I’ve lived my life up until now believing that happiness is something we are always working towards. Then I started reading a few blogs and watching a few videos and realised I had gotten it all wrong. I’ve now decided to cut the phrase “I’ll be happy when [insert circumstance here]” from my life entirely.
Happiness is something you can be at any point in time. It’s a choice. You don’t need to change anything to be happy, you just need to decide to be happy.
This doesn’t mean we should all give up on all of our hopes, dreams and aspirations. We can still work towards that promotion – that may indeed make us happy – but the difference is that we need to choose to be happy while we are working towards it rather than making happiness the goal. Chances are if you are happy throughout the journey you will get there faster or won’t mind so much if it takes a little longer.
Being happy makes your stress levels go down, you become more productive and focused, it’s easier for you to let the little things go, your energy levels go up and people want to be around you and feed off of your positive energy. The exact opposite happens when you are angry or sad. Don’t get me wrong, these emotions are a necessary part of life and we need to feel them from time to time, however I think a lot of us are angry or sad just because we get into a pattern of being angry or sad.
I find what Shawn Achor said in his 2011 TED Talk to be incredibly inspiring:
“every time your brain has a success, you just changed the goalpost of what success looked like. You got good grades, now you have to get better grades, you got into a good school and after you get into a better school, you got a good job, now you have to get a better job, you hit your sales target, we’re going to change your sales target. And if happiness is on the opposite side of success, your brain never gets there…it’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality.”
It doesn’t take much time or effort to be happy and it is something we can do entirely on our own. Today I choose to be happy, what do you choose?
*Image my own edited with A Beautiful Mess app.