Be Happy (A True Story) by Davy Jones

This was told to me by Davy, and he gave me permission to share it with you:

Around twenty years ago I was living in Seattle and going through hard times. I could not find satisfying work and I found this especially difficult as I had a lot of experience and a Masters degree.

To my shame I was driving a school bus to make ends meet and living with friends. I had lost my apartment. I had been through five interviews with a company and one day between bus runs they called to say I did not get the job. I went to the bus barn a zombie of disappointment.

Later that afternoon, while doing my rounds through a quiet suburban neighborhood I had an inner wave – like a primal scream – arise from deep inside me and I thought “Why has my life become so hard?” “Give me a sign, I asked… a physical sign – not some inner voice type of thing.”

Immediately after this internal scream I pulled the bus over to drop off a little girl and as she passed she handed me an earring, saying I should keep it in case somebody claimed it. The earring was stamped metal, painted black and said ‘BE HAPPY.’

At first I got angry – yeah, yeah, I thought. Then it hit me. I had been putting all of my energies into what was wrong with my life rather than what was right! I decided then and there to make a list of 50 things per day I was grateful for.

At first it was hard, then it got easier. One day I decided to up it to 75. That night there was a phone call for me at my friend’s house from a lady who was a manager at a large hospital. About a year earlier I had submitted a syllabus to a community college to teach a course on stress management (Yup, you heard me 😉 ).  She asked me if I would do a one-day seminar for 200 hospital workers. I said yes and got the job.

My day with the hospital workers went very well. I got a standing ovation and many more days of work. To this day I KNOW that it was because I changed my attitude to gratitude.

Incidentally, the day after I found the earring the girl asked me if anyone had claimed it. I told her no and she said “I guess it was meant for you then.”  I spent the next year conducting training workshops in hospitals and businesses all around the Seattle area and then decided to risk everything and go back to Scotland where I had lived previously.

I closed my one man business, bought a plane ticket and got a six month visa from immigration. One month later I met my wonderful English wife and best friend of 15 years now. We live in a small beautiful cottage, two miles from a paved road in the highlands of Scotland.

‘THE ONLY ATTITUDE IS GRATITUDE’ has been my motto for years now and yes, it completely changed my life.

15 thoughts on “Be Happy (A True Story) by Davy Jones

  1. Your story has brought a smile to my face and uplifted my heart today. Thank you Davy. I am going to start a Gratitude list today, and would love it if there was a bumper sticker with your fab motto on it!

  2. As I read your AWESOME story and got to the line “Be Happy”, I got the most intense goose bumps of my life. I think this is a message from the universe telling me that I need to BE HAPPY. I remind myself all day long to think positive, not let things bother me, and stay focused on the end result. But I was not aware until I read your story that I need to make a list of the things that I am grateful for. I know that LOVE is the key to having an abundant life, but I was not aware that being grateful is an easy way to live a life of love. Thanks for helping me find the missing piece to creating the life that I desire!

    Sending you love from New York, Persephone!

    • Thanks Persephone, and hi from across the ocean! I remember being told as a teenager by one of my (wise) friends that being unhappy was an awful waste of ‘being happy’ time – I’ve never forgotten that.

  3. What a lovely story and so true. I’ve had friends tell me to write gratitude diaries and ignored them but the other day I felt especially glum, and decided to NOT let myself get into that space, so I wrote about all the things I am grateful for and it really helped me get some perspective and I felt much better quickly. I also live in the Highlands of Scotland so perhaps we could meet up sometime!

  4. Hi Janine
    I think I met your partner at 4Networking the other day; I’d be happy to meet up. There’s not so many of us in this area, so all connections are very welcome! Email me direct if you’re coming near to Forres anytime.

  5. By the way everyone – if you’ve never written down what you’re grateful for, you can also start with baby steps, just writing down 5 things just before you go to sleep. Or jump in the deep end like Davy and really go for it with 50 or 75. I got to 72 the other day! But any gratitude practice is better than none…

  6. Thank you Jane for retelling this story. Today I felt over burdened with listening to complaints from other people. I wanted to run away. I allowed myself to listen to the news of the dualing polititians in our country, the news is so depressing. I was struggling to stay in the light and keep hope in my heart.

    I read this story and, of course, remembered GRATITUDE. I had been so good at writing down what I was grateful for. Okay, so I begin again. And, all is well. As Louise Hay says ” Every thing is working out for my highest good. Out of this situation, only good will come.”

    Thanks Jane for helping me remember I am blessed in so many ways.

  7. Thanks as ever Jane for this article. I do look forward to your newsletters as they are sooooo different from the run-of-the-mill business stuff. A regular reminder that there’s far more to being in business than sales and marketing.
    I love the instant sign in this storey, but it doesn’t always have to be as clear as this does it. As soon as we ask for a sign, we’ve signalled a desire for change and just have to keep alert to our intuition of what that signal will be and where it comes from.
    From the comments so far it seems quite a few have received their signal, so thanks again for sharing this.

    • Hi Jane – yes you’re quite right, the signals may not be quite as obvious as this one was! The thing with signs is to keep a completely open mind as to how they might show up. Thanks for pointing this out!

  8. That was the most lovely story I have heard for a while and although I do a lot of self developement I do not do a graditude list although it has been mentioned before, so now I will add that to my list to do. I also think the car bumper is a great idea. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  9. Great story! Thank you for the reminder to be grateful. I did this years ago when I was living away from home and feeling particualary miserable one day. I was reading a book by Alan Cohen talking about remembering all the things that we have in our lives to be grateful for. I began to write things down, a list and after about an hour it was quite impossible to feel bad about anything in my life.
    I had completely forgotten about this incident until now.
    Thank you
    Best wishes
    Aisling X

  10. Hi Jane – I LOVE your newsletter – I hope you know how much this is appreciated! This story is brilliant because it shows how easy it is to change your attitude. But also how easy it is to find things we can be grateful for. For example, this time last year when I was in Greece I couldn’t walk , and for the rest of the year suffered greatly and paid out loads of money for the surgery to solve the problem, during which time I couldn’t work or earn much. Instead of feeling bitter about that , I feel AMAZING because being here now reminds me of how bad it WAS, and shows me how good it IS now that I can walk again! So I’m going around with a big grin saying , I can walk , I can walk!

    • Hey Aisling and Dorota – good to hear from you both. It is SO simple isn’t it – a list of things we are grateful for. Who would have thought that just making this list, or even going over it in your head, would have such profound results? But it’s true, it really does work!

  11. It IS good to be reminded, on a grey grey day, thanks Jane. I’m going down to get my back op’d on at the end of the week, and it’s hard to remember to think of anything else at present, so all reminders to BE HAPPY are helpful!

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