Thomas Jefferson famously wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [I’m sure he meant humans!] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Through all of human history, ordinary people longed for the mythical ideal to be happy, to live a fulfilling life and to enjoy the fruits of their talents.
For the first time in history, via Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers of America, ordinary people suddenly enjoyed the “right” to pursue their happiness in their own ways, at their own speed and by their own choices.
As an ordinary citizen of America, my life path carried me into amazing places. My choices allowed me to come into contact with some remarkable people who conveyed “how” to live a happy life. I share their ideals with you in order for you to incorporate them into your own life—and prosper with happiness.
Henry David Thoreau, in Chapter 18 of the book, “Walden,” wrote, “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.”
I read that quote every morning before my day begins. I inculcate the essence of the message into my brain cells and my thought patterns. I make plans, I prepare to carry them out and I pursue them confidently. At first, I met with many obstacles with my dream to bicycle on all seven continents. Those difficulties became stepping stones to my ultimate success because of my “advancing confidently” toward my dreams. Successes “popped up” in the creative field of life at the most unexpected hours.
Somewhere along your own journey, by incorporating Thoreau’s wisdom, you will pass through invisible boundaries. Once you make the transition, you will engage new and liberal laws in your daily activities. Your thought patterns will change to increasingly more abundant and creative vibrations. Those vibrations will propel you toward living with a higher order of beings—in other words, you transform via your thoughts. You become what you think. You manifest what you imagine.
Jack London said, “I would rather be ashes than dust. I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than that it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to LIVE. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”
I read aloud this second secret to happiness daily. I engage the energy of London’s wisdom for squeezing every second out of every day. That may mean contemplative thought and grateful moments versus quickening intensity. I understand that each moment of living constitutes a marvelous endowment.
You, too, enjoy the miracle of living. By incorporating the first and second secrets, you change the vibrations in your mind, in your heart and in your spirit. You transition into an entirely new and creative realm of thought and creative process. London understood it in his vivacious living and in his enthralling literary pursuits. His book, “Martin Eden,” lives inside me since I read it 40 years ago. London inspired me and still does to this day.
Once attributed to John Anster in 1835, and later versions attributed to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, these lines offer great wisdom: “Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute: What you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Only engage and then the mind grows heated. Begin and then the work will be completed.”
Actions drive your coveted dreams to reality, which drive your life toward fulfillment. While engaging your mind to harness your dreams, you take actions that connect you to your happiness. By channeling the creative energy of your mind, you live a happy life.
The bicycle is just as good company as most husbands and, when it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community.
—Ann Strong, Minneapolis Tribune, 1895
This quote comes from the era when bicycling first became widely popular and gave women increased freedom. The suffrage movement was steering a new course for women, away from traditional marriage, and the bicycle was one tool in creating this freedom.
Frosty Wooldridge lives in Genesee, Colorado and is a six-continent, world bicycle traveler who gives 12 concepts and practices for living a fabulous life in his book, “Living Your Spectacular Life.”