Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I believe.

I had to write this statement for a class today. Its probably one of the most influential assignments I've ever done. So I decided to share it!

I Believe that Happiness is a Choice

I believe in being happy. I believe that happiness is a choice, and that at any point I can choose to be happy because I want to be, not just because I have a reason. And sometimes that’s not easy. In high school, all of the seniors chose a quote to accompany their picture in the yearbook. I chose “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.” I have quickly learned if I quit focusing on the shadows or the problems in my life, they can seem a lot smaller than they actually are.

My mom always told me to focus on the good things and count your blessings. There will be times when a person is sad. And that’s okay. But figure out why, grieve, and move on. It’s a part of life, but to wallow in your problems is a choice. I don’t believe that your problems will go away, but not focusing on the negative in your life will usually make things easier to deal with. Mitch Albom makes a very good point in his book Tuesdays With Morrie: “I give myself a good cry if I need it, but then I concentrate on all good things still in my life.” 

I have met many people who have nothing. Little money, little resources, lost their job and are in danger of losing everything they have ever worked for. But they are positive. They focus on what they do have, family, friends or even just faith. And they are happy. They chose to focus on the good and their blessings. Even when they are facing life’s biggest trials, they are still counting their blessings.

I have been in a place before where I didn’t think I had the choice to be happy. I was very depressed and it seemed like everyone’s life around me was way better than mine would ever be. I didn’t know what career I wanted to pursue, I didn’t like the way I felt, or the way I looked. I didn’t believe that I deserved to be happy. Once I made the choice to take the responsibility of fixing myself and concentrating on what was going well in my life, I saw a transformation in my attitude. I envy the people who have completely embraced this concept, because I still struggle with it. Being happy with just what I have is really difficult for me sometimes. But it’s something that I continue to reach for.

You don’t need a lot of money to be happy. You don’t need lots of material things to be happy. If you think a big house and a nice car is all you need to be happy I think you will someday realize you are mistaken. Happiness is what you make it, and embracing exactly what you have, when you have it. Happiness is not something that happens quickly, but over time. Being happy is a journey, not a destination, and I choose to make that journey, even if I make a few stops along the way.