The short-cut to happiness


(Pic: the lovely letter I received in my athlete pack of Ironman New Zealand.)

Key takeaways:
– thank-you is such a good gift to give and it’s free!
– when you express gratitude to someone, you make their day and yours, too.
– a small thank-you can change a person’s life, perhaps.
– you will be happy when you express your gratitude to someone. The more you do, the happier you are.
– the short-cut to your happiness is to bring happiness to people around you first.

Every athlete in Ironman New Zealand in March 2018 received a letter from a primary school kid. I also received one in my race pack (see the picture). ^_^ What would you do when you receive this?

I immediately imagined how the boy wrote the letter, what he was thinking at that time, the joy he had while drawing the picture of a swimming Ironman in Lake Taupo … I couldn’t help imagine that the boy could be my 8-year-old son and how happy he could be if he did the letter for an Ironman athlete.

Upon my return to Sydney after finishing Ironman NZ, I wrote a thank-you note to the boy:

Dear Fergus,

Re: Ironman New Zealand

I am sorry that it took me so long to reply you and write you a thank-you note. On my registration day of Ironman New Zealand, I received your lovely letter in my athlete pack and I was very happy. You did a good drawing of a swimming Ironman and you also wrote well on the letter. Well done, Fergus. ^_^

Thanks to your lovely letter and best wishes on my marathon, I finished the race in 15 hours and 36 minutes on 3 March 2018. My finishing time was not super great but I was happy because I injured my right hand on 6 January during a bike training, and it took me four weeks to be able to swim again in February. So, I spent the whole January running and cycling with a plaster on my right hand. I looked funny, too! I managed to finish the race and also managed to run the whole marathon after swimming and cycling. It was a long day, but a great day with great fun. It was also my first Ironman in my life.

I’m grateful for your wishes and the time it took you to write the letter. I hope that you enjoyed the race as a spectator on that day, too. Perhaps you want to become an Ironman one day when you grow up?

The Ironman said: “Everything is possible”, so remember this, go on and make your life great. Life is great because you make it great. ^_<

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Cheng-Lung Wu

I was hoping that the little boy would be happy when he receives my letter and would be encouraged to explore his potential in the future. The joy to receive a letter from someone is always fascinating to little kids including mine! A few weeks later, I received an email from Fergus’s teacher, Miss Olivia Graham. The arrival of my letter to ‘Room 5’ of Fergus’s class made their day and the little kid was excited! Miss Graham brought the class on a journey to research Dr. Wu at UNSW and I guess the class was very excited to learn something about aviation and certainly, something about Dr. Wu! ^_^

I was so happy to receive Miss Graham’s email and learned that Master Fergus and the class was happy because of my letter. On that day, I found a short-cut to happiness in my life. The short-cut to my happiness is to bring happiness to people around me first. The more I do, the happier I become.


Dr. C. Richard Wu @
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