Happiness is important everywhere
At the beginning of my tour here in Afghanistan I read Gretchen Rubin‘s book The Happiness Project. She goes through a series of her thoughts on how to pursue happiness and then she recounts her adventures to us on how she commits to actively pursue happiness by following the 12 personal commandments she sets for herself.
I would not say that the pursuit of happiness is the main goal of a combat tour; however, I did find that it was always important to maintain a certain level of happiness (perhaps at times better described as a level of sanity) throughout.
I have a few thoughts that I collected throughout my experiences that proved to help me maintain happiness in the midst of difficult circumstances. Some were offered to me by others in conversation throughout the tour. Not all will pertain to life at home, but some may be useful outside of the environment I currently find myself in. Now that tour has come to a close I will share some of the thoughts.
1. Be Ashley
2. Keep it simple
3. Exercise should be a part of one’s religion
4. Sometimes it’s easier to get along
5. A large part of one’s success is one’s ability to adjust
6. A little understanding goes a long way
7. Before giving advice, know your audience
8. Practice equanimity
9. Life is a series of high and lows. The lows make the highs higher
10. The sooner you allow yourself to heal, the stronger and happier you will be
11. A little bit of time alone to meditate goes a long way
12. Those who are good don’t need to tell anyone – they just are good