you can see from the photo, it is a bit rough and I need to up the logistics, but I now know it is possible. It reminded me of when computers entered our world and I was sure that I would never use one but of course these days computers are an essential part of my life and work. I wonder what might be next?
There have been so many evolutions of change we could not have envisioned and I have no doubt there is so much more. But has it made us any happier? Have we learnt the key to happiness – or even contentment?
I hear the term resilience a lot lately and teachers are concerned that many students suffer from the lack of it. There may be many reasons why that might be, but I believe if we are going to live to our highest potential with joy and fulfillment, learning to be resilient is a high priority.
I am passionate about kids being given as much assistance to gain skills that assist them to think for themselves and learn to be resilient. Some seem to have it naturally while others struggle under the weight of an often hostile world.
I am working on a project which I believe is the most important one I have ever been involved with and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to produce material that may be of benefit to teachers and students in becoming more resilient, having more courage, and being able to use the tools of adaptability. Telling the stories of three remarkable men, who have had to overcome much to develop all three skills and are now doing all they can to help make this world a better place, has certainly been a joyful experience. These men have learned to find their own measure of contentment while being proactive in their desire to help others.
I truly believe they have found one of the important keys to happiness.