Happiness is Contagious

If you always compare your children’s abilities
to those of great athletes, entertainers, and celebrities,
they will lose their own power.
If you urge them to acquire and achieve,
they will learn to cheat and steal
to meet your expectations.

Encourage your children’s deepest joys,
not their superficial desires.
Praise their patience,
not their ambition.
Do not value the distractions and diversions
that masquerade as success.
They will learn to hear their own voice
instead of the noise of the crowd.

If you teach them to achieve
they will never be content.
If you teach them contentment,
they will naturally achieve everything.

We all want our children to be happy.
Somehow, some way today
show them something that makes you happy,
something you truly enjoy.
Your own happiness is contagious.
They learn the art from you.

Isn’t that awesome and so true?  It is from my new favorite book, The Parent’s Tao Te Ching by William Martin.  Running makes me happy and I know my kids take great joy in witnessing this.  They see how excited I am to lace my shoes up and get ready for a run or a race.  They mimic me by playing a game they call “Mom n’ Honey” and run races around the house (one is the runner, the other the “cheerleader”) and in the driveway.  One day last summer Abby was “racing” to me at the finish line of our garage and when she finished I said “Great job Abby!  Did you run your best?!” and she said “Yes I am soo happy!  I won!  I came in first and was the fastest!  Just like you!”  I explained that the important thing is that she did her best and that she had fun doing it, and then I told her that I actually have never come in first place or won any of my races.  She was SHOCKED.  It was a great moment for us to talk about why Mommy runs and how happy it makes me and I loved teaching her this lesson.

Today I will remember this and show my children my happiness.  Time to lace up my shoes and take them out for a run!

4 thoughts on “Happiness is Contagious

  1. So excited to see that you have a blog! You are such an inspiration to everyone around you! I'm so lucky to call you my sister! Your children should be so proud of you, love you 🙂

  2. I would love love to run with you – any time! The Reston Runners 5K is part if the Women's Distance Festival and is for women only and I would love to do it with you. I'm **hoping** to go under 25 minutes for it maybe you can help me :o) I think you can sign up thru the RR web site. XOXO

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