Morning Muse: The 3 Things You Must Do Today, and Everyday

Today’s morning muse:

I was sitting at my grandfather’s funeral, my little sister on one side of me, and my older brother on the other. We were waiting for our family and friends to arrive for the visitation and to say their condolences to the rest of our family. We all sat there staring at the casket and pretty numb to everything, and everyone, around us.

I looked at my sister and said, “Isn’t it sad? It takes someone dying for all of us to be together.” And she agreed. A lot of little comments were thrown around similar to this—thoughts on life, on relationships, and so on. Then I was talking to my brother, about something that is escaping my mind right now, and I said, “I know I am going to cry when _____ happens.”  And he said, “I’m not going to even think about it. Or it’s going to make me cry.” He wasn’t even thinking about the fact my grandpa was 10 feet in front of us, lying lifeless in a wooden box—it just hurt too much. But then he said something that I don’t think he realized at the time, but made such an impact on me.

He started telling me about a special he watched on ESPN. It was on the V Foundation for Cancer Research. Jim Valvano was awarded the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award at the first-ever ESPY Awards and his speech was brilliant.

My brother started quoting Jim, “There are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry—that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

This is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever heard. It goes into my Morning Muse on mindset. I used to cry a lot—I mean a lot. I would cry about everything and anything. And I started seeing this as a weakness. But you know what, crying isn’t a weakness. It’s an outlet. It’s an emotion—and it’s a version of reality. You can have happy tears. You can have tears of passion. You can have tears of sadness. Whatever the tear’s purpose is—it’s living.

Now let’s put the spotlight on laughter. Laughing is hands down the best medicine—as cheesy as that is to say. You can’t tell me that you can be in the worst mood, and something (or someone) suddenly makes you giggle, and it’s not an instant band-aid to whatever wound is open at that point. You know it is! Laughter is so incredibly powerful and healthy.

And finally, thinking. Now, this is clearly not in short supply on the Heather train. But it’s so important. It’s essential to think—but it’s more crucial to think with purpose. Think of how you make others feel—and how you make yourself feel. Think about how you can be better and grow 1% every single day. Think about the world and how you can add to it in a positive way. Think about your family, your friends, and loved ones—how you appreciate them, cherish them, and in what ways you can show them you do so.

For one day we will all be in that wooden box. Make it your goal to live each day so that your family, friends, and loved ones will gather and have nothing but amazing things to say about you—and the life you created for yourself.

You were given today to do something special—so make sure you laugh, think, and cry.

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