“Your life does not get better by chance it gets better by choice.”
This has become my new motto. It is as simple a framework you can get for how to take responsibility for your own happiness, NOW. We often see happiness as an aspirational place in the future that’s dependent on something else. How many times have you said to yourself, “If only I [had more money, got promoted, was married, was single…fill in the blank], then I would be happy.”?
I know have. I live in the future and dream about the possibility of what could happen. The problem with this is that I am rarely present. I’m always anticipating what’s next. The result is, I end up looking back at wonderful moments wishing I had just taken the time to appreciate it then. That’s the funny thing about idealizing the past or the future is the past is gone and the future may never come. All we have is what is here right now. So why not see the blessing in this moment?
So how do we do that? The first step is to make the choice. Choose to be happy. Say the words, “I want to be happy in this moment”. Even if you don’t fully believe it, keep saying the words out loud and in your head. I constantly repeat this to myself when I am stuck in traffic dodging the slow drivers and the turners. It’s hard, but what I notice is just saying the words starts a ripple effect of positivity. A fake smile appears…I start to bob my head…my body releases tension…and then a real smile shines through.
The next step is to ask yourself: How can I look at this differently? Reframe the situation and come up with a positive way that you can view the situation. When I’m stuck in traffic I usually think things like, “I hate this commute. Why can’t I just work from home? People can’t drive. I am wasting so much money on gas….”. Now I’ve learned to pause and think, “What’s the blessing in this situation? What does this commute allow me to do?” Hmm. Good question…I get a chance to talk to my mother every day on the commute to work. I listen to audiobooks since I don’t have time to read as much as I like. I get to see the sunset.
Instead of my negative perspective of “The Commute From Hell”, I am choosing to step into my new perspective called “Connection Time”. Now when I am walking to car, I think “Ooh it’s connection time, who can I call today?”. Then a bunch of positive thoughts start to spring up and am immediately happy and appreciating the blessing in that moment.
Remember, happiness is not a reward for some future action. It is a state of being that can be maintained despite any circumstances. It is not something that is gifted to us; it is already there within us waiting to be brought out.
Will you make the choice to find the blessing in this moment? Commit to finding happiness despite the circumstances. Please share how you are choosing happiness in the comments below.