MAX Mindfulness: Stealing our Happiness Away…

I was visiting with a neighbor and they made the comment that it was a good weekend, the weather was nice, and they were happy. But then they said, “I know it can’t last.”

I’ve shared before about our brains being wired to look for what’s wrong or what needs to be improved or what danger lurks nearby. Our brains literally work against us trying to steal our happiness away. So we aren’t naturally ‘wired’ to look for what’s good and right and working well right now. Even if things are perceived to be working well right now we are always looking for things that might change for the worse, so that we miss the moment we are in.

There is yet another layer to our brains that causes us unrest or unease. When we are happy, we are always afraid that happiness won’t last, so we are also naturally wired to continue to seek more ways to be happy even when we are already happy. In short, that means again that we are missing the current moment of happiness because we are already looking for more of something in order to keep our happiness. So we get hit two ways when we are happy: We are afraid our happiness won’t last or shouldn’t last, and, at the same time our minds are way ahead of us trying to figure out new ways to keep us happy. Once again, we seldom live in the present moment now!

I’ve found that the current COVID stuff hits me in both of those contexts. If I’m feeling happy I catch myself and can easily go to ‘how is this ever going to end? or ‘I better not be happy given the givens right now’. Or I’m happy but I’m sure that can’t last in this context so I try to think of additional ways I can stay happy because I’m worried my happiness won’t last. If I’m already happy, why can’t I just enjoy that moment and live in that joy?! It is the only moment I’m guaranteed to ever have – the present one! We can enjoy more of our moments – that is where mindfulness comes in – paying attention to our thoughts and changing them. Simply practicing gratitude for the one moment or for those things we see or hear as we look around us, or for life itself, can all reverse the tendency of our minds to go to an unhappy place. In short, gratitude stops the brain's propensity to think us out of our happiness and keeps us centered on this moment now.

I can live in the moment. And I need to be aware of the hardwired aspects of my brain that are working against me. That awareness is the first step to longer enjoyment of anything that is working well for us right now. We have enough challenges right now so I want to make the most of my happy moments.

David Wine

David is the President and CEO of the MAX enterprise, having served in that capacity since its formation in 2001. He has forty plus years of leadership experience in the business and faith-based worlds, being an ordained minister, having been elected to the highest position in his denomination, and receiving numerous awards and recognition for his leadership in the insurance industry. He currently serves on numerous boards in the church and insurance sectors. His hobbies include hiking, biking, skiing and snowshoeing as well as being an avid reader. David and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, a son, and six grandchildren.

Photo of Dave Wine

Bergen-Friesen Agency Inc. recognized with Community Service Award from MAX Insurance®

(HENDERSON, NE) – Bergen-Friesen Agency Inc. of Henderson, Nebraska has earned the Community Service Award from insurance carrier MutualAid eXchange (“MAX”).  The MAX Community Service Award recognizes Bergen-Friesen Agency’s significant contributions to their community through their time, actions, and dedication.

Mark Dick and Homer Friesen head the agency.  In January, they participated in the MAX Agent Community Grant Program, where they chose Bethesda Mennonite Church to be a recipient. The church’s benevolent fund helps individuals and families who have had an illness, financial setback, loss of job, etc. in not only the church family, but in the greater Henderson community as well.  A $2,000 grant was given for the benevolent fund.

“At Bergen-Friesen Agency we try to fulfill the same values of fairness, faith, and social responsibility that MAX believes in, whether it’s at work or volunteering in the community,” Dick said.

Bergen-Friesen Agency is an independent insurance agency representing MAX Insurance® in Henderson and surrounding areas.  MAX Insurance®, based in Overland Park, Kansas, is a unique fair, faithful, and socially responsible insurance enterprise.  Founded on religious principles, the company’s mission is to restore wholeness to communities and individuals in need.  It lives out its mission through a variety of quality, fairly-priced insurance products, outstanding personalized customer service, and its unique Mutual Aid Ministries program.

“MAX is a company built on faith, strong values and service to others.  That’s the kind of independent agents we look for and we’re proud to recognize Bergen-Friesen Agency for being among the best of these,” said David Wine, President and Chief Executive Officer of MAX.

Bergen-Friesen Agency is located at 1061 N. Main Street, Henderson, NE 68371.  Phone: 402-723-4994. Email  Website

MAX Insurance® is headquartered at 4400 College Boulevard, Suite 250, Overland Park, KS 66211.  Phone:  877-971-6300.  To learn more about MAX, visit

Photo: John Wearda, MAX Regional Sales Manager; Mark Dick, Agency Principal of Bergen-Friesen Agency Inc.; and Homer Friesen, Agency Principal of Bergen-Friesen Agency Inc. (photo taken before social distancing guidelines)