In 2017, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Japan in order to promote the translation of my book, Courage to Thrive. We visited many cities and met with amazing people everywhere we went. The reception was heartwarming and my memories of Japan will fill my soul with happiness for years to come.
One event in particular, could have passed by with hardly any notice, but something magical drew my focus. A smile.
We were visiting a historical town called Kawagoe known for preserving historical buildings and ways of life in different eras of Japanese history. A particular special attraction is Sweet Street or Candy Alley from the Mejii era.
At the entrance was this street vendor selling containers of spice to the tourists. I noticed a spice shaker like one I used at a ramen noodle restaurant earlier that week. So I decided to stop and buy. I assumed that the vendor would reach under the table and hand me a container prepackaged and make some change. However, he did something extraordinary.
Set up along his table were bowls of brightly colored spices of all kinds, which he placed a spoonful at a time in a wooden bowl. When he had the correct proportions, it looked like a mosaic, a beautiful work of art in the bottom of the bowl. He then began to chant, sing, pray an incantation that roughly translated went : “I’m mixing these spices for you, may they bring you joy and happiness to all your meals and your life.” His smile won me over with his joy for life.
My traveling companions took a few pictures and off we went on the rest of our adventure. Later on, looking at the pictures, I noticed that this man had the smile of a true Thriver. A deep down love of life, and love of his actions in his life. He radiated an ecstatic energy that was truly infectious.
Take a look again at the picture accompanying this article. See the joy in his eyes. A rich man is happy in his life. This man is Thriving! Thriving is not a destination but rather the journey to get there. Each day can be filled with happiness. It’s an attitude. I hope you find what makes you happy each and every day.