The insight has been long in coming, but I’m gradually realizing that I don’t need a large number of possessions. Do I appreciate the things I own? Sure. Zen-like simplicity is not my strongest suit. Yet health and that hard-to-define state of simply being happy—enjoying a mind full of positive thoughts—are now making other aspects of life seem less important.

Here’s a sixty-second inventory of things that appear to be shifting:

I make quick work of negative people. Wherever possible, I avoid them and instead seek out those who share the positive outlook that has taken me so long to develop.

What other people think of me has become less important. I have a diminishing interest in approval and am no longer willing to expend the energy to gain it.

One of my biggest turning points was realizing that opening my hand and letting go would lead to happiness quicker than grasping and clenching. A Buddhist master once wrote a book entitled If You Let Go, You’ll Have Both Hands Free.

Most importantly, when something takes my breath away, I now have the presence of mind—often, although not always—to wait a moment and, well, breathe. I can take a step back.

The idea of simply being happy brings to mind an anecdote by John Lennon:

When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.

This post was taken from “Inspirational Quotes about Life.”