Dancing your way to happiness

Dancing your way to happiness January 29, 2012

There’s a new video going viral about a traffic cop who dances to Michael Jackson tunes while conducting very heavy traffic. Perhaps you’ve seen it?



The Filipino cop says he dances because “I want to show somebody to be happy.”

But here in Oregon we have our own happy people. For years now, I’ve laughed every time I drive by the Little Caesar’s Pizza Lady in Bend, Oregon.


Forbes Magazine released an article about the 10 best loved jobs (and 10 most-hated) and I’m happy to say that here in this household we made the top ten of the best loved — teaching and writing.  Not to say I haven’t had jobs that I hated. Oh, buddy, have I.

I’ve changed bedpans in nursing homes, ordered up junior Whoppers, cleaned up nasty motel rooms, played the local disc jokey role, and once faced cans in a grocery store. That last job taught me an important lesson about myself — I can work hard but I cannot work bored. I quit that job after 30 minutes. For real. Shortest job stint in my lifetime.

I have a girlfriend who is diagnosed schizophrenic. She and I have been friends for decades. When I was working on my second book she said to me, “I wish I could be a writer so I could keep myself entertained.”

I laughed and said, “What are you talking about? You have voices talking to you all the time. That ought to keep you entertained plenty.”

A fit of giggles erupted from both of us.

I get that not everyone can dance on the job like the Filipino cop and the Pizza Lady in Bend. But happiness isn’t something that happens to us. It’s about the choices we make everyday. For more reading on this subject, check out the book Don’t Quit Your Day Job: Acclaimed Authors and the Day Jobs They Quit, edited by Sonny Brewer, who, in full disclosure, edited my forthcoming book.

There is a Chinese Proverb that says: If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else. Turns out the Filipino cop has it right, if you want to be happy, show somebody else what happiness looks like.

So what’s the worst job you’ve ever done? And what helped you endure it?





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