I had a friend recently comment that I seem satisfied and happy with everything in my life. I responded by saying it wasn’t always that way, but through life experiences I came to a place a couple years ago where I am truly happy. It made me start reflecting on some of the most influential people that have brought me to that point. Here’s my list.
Ricky Hill — “Don’t worry”
This was my college roommate who hailed from St. Vincent. He embodies the laid back culture of the Caribbean. We’d have long discussions in our room about life and personal responsibility. He walked around campus seemingly without a care in the world. I use to despise that attitude until one day it hit me that life is what it is and there’s little you can do about it, so don’t worry.
Jacques Paganel — “Enjoy it!”
Jacques Paganel is a character in the old Disney film “In Search of the Castaways.” Don’t know why but there’s a scene that’s stuck in my mind. They were in this huge tree and trapped by flood waters. Jacques begins singing a song entitled “Enjoy It” which talks about seeing the silver lining. Here’s a few of the lines, “A hurricane comes your way, enjoy the breeze. You’re stranded in the jungle, enjoy the trees. Voila, that’s life, enjoy it!”.
William Borden — “No reserves. No retreats. No regrets”
I read this guy’s biography in middle school. It has had a profound affect on my life as I learned about a man who had incredible ambitions in life and died at the age of 29 before accomplishing what he set out to do. In his Bible he penned, “No reserves. No retreats. No regrets.” Was he perfect? No. I resolved a long time ago never to have regrets but to realize that experiences, good or bad, are all good ultimately, depending on what you do with them. I have no regrets. To me, what doesn’t kill me, only makes me stronger. One of my tag lines is, “Life is what you make it to be, and I choose to live extraordinarily.”
Mary Poppins — “Make life a game”
Another Disney character we all know well. If you know me personally, you might have heard me say that life is a game or one big joke. It’s not to say I don’t take life seriously but I try to be light hearted as I make my way through life. Mary Poppins taught the children a lesson one day while they were cleaning their rooms how to make it a game. I’ve tried to employ that principle by making the most out of what I do and make it fun.
Reepicheep — “This is an adventure!”
Another character who’s attitude has affected me is Reepicheep from the Narnia movies. His high spirits and knack for adventure have become something I try impersonate. I try to look at life as one big adventure, never knowing what the next turn will bring. I’ve come to appreciate the little things and get excited about them whether it be meeting a new friend or having a new experience. Everyday is an adventure because everyday is a blank canvas.
Paul (the apostle) – “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”
Paul is an awesome example to me. My favorite book in the Bible is Phillipians and it’s written by Paul who is in jail. He says, “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him [Christ] who strengthens me.” That’s ultimately the “secret” to my happiness. I have Christ and he is all I need.