One of the great helps

According to Winnie the Pooh, "Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon."

According to Winnie the Pooh, “Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon.”

“One of the great helps to success is to be cheerful; to go to work with a full sense of life; to be determined to put hindrances out of the way; to prevail over them and to get the mastery. Above all things else, be cheerful; there is no beatitude for the despairing.” —  Amelia Barr

When I think of my favorite people, a great many of them can be described by the word “cheerful.”  Chances are, you number at least a few cheerful people among your favorites, too.  There’s nothing more encouraging than a person who is able to keep a sincere smile in the most dull or difficult circumstances.  This is quite a different trait from giddy silliness or forced optimism (both of which are helpful at times). The cheerful people I know do not seem clueless or in denial; rather, they seem to possess a deep awareness that gloom solves no problems.  They know that smiles are free, needed and contagious.

Barr has a good description of cheer in the phrase “work with a full sense of life.”  When I am most despondent, I am usually mired in immediate circumstances, over-focused on difficulty and oblivious to how much control I can exercise over my own sadness.  As Barr implies, work is a great remedy to this sort of counterproductive rumination.  Today, I plan to keep my hands busy and my mind focused on the satisfaction of tasks accomplished, realizing that even if I do not see instant results, there is meaning and blessing in my diligent efforts.  I’m sending you a smile — take it and pass it along — and be of good cheer!

25 Comments

  1. Remaining cheerful is really hard. But yes, we all love those cheerful faces. Let me keep my hands busy and mind focused – thanks for the reminder.
    🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Thank you Bindu, I need that reminder today more than anyone else I know of! I just loved seeing the three smiling faces you sent, though! Your comment cheered me up and I am even smiling as I type this. Thanks for being here today!

  2. Wonderful post! I agree ~ life is what you make of it. A freely given smile is sometimes all it takes to begin the change from sadness to mere ache. We can choose how we feel even in the most despondent of situations as the glass is always 1/2 full of hope. xo

    • Thank you for your comments, I really need to read them today and remember I can choose how I feel even if they call me and tell me my entire hard drive is lost! Today I will choose to focus on what’s still in the glass, and not on what is gone. I appreciate your encouragement! And yes, smiles are very powerful. When I find something to smile about, just smiling seems to make me feel better, and seeing others smile is reassuring and helpful.

  3. thank you for the smile! i’m sending one back to you and hope that your day is a good one.

    🙂 :))

    • Thank you, Z! Love those bright yellow smileys! Today I will choose to be happy. I so enjoy your visits here!

      • i went to sleep around midnight and was awakened around 3 from the rain; it’s still raining, though has lessened, and i think it’s going to turn into a lovely day.

        you are wise to choose to be happy! you’re setting a lovely example for many!

        • Thank you for being so kind, Z – it’s raining here today also, but maybe it will clear. Meanwhile, I tell myself that the plants and flowers need the rain and will be more beautiful because of it. Hope you have a lovely day!

  4. Thank You for the Smile, the Cheer, i am enCouraged! May Lord bless thee & thine & keep thee & thine in all Joy. May this day your manna,BeLOVE Julia come imprinted with a smiley face. :+) OH, How He LOVES us & brings cheer!

    • Thank you Kate! Do you know the song “Shine Jesus Shine?” We sing it sometimes at church and it’s one of my favorites – so happy and full of life! I hope you have a wonderful day and week. I appreciate your visits here.

  5. Carolyn

    I am sending a smile back to you. I hope that you have a great day. The rain will stop and the sun will come back out. We are going to have a cool but beautiful day. Take care.

    • Carolyn, right now as I was reading this the sun has come out and it’s shining! Now I will be able to walk the dog. I’m glad you are having a beautiful day too. Please keep us posted on your health situation. Love to Terry and you from all 3 of us!

  6. Amy

    When I was at OCC (now OCU) I was having a really bad couple of days and a friend took my Bible and underlined 1 Thess 5:16. I still have that Bible and whenever I am having a bad day I remember my friend and look up that verse. It always brings a smile to my face and helps me focus on other things. I pass it on to you now my sweet friend. I will underline it in triplicate next time I see you. Thanks for sharing this lovely post. The balloons are great. Love you. A

    • Hi Amy, thanks so much for the reminder of that verse. I just looked it up and I think it’s perfect for me to keep in mind. It could be another theme for this blog. Are you still in Colorado? I miss you and hope we can get together soon!

  7. Mike Bertoglio

    Cheerfullness is great. I think some of this has to do with our personality tendencies- some are born to the more melancholy bent, “Melancholy Baby” and some are persistently cheerful,” Everything is Beautiful in it’s own way.” We can choose our song of life and sometimes each one is appropriate. The Psalms allow for a myriad of human emotion from despair to ecstasy. “It is all good, ” as they say. For some reason a picture of Dolly Parton comes to mind, she is a cheerful one but not a Pollyanna.

    • Hi Mike, I agree with everything you say here; there is a reason why we are all created differently and each of us has something valuable to offer. I just love Dolly Parton and in fact I have a rather long quote from her I intend to feature here as soon as I decide what photo goes best with it. She is definitely cheerful and speaks her mind too, but never in a way that is offensive. Thanks for visiting here!

  8. Sheila

    Julia, you never cease to amaze me! The topics are so varied here on your blog, but always so thought provoking and beautiful. I hope your efforts today did give you meaning and blessings. I carried your smile with me today…. I must close with “Ta Ta For Now”! Sheila

    • Thank you Sheila, were you making the Pooh connection with the “Ta Ta for Now?” Tigger was always saying that – or sometimes he would say “TTFN!” so I thought maybe my reference to Pooh brought that up – either way it brought a smile to my face!

      • Sheila

        Oh Julia, that is one of my sayings that I often close with, since I so love Pooh and Tigger. I even named one of our Boykin Spaniels “Tigger” because he was such a bouncy puppy! Not to mention that years ago when I had a “Go- fast car” I threatened Bill with a TTFN vanity plate. Never a dull moment…. That’s me! Sheila

        • Sheila, this is great! I have always sort of identified with Tigger, but also with Pooh and Piglet. “Tigger” would be a very cute name for a dog, especially an energetic one. I just love all the Pooh stories. TTFN!

  9. J.D Maloy

    Julia, thank you for sharing a such a happy picture from one of the happiest places on earth! This post comes at the perfect time. I’m a glass half full type person but I could feel the liquid draining from my cup, wanting to leave me empty. BUT, like you so optimistically said above, I’m choosing to be happy today by calling upon the Spirit to guide me and what a difference it has made. And the Pooh balloons too 😉 Here’s a late day 🙂

    • I am so happy you liked it! I feel considerably more cheerful tonight than I did this morning, so maybe all these smiles from everyone lifted my spirits. Although I do these posts in advance, usually about 2 weeks in advance, it just so happened that the post from yesterday AND the post from today were really needed by me as well; funny how it works out that way! Thanks for being here and for sharing your encouraging comments!

  10. Got it, thank you and sending a smile back. What’s funny to me is, it seems to take way more energy to have a bad day and be grumpy and with no reward, why bother. I worked where I was on the phone with customers a lot, you learn quickly that a customer will hear a frown on your face and it’s hard to have a bad day if you’re smiling.

    • I just came across a great quote from Duke Ellington (I think) about “the energy it takes to pout” which I might use in an upcoming blog. It really does seem as if being grumpy becomes a downward spiral, whereas being cheerful will often trend us upward. Thanks for the encouragement!

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