You Can be Happy

As a kid, I liked silly songs. Not much has changed really. But when I first heard Roger Miller’s songs, I was hooked. One of  my favorites was, “You Can’t Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd.” As silly as the lyrics may be, the last line of each verse and the chorus are something I have to remember every day. Especially these days, when the news at every turn is less than encouraging for most. The lines are, “…you can be happy if you’ve a mind to. All you gotta do, is put your mind to it. Knuckle down, buckle down, do it, do it, do it.”  (The full version follows for your amusement below.)

I find that I don’t so much make myself happy as I decide to do a series of tasks that allow me, by taking action, to feel good in the doing. Of course, it’s easy to confuse activity with accomplishment. But I try to make sure that in my list of “to be done today” are only items which take me toward the goals I set for serving my clients and moving my life in a direction that is positive. I seldom watch TV and although I read two papers most days, I try to focus my attention on stories that feed me useful information I can act upon. Worrying about matters that are outside of my circle of influence is pointless.

Some of the things I might do which take me towards my objectives each day include: reading from several good books over my morning cup of coffee before I go to my desk; reading from several good blogs (such as Seth Godin’s) before I even check e-mail; or send an interesting link to a client and/or send a postcard to a prospective client whose work I admire. These are all things I can control. These are all things I must put my mind to. But they’re not that hard to “knuckle down, buckle down to do it, do it, do it.” And I find I’m a lot closer to being happy than if I’d listened to the prophets of doom.

How do you keep yourself happy?

Charles
http://www.charlesguptonphoto.com

YOU CAN’T ROLLERSKATE IN A BUFFALO HERD
Roger Miller

You can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd
You can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd
You can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd
But you can be happy if you’ve a mind to

You can’t take a shower in a parakeet cage
You can’t take a shower in a parakeet cage
You can’t take a shower in a parakeet cage
But you can be happy if you’ve a mind to

All you gotta do, is put your mind to it
Knuckle down, buckle down, do it, do it, do it

Well you can’t go swimmin’ in a baseball pool
You can’t go swimmin’ in a baseball pool
You can’t go swimmin’ in a baseball pool
But you can be happy if you’ve a mind to

You can’t change film with a kid on your back (chain-swim)
You can’t change film with a kid on your back
You can’t change film with a kid on your back
But you can be happy if you’ve a mind to

You can’t drive around with a tiger in your car
You can’t drive around with a tiger in your car
You can’t drive around with a tiger in your car
But you can be happy if you’ve a mind to

All you gotta do, is put your mind to it
Knuckle down, buckle down, do it, do it, do it

Well you can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd
You can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd
You can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd
But you can be happy if you’ve a mind to

You can’t go fishin’ in a watermelon patch
You can’t go fishin’ in a watermelon patch
You can’t go fishin’ in a watermelon patch
But you can be happy if you’ve a mind to

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