Why Bother Choosing Happiness?
Not long ago, a friend of mine said, “I am feeling happy and it takes a little getting used to.” We had a good laugh at her statement. But for some, like my friend, the Eeyore syndrome is the norm for and when they discover happiness, it takes some getting used to.
Personality or Choice
The character, Eeyore, is from the children’s story, Winnie the Pooh. Eeyore’s voice is monotone, and no matter if it is a party or a rainy day in the forest, Eeyore always feels the same way, melancholy, pensive, dejected and gloomy. Thus a condition named after this character.
Be that as it may, I’m a big fan of the power we have as human beings to make personal choices. I’m also a firm believer that we don’t have to be an Eeyore. Yes, we all have our tendencies, habits and preferences, but we are not victims. No one holds us hostage to think and act in certain ways. Instead, by our own volition, we can choose happiness over gloominess, contentment over discontentment, gratitude over entitlement.
Happiness is not a one time choice. Rather, it is a day in and day out commitment to make decisions which reflect our respect for ourselves, and one another as well as living in alignment with our values. Selecting to be happy does not mean we deny the hardships in our lives. It only means that we believe we have what it takes to live above our circumstances instead of under them.
Finding what makes us happy is not a selfish endeavor. It is, however, about paying attention to our mental and physical health. Taking a 5:00 a.m. run on a warm spring morning brings joy to my heart, mind, body and soul. But not so for my husband. His heart feels happy on a Friday afternoon when he can golf with a few good friends. We each find our respectful happiness and refrain from holding any grudges about our differences.
Choosing happiness over doom and gloom means abstaining from worrying ahead. I do not know what the future holds, nor can I imagine what it will really be like. I can only attend to the present moment since that is all I have. The past is somewhere behind me and the future is somewhere up ahead. Living with contentment in the present moment dissolves any imagined worries about tomorrow.
Happy people know how to live according to their values. They understand and stick with their standards for their lives. Though the present day culture may contradict personal virtues, happy people don’t cave in for the sake of short lived popularity.
Though we all deteriorate as we age, our ability to be happy does not have to follow suit. We can be lighthearted and content at any age. The choice is ours.
Why bother choosing happiness? Though it might take some time getting used to, happiness is worth getting used to.