Stepping stones to a joyful existence

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. She is also a member of the St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

By Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” —Franklin Roosevelt

As I read this, I can’t help but think about what our great president had in mind when he spoke these words. Surely they can be applicable to a multitude of scenarios, from our business connections to our activities of daily living. So many of us spend countless hours contemplating what we would do “if only……”. The fact is, searching for happiness is a futile exercise.

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Instead of belaboring the issue of what constitutes true happiness, imagine instead that you are 95 years old, and looking back upon a cinematic version of your life. What do you wish to see? How do you want to be remembered? Each act of accomplishment, every accolade that you have earned, brought happiness, if only for a day…or a month…..or even a moment. Yet these have been, and continue to be, the stepping stones en route to a joyful existence.

Each of us possesses the power to creatively formulate many aspects of our lives into something truly joyful. As Mr. Roosevelt so aptly and eloquently put it, therein is where the creativity lies. By finding creative ways to accomplish mundane tasks, we define ourselves in a more colorful fashion, opening our minds – and our souls — to unique experiences that will propel us forward on a meaningful path.

Whether your daily activities include cooking, exercising, working, or parenting, approaching each task with creative effort will allow you to reap untold benefits. Activities are those things which occupy and fill your time; achievements, on the other hand, are those activities which have led you somewhere vital, through creative effort, to a place of joyful appreciation……and, dare I say, that elusive state of happiness.

This week, if you find yourself at a loss for creative momentum and are sitting idle, instead of counting your moments, make each moment count!