Sometime during the past week, as we were wrapping up the class, an entrepreneur started shedding tears in front of the class. As we went over the course material, she realised her flaws in business and, in a sense, experienced a breakthrough, and this made her emotional. It seems as though she has been stymied for a significant amount of time in business, and that she has just now had an epiphany on the situation.

In my experience with entrepreneurs, this is not an isolated incident. During a class I held a few months ago in Polokwane, another entrepreneur in the group broke down in tears. As she reflected on how far she had come and the obstacles she had overcome.

A few days ago, I was invited to speak to entrepreneurs as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, and while giving the talk, I found that I was getting emotional and had to pause my talk midway because of being overcome with emotions.

These were not tears of sadness, but tears of joy. The last time I cried with deep sadness was when my old man passed away.

I’ve recently witnessed people shedding tears of joy on a variety of occasions. Tears of joy at church because of a breakthrough, tears of joy after visiting an emotional place and realising how lucky you have been to be alive, tears of joy after chemo and being told the cancer is gone, tears of joy when that email comes through and the answer is yes, tears of joy at weddings, graduations etc.

I remember how Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal both cried happy tears when Federer retired. Serena Williams was in the same situation on her last game.

Tears can come from a variety of emotions, including happiness and sadness.

Sad tears come from dwelling on the past with sorrow or dwelling in the future with dread.

When a person cries from happiness, it’s as if they’ve been frozen in an unending, perfect moment. These days, I’ve been shedding the latter kind of tear as I try to live in the moment rather than merely survive it.

There are times when I feel completely present when watching a movie or TV, times when I am attempting to freeze time with my daughters, and times when I see breakthroughs with entrepreneurs in class.

In front of 40 entrepreneurs, I choke up a lot more frequently in class. It used to make me feel ashamed, and I’d tell myself I should just get it together. As I’ve gotten older, however, I’ve become more at ease with both my raw emotions and the collateral damage they may do. I’m entitled to it.

As you get older and realise how short life is, you’ll appreciate being able to pause and reflect on special memories.

You experience a shift in attitude, one of decreased anger and increased gratitude.

As you age and realise how short life is, you want to stop time and feel something. Tears of joy feel healthy and helpful, especially in the company of loved ones.

Simply thinking about it makes me choke up.

Life is beautiful.

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