We’ve touched on the subject of happiness a few times in the past few weeks, and broadly hinted that happiness is a choice we make. Let’s explore that a little further.
How many happy people do you know? Would you count yourself among them? If you are like most folks, happiness is something you would like to feel, but it’s also something that you see as being “out there” in the future somewhere.
Now, if you have ever spent much time around a truly happy person, you may have noticed that their mood comes not from what’s going on around them, but from what’s going on inside them. They have a way of looking at life that doesn’t ignore the negative things but doesn’t focus on them, either.
Instead, they give the lion’s share of their attention to finding things to enjoy and appreciate. They have no trouble finding them, either. Every day, no matter where they are or what they are doing, they find things to laugh about, to celebrate, and to praise. In effect, these happy folks are mining the world around them, and bringing up nuggets of joy.
It is an interesting fact of life that what we see is mostly what we look for. Our brains are designed to help us notice what we have decided is important, and ignore or even blind ourselves to those situations that we have decided are not important. (Yes, this can be a double-edged sword in that we can miss things we don’t realize are important. It’s about setting the goal, and being open to what we need to understand on our way to the goal.)
If you make up your mind to be happy no matter what happens to you, you will be amazed by all the things you never noticed before, things that bring a smile or a laugh or a moment of joy. Most happy people were not born that way. At some point, they made a conscious or perhaps unconscious choice to enjoy their lives, right here and right now.
If you haven’t done so already, what do you suppose would happen if you made the same choice, starting today?