The Happiest Man I Know
February 13, 2014(left, John with his dog Ruff)
He's a handyman.
He installed my dishwasher.
He's single because he's set in his ways.
But he's the happiest man I know.
He plays hockey four nights a week
and is always smiling.
Here John shares some of his secrets.
" I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavour. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts." - Henry David Thoreau
by John Bilyk
Life literally is what we make it. I tell myself I'm a super nice billionaire that just happens to like the simple things in life. I walk through the park and tell myself that I own it. I have the gardeners cut the grass, and I even had a trail built just for me.
I'm such a nice guy though that I share my land freely with everybody. As a thank you, they wanted to build a statue of me but I told them no. How would life be different if it were true?
The power to this lies in non materialism. Saying no to things. Being content with what you have. Living a simple life. Not wanting the fancy car or phone. Not wanting the trip to Hawaii. Not wanting fame, fortune or even love. Not wanting. Just accept things for the way they are. Most things are over rated anyways.
Improving the lives of others isn't limited to humans. Be kind to animals, it won't cost you anything and it will make you feel great. Patting the dog is good for both you and the dog. Even if you don't have pets, feeding birds can give you a feeling of joy.
Listen to what your conscience, heart and gut have to say. God talks to us through feelings. The more in tune you are with your soul, the more God can direct you in life. When your actions match your thoughts, then there is congruency in your life, and congruency leads to less stress and better health.
Be grateful for what you have. Everyday. Value your free time, and develop a life outside of work. If you knew you were going to be imprisoned, or a natural disaster was going to wipe you out, how would you make the most of your time you had left? Live like that's the case. Value your moments with loved ones. Value all moments you're not in extreme pain.
Be kind to others and yourself. Give yourself credit for getting yourself this far. After all, we are just mere humans.
(left, happiness is contagious)
First Comment from Derrick:
Henry, John's article this morning struck a chord with a family in the deepest French countryside. Mr. Bilyk has got the right idea; strangely enough I share some of his tricks like telling everyone that a field of horses opposite our house belongs to us. What difference does it make. We get great joy from enjoying them run and frolic right outside our kitchen window.
The neighbour is responsible for feeding them but he can't even see them from his house; that privilege is outs!
Enclosed is a photo of my 21 year-old daughter I just took five minutes ago. (This is no fantasy though, and she is the happiest girl I know!)
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Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at