The Power to Choose Happiness

Life is full of peaks and valleys. That might not seem like a very profound statement, but it’s true. As humans we are constantly moving within a constant cycle of the ups and downs of this crazy ride we call life. I used to think that the way I interpreted my life would always reflect which part of the cycle I was going through, but I’ve come to see things from a different perspective. Let me explain. All around us there are outside circumstances that we can not control and there are things that we can control. And if there is one thing that we have the ability to control, it is how we react to that which we cannot control. Instead of being tossed around by the things around us like a canoe in a hurricane, we actually have to power to steer our own reactions and attitudes.

Photo Credit: habitsforsmartpeople.com

So does that mean we have to ability to choose happiness, even when the world around us feels like it is collapsing in? I think we do, at least to a certain degree. But I believe that we also have the ability to choose to have a negative outlook as well. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t express anger or sadness in appropriate situations, but I think that sometimes it can be easy to look at an event and accept that we are going to have a bad day just because of one simple thing. Maybe someone cuts you off in traffic on the way to work, causing your piping hot coffee to spill on your new shirt which immediately hits that button in your brain that magically removes any and all filters as you cuss the rest of the way to work and think of ways to get your revenge before the jerk that cut you off gets too far away to tailgate. We’ve all had those mornings, and I’m sure many of us have taken that two minute event and allowed it to affect the rest of the day. But is it really worth it?

I don’t know about you, but I know that I would much rather spend my time choosing to be happy than choosing to have a bad day because of a few small incidents that were completely out of my control. I think that if we carry this sort of mindset we might be capable of things beyond what we can imagine. I’ve noticed that when I’m in a better mood I tend to do things better. I do my job better. I write better. I even workout better. If I feel great I want to be great, so I strive to be the best I can be. It wasn’t until I met a few people who embrace this attitude that I even realized it was possible. Instead of being tossed around like that canoe in the storm I’m learning how to navigate on my own, and so far the ride has been pretty awesome.

Photo Credit: freshwordsmarket.com

Do you think we have the power to choose happiness? Or do you think it’s more complicated than that? Comment below and let me know what you think!

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