Happiness, Beauty and Gratitude

Have you ever struggled to reach a goal, anticipating the sense of joy and fulfillment it would give you, only to find that your achievement didn’t bring the happiness you thought it would? Maybe you experienced a temporary high, followed by a wondering of, “Is this all there is?” or “Now what?”The other day I climbed to the top of Multnomah Falls, the second highest year-round waterfall in the country. The mile-long hike was not too difficult as the path was paved, but it was pretty steep and I did have to stop along the way to catch my breath. 

I imagined that once we reached the top we would have a spectacular view of the falls and everything else around us. I can’t say that I was disappointed, because the view was gorgeous and I did feel a great sense of accomplishment for making it to the top. But from the top you could only see the stream and pool where the falls were formed and out beyond the falls to the Columbia River. The most spectacular, awe-inspiring view of Multnomah Falls itself was at the base of the waterfall where you could really see its magnificent height and feel the mist as it crashed powerfully into the pool below.

It reminded me that sometimes, when we are intent on making it to the "top," we miss the beauty of what is right in front of us.

It has been well documented that gratitude is one of the keys to happiness, so with Thanksgiving right around the corner I thought it would be fun to ask, "What are you grateful for?"

Here are 5 of the beautiful things right in front of me for which I am grateful today:

  • The love of my family and friends.
  • The health and ability to climb to the top of Multnomah Falls.
  • The freedom to choose how I will spend this day.
  • The beauty of the changing leaves.
  • The music of Tina Malia.
What 5 things are you grateful for today?