This is a true story; the name of this individual has been changed for his privacy. I had the privilege of meeting and talking to Frank, who was scheduled to have an operation to remove cancer in his stomach. When Frank went to the doctor to get ready for the operation, he was informed that it could no longer be done. The doctor told Frank that the cancer had metastasized, therefore it was too late to operate on him.

This is bad news for anyone, but Frank met this difficulty in his life with extraordinary peace and power. I spoke to him about where he was with his fight against cancer. I think it is very important to share this with you, because it shows what people can do when faced with a worst case scenario. Frank told me, "I am happy." He was not happy that he has cancer, he was happy in-spite of it. This made all the difference in the world for him.

Frank had arrived at a place of peace regarding the cancer he was fighting. This peace is exceptional. He had been through it all. He had been sad, mad, and he had tears, lots of them, he had self-pity, fear, and he experienced every human emotion. Frank declared that self-pity is the worst; it brings you down and keeps you there, with absolutely no benefits.

Frank has met this challenge with weapons of happiness. He was grateful for all that life had given to him. He is grateful for his wife, his children, and his entire family. He is grateful for living his life. Armed with gratitude, he goes on to handle the cancer the doctors have told him he has.

We discussed the fact that doctors must be careful of giving "false hope." So doctors tell us the way it is. Doctors can only give us their medical opinion. We always have more available to us than that. At the same time, there is such a thing as "false despair." We must guard against this, because, once we feel hopeless or helpless we will needlessly despair. Unhappiness can be as much of a problem as the obstacle we must face.

We also discussed the saying that "cancer is just a word, not a sentence." Once you allow that word to have control over your mind and life, your problems only get worse. Another aspect we discussed is the way to ask for healing. Unless you contemplate a full recovery, you diminish your chances for success.

The way to "beat it," is a two-part path. First, you must be grateful for being free of your cancer. In other words, thanking God in advance that you are healthy. Seeing, feeling, and being healthy and showing gratitude for this victory. After all, this is a demonstration of perfect faith, and faith is believing things that you cannot see.

The second step is to accept whatever happens. You might look at this as God having the last word. Once you walk this thin edge, anything can happen, and the very best often does. Some call it a miracle. I call it getting out of the way and letting the best happen.

Gratitude is an interesting dynamic. Unless you are grateful for what you already have, having more will never be enough. Take an inventory of what you have and learn to appreciate it. Once you operate with gratefulness you allow the very best to transpire. This is different from expecting the best to happen for you.

When you expect something, you are asking for it to happen. When you are grateful, you act as if it has already happened. This works as long as you remember to accept whatever happens for the moment. Now you have made both sides of the spectrum work for you. You have set up a "win-win, no lose" way of dealing with life and the problems you encounter. You have made peace a part of your life, and have it working for you.

"Of one thing I am certain, the body is not the measure of healing -- peace is the measure." -- George Melton

This article is about happiness, and finding peace even in the problems of life. It is about changing the things we can, and accepting the things we can't change. Peace and happiness give us the power to control ourselves. We can make the right choices for ourselves, because we are dealing with authentic power. We may not be able to have direct control over things in life, but we can control ourselves. Direct control of ourselves translates into the indirect control of life itself. This is our chance to allow the very best of everything to happen.

Frank is positive proof that you can be happy -- no matter what. Frank said, "You know; when I think back on my life, I realize I did not need to sweat the small stuff, and it was all small stuff."

Lionel Ketchian is the founder of the Happiness Club. He can be reached at PrintLRK@aol.com. The Web site is www.HappinessClub.com.