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I'm of the belief that success is a result of happiness.

Unfortunately, there are many that seek success so they can be happy. That is backwards. Simply due to the fact that success is never enough, so you keep pushing to get that next goal, so you can be happy again. Ultimately, you will rarely achieve that happiness, since you keep pushing past your previous successes. Another concept is that true happiness is joy. Joy is not subject to circumstance. In fact, joy defies circumstance. So we should find Joy in all we do.


This past summer I had the misfortune of losing my mother-in-law to complications from a cancer surgery. This was totally unexpected as she was never been sick in her life and the surgery was not to be too extensive. Unfortunately the cancer had spread more than expected and the surgery turned out to be major. Her body just couldn't pull through and she died a day later. This experience turned our life sideways as my household dealt with the loss of a parent and grandparent.


Through all of the preparations for the funeral, my father-in-law stayed incredibly strong and was the anchor for his family. I had the opportunity to spend some alone time with him and asked him how he did it and how he stayed strong when his eternal partner of 52 years was gone. He mentioned that the only thing that can keep him strong is the belief that he will be reunited with her again and that he needs to be happy for the life he gets to experience on earth. By doing that he can be closer to his wife.


Oh yeah...his wife's name is Joy.


I found this profound. He has to rely on being happy and finding joy in order to be reunited with his wife, Joy.


How often do we go through life, forgetting to find Joy? How often are we overly critical of what is happening around us? How often do we tell ourselves "you can do better?" Worse yet, how often do we say that to our kids, co-workers, subordinates, and friends?


What is joy to you? Do you take the time to look at the scenery around you? Do you take the time to taste the food you are eating? Do you take the time to think about the job as a firefighter and realize that it is the best job in the world? Do you ever allow yourself to be happy with the job that you have done?


Unfortunately, a common trait of firefighters is complaining about something, anything they figure they can complain about. I know a few of these “Eor’s” and they can really pull their partner, shift, and department down. Think about it, are you one? If you are, do some simple soul searching the last few weeks of this year. See if you can find the Joy needed to be happy in your job and your personal life. It makes the fire house a home and creates an atmosphere that leads to progressive behavior, increased cooperation, and ultimately firefighter health and safety.


Find joy in everything you do. When that happens, you will be successful. Merry Christmas!

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