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!

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below.

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