It is simpler than it sounds. We imagine that we need to be the smartest, richest, person with the greatest husband/wife and a gorgeous home and lots of cute little babies that grow up to be geniuses.

Doesn't that sound extreme to you? Why does everything have to fit perfectly into an imaginary life we decided was the only acceptable existence if we wish to be happy?

Marilyn Monroe died 40 years ago. She was the most famous woman in the world. Loved by millions and TO THIS DAY you can still by pin up posters of her! She died young, beautiful and heart-broken.

Elvis Presley was, without a doubt, the King of Rock 'n' Roll and the most sought after man of his era. He was handsome, a fabulous singer/musician and a pretty good actor. Most importantly, although he died 36 years ago, people still impersonate him and no one ever wore his crown of rock n roll fame after him. He was the ONE! He died young, sick and morose.

I could go on and on with rich, famous people who never found the secret to happiness. Money is nice, but it is not an answer. Fame is exciting but it can get overwhelming when you want a moment's privacy. Physical beauty is a wonderful gift, but plenty who think they don't have it go to their cosmetic surgeon to buy it. Looks buy temporary acceptance by shallow people. Is that the answer? NO!

When we get it clear in our mind that happiness is a moment by moment experience and totally optional we are on the right path. To put happiness as your number one goal is to focus in the only happy direction.

Happiness is accepting every moment, condition and circumstance as a temporary sense and taking the moment to honor it with gratitude for all that is good in our life.

I've written this sentence many times before: YOU CANT BE GRATEFUL AND UNHAPPY AT THE SAME TIME.

The rule is that simple. Find the good and focus on it. See the problems, accept them, deal with them, and go right back to the gratitude. IF you can't see the good in your life, you are blind. There is good in every life. Accepting the unpleasant as a temporary sense of things and honoring our God-given mind, body, family and friends will carry us all the way to a lifetime of joy.

Think I am a Pollyanna? Don't. I know negativity when it shows up. My trust of Good outlasting and overpowering problems gives me strength and happiness every day of my life.

It is all about FOCUS and ATTITUDE.

If you look in another direction other than gratitude and will fail. Love, integrity and gratitude will give you the life Elvis, Marilyn and MJ only dreamed of.

Personally, I am happier at 70 than I ever was when I had youth, looks, talent and prosperity. I have a small home, a sweet wife and a healthy attitude. When I die I will leave the home and wife, but who I am will continue with me. Nothing short of eternal values are worthy travel companions.

Think about it....

Todd Puntolillo