My traveling companion was an 83-year-old woman.
I just preached in Jakarta and Singapore—and brought my Mom with me.
Sure, she had salt and pepper hair.
And a few more wrinkles on her face.
Sure, she had her metal cane.
And walked slower than I did.
But Mom followed my crazy schedule.
We arrived midnight in Jakarta. Slept a bit. By morning, I gave my seminar while my Jakarta friends toured Mom around the city—malls, the cathedral, etc. In the evening, she watched my Concert. We slept after midnight again like she was a teenager from a late night party.
The next day, we woke up early for my morning talk. After that, while I attended more meetings, my friends whisked Mom away to shop. This included a cable car ride at the amusement park!
That night, she slept by midnight. Again!
The next morning, we flew to Singapore. There, Mom attended my seminars. But in between, she went around Singapore. And would you believe? This 83-year old woman even rode a gigantic Ferris wheel!
Now tell me: How many of you know of women her age still riding Ferris wheels?
If You’re Alive, Why Not Be Really Alive?
Mom is teaching me how to be really alive.
Now don’t misunderstand me.
Mom has her moments of deep sorrow.
Mom lost Dad last year.
So every now and then, she cries a lot.
But she’s made a decision that while she’s alive, she’ll live it to the full.
While she’s alive, she’ll enjoy life the way she wants to.
I believe Mom has a “Joy List”—things that she really enjoys doing. I don’t know if she ever wrote it down on paper, but I’m absolutely sure she has it written down in her heart. Here is her “Joy List”:
· Go to Mass everyday.
· Pray daily before the Blessed Sacrament.
· Have happy meals with her children and grandchildren, especially with her favorite son. (Ahem.)
· Watch EWTN on TV everyday—after my TV shows of course.
· Chat with her friends on the phone. Most of her old friends are now in Heaven. So she had to make new friends—twenty and thirty years younger than her.
· Listen to my talks and laugh at my jokes—even if she has heard them a hundred times already.
· Ride Cable Cars in Indonesia and giant Ferris Wheels in Singapore!
Her philosophy: “If you’re alive, why not be really alive?”
My Joy List
Like Mom, I love life. I really do!
I’m not into Ferris Wheels though.
But I wrote down my own “Joy List”.
Here it is…
· I want to laugh more often.
· I want to date my wife more often than my minimum of once a week. I just love being with her.
· I want to spend at least 2 hours each day to read books! To drink knowledge and inspiration from the best of the best.
· I want to feel my sweat more. I grew up not very athletic, but that’s been changing these past years. I want to exercise more. I want to learn Tennis, Badminton, and Swimming.
· I want to take more “5-day writing breaks” in a beach or mountaintop at least once a month.
· I want to play with my kids more often! I’ve got the greatest boys in the world.
· I want to take long vacations with family and friends 3 times a year.
· I want to have more lunches with my mentors.
· I want to earn ten times what I’m earning now.
· I want to share more practical wisdom to others—so people will know how to live with more love, happiness, and abundance.
· I want to share my wealth through my businesses and ministries.
· I want to pray more under the warmth of the sun each morning, surrounded by a lovely garden.
Friend, it’s your turn.
Ask yourself this simple question: What gives you joy?
Write it down.
Big joys. Small joys. Write them all down.
Don’t live passively.
Don’t live your days on autopilot, forever stuck on your routine.
Fill your life with as much happiness as you can.
Live your life deliberately.
Here’s my belief: People cannot give what they don’t have. If you don’t respect yourself, love yourself, and meet your needs for joy, how can you do the same for others? The holy saint is a happy saint.
Make your own Joy List today.
What makes you happy?
May your dreams come true,
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