In Pursuit of Happiness

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By Vickie Magic

I was born in the middle of 1960; I don’t remember that day, but I believe that it was a happy one for Elaine and Jerry Exton. I was their third daughter, sister to Debbie and Julie (and later sister to their fourth daughter, Sheree). Clearly mum and dad loved HAPPY sounding names. 

I can’t tell you much about those very early years, but it wasn’t long until I remember my dad saying to me, “You can be, do or have whatever your heart desires in this life; all it takes is belief. If you believe you can then you are halfway there.”  Wow, how lucky was I, having a father that was so inspirational and so positive; sure was a great start to life.

Dad always encouraged me and I remember when I started my running career he would help me to mentally visualise myself winning the race. He would say, “If you can see it, you can achieve it.” 

From the age of 10, I started to win all the running events at school and not long after I joined the Southern Cross Running Club. I loved our Saturday running events and I especially loved the 800-metre and 1500-metre distance, soon becoming Queensland Champion for the next six years. 

It was a great feeling to be the best in the State.  The best I ever did in the Australian championships was third, and I was pretty proud of that.  At a young age, I got to travel to various places around Australia and this made quite intrigued about travel in general.

I was a little bit silly believing I knew what I wanted at just 18-years-old and getting married to an older guy. Alas, it didn’t last long so off I went overseas to find myself. I think about that now and honestly realise that I didn’t have to travel overseas for that; I really just needed to look in the mirror. 

I searched for almost seven years for myself on and off, travelling all over the world. Nowadays I truly believe we constantly search outside of ourselves for love, for answers, for power, for potential, for treasure, for wisdom, for passion, for purpose, but none of those things is OUT THERE; they are all WITHIN us. I probably could have saved myself a lot of time and money if I had realised that sooner.

But I don’t regret a second as my travels took me to around 78 countries. My friends would often say I was so lucky, but I don’t think it was luck at all. It was all very well planned out. We often think we can’t do something until we decide we can and then it’s actually way easier than we ever imagined.  I travelled to some amazing places and met some amazing people; I seriously have to say I have had the best life.

When I stopped travelling, I decided I should actually get a job that might allow me to travel with someone else paying, so I joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  I spent a year-and-a-half in Islamabad, Pakistan, and almost four years in London and stayed with the department for 11 years. I really do think that living abroad makes you appreciate your home so much more; we truly are the lucky country.

It sounds like quite the life but was I really happy?

On and off, yes, but it really hasn’t been until the last five or so years that I have found true happiness inside and out. 

Discovering and learning the true meaning of THE POWER OF THE MIND and finally truly understanding THE POWER OF CHOICE have changed my life.  

Every minute of every day we get to choose how we feel; every minute of every day we get to make decisions that will either make us happy or sad. I’ve learnt that it truly doesn’t matter what happens; sometimes really bad things happen to really good people, and sometimes really good things happen to really bad people. The reality is that we, you and I, get to choose what we make everything mean and the meaning we give everything determines our level of happiness. 

I used to think that circumstances, the wins and losses in life, were what determined my happiness. If this happened, I would be happy but if that happened, I would be sad.  Nope, untrue; good or bad stuff can happen and we get to choose how we react.  For me, now, I simply look for the lesson, the gift in the bad stuff. I take it and then leave it where it belongs, in the past. I’m not saying this is easy, because it takes a while to truly learn, but I am definitely living proof that it is possible.   

I find it hard to believe sometimes when people actually hold on to the crap that happened so long ago; sometimes the other person doesn’t even remember the incident. But here they are being all bitter and twisted a million years later, for what purpose? Ain’t got no time for that! As we get older we start to see people around us whose life has been cut short and the more of those we see, the more we truly understand that life IS short and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS is not later, but right now.   We can’t put it off for another moment.

So many people are waiting for something to happen to be happy; they say it will happen when they:

Lose weight

Complete this course

Get a new job

Get a partner

Leave a partner

Get married

Have a baby

The children grow up

Buy a house

Move house

Move to a different city

A different country

Have a certain amount of money in the bank

Pay off the house

Insert your ‘when I’ right here . . . . . .

For some, it’s when they retire; OMG that could be a long way off.

They put their whole life on hold thinking that later, sometime in the future, will be their time, and they will absolutely be HAPPY then.

But for some, they never reach that time, so their whole life was spent in limbo and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS continued right up until the end of their life.


Seize the day; your life is right now. Don’t wait another moment, another second. 

No matter what is happening in your life right now, if it’s something bad choose to simply learn from it; surround yourself with people that light you up. 

If something makes you feel heavy, don’t do it. If something makes you feel light, do it.

Don’t make it difficult, make it easy.


Being happy is about looking for what’s right in your life and being grateful for that.

Sometimes we spend so much time and attention thinking about what’s wrong, looking at what’s wrong, whinging about what’s wrong without even really realising that we are actually manifesting more of what we don’t want.

So take it from me, start to really focus your attention on what you do want, and start focusing less and less on what you don’t want. 

That will definitely help with the pursuit of happiness.

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