The constitution tells use that we have the right to pursue happiness, but do we really know what that means.
Does it mean we need to look to others to make us happy?
Does it mean we need to look to our money, job, spouse, parents, etc. to make us happy?
Does it mean we need to look to the lottery to make us happy?
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
One of the most frequent things we tell ourselves is “I will be happy when….” This means you are waiting on a certain event to happen before you can be happy. This also means that you are giving control of your happiness to others.
What if I told you you can be happy even if you are poor? You can be happy even when you are going through a hard time? You can be happy even though others around you are not?
Happiness is a choice!
Happiness comes from within. True happiness can’t be bought, isn’t based on your surroundings, and doesn’t depend on anyone but you! Happiness is a choice you make everyday. For example, I know 2 ladies who struggle with the exact same disease. One lady is always positive even when in pain, always has a smile on her face, and continues to try to bless others even though she isn’t feeling 100%. The other lady, with the exact same disease and pain, is negative, looks for attention, talks constantly about what is wrong, and brings herself and everyone around her down. You can be happy in tough situations – people do it everyday! It is your choice to make.
3 Keys to Happiness
Pursue it constantly
If you want something you have to go after it. This is true for success, wealth, great relationships and happiness. You are the author of your own story. This means that every choice, everyday is yours to make. You can stand on the side of the road with a flat tire with a smile on your face. You can be laying in a hospital bed with a smile on your face. You can be standing in the unemployment line with a smile on your face. This is because happiness comes from within, is your choice to make and isn’t defined by your current circumstances. Just like with the ladies above, one lady made a choice to smile through her pain knowing it could be worse, knowing that she was blessed in other areas of her life, and believing that it would get better. The other lady chose, whether she realized it or not, to focus on the negative, make it the center of her day, and believe that she was a victim, not a victor.
If you want happiness, you have to choose it. It is the only way to get it. Others may make you momentarily happy, but it is not their job, nor can they, keep you happy 24/7. Make it your job to pursue your happiness every moment of every day!
Everyone has something
We love throwing pity parties for ourselves and inviting everyone we know, even strangers we run into throughout the day. Somehow we believe that we can make ourselves feel better by telling everyone about our problems and how they are not our fault. We love to play the victim. But everyone has something and in most cases it is worse than your something. You may be $20,000 in debt, but there is someone else who is $40,000 in debt. There is someone who is homeless. There is someone with literally has nothing – no money, no job, no home, no material items and just the clothes on their back. You may be in the hospital or have a disease like our 2 ladies, but there is someone taking their last breath. There is someone standing over a casket saying goodbye to a loved one. There is someone in the ICU praying for just 5 more minutes to say goodbye.
Everyone has something. You aren’t the only one with a sad story. But you are the only one who can decide if you will be a victim or a victor. You are the only one who can write your story. Will it be a happy story or a depressing story? Will it be a best seller or just sit on the shelf collecting dust? The book containing the first 38 years of my life collected dust. There were happy moments in it but it wasn’t worth reading. There were a lot of reasons for that but the main one being it was written as a victim’s story. My current story is looking to be a best seller – the story of a victor, not a victim.
There is a treasure in every trial
Treasures can be very difficult to find. Some are hidden so deep that we never find them even with a map. But they are there and we need to make it our habit to find them in even the toughest situations. When you find the treasure, it will always put a smile on your face because you realize that something good can and will come out of everything you go through. 17 years ago, I found myself $200,000 in debt, a single mom making $10,000 a year. Where is the treasure in that situation? But today, I am a happily married woman, mother of a talented senior in high school, successful business woman and financially free. I found thousands of treasures along the way and I would have missed them if I hadn’t been told they were there and that I needed to look for them. So I’m telling you – there is a treasure in every trial. You may not see it right away, but you can stay happy knowing it will show up.
When I found myself in my situation 17 years ago, I could have given up. I could have thrown a big pity party. I could have played the role of victim and won the Oscar for it. But that wasn’t the life I wanted to live anymore. I wanted to be happy! Then one day I heard it was my choice. I wanted to know more about that and I pursued it by reading books and blogs just like you are today. And then I put it into action. This is a step that many people skip, but it is the most important step. You have to decide and take action every minute of every day to be happy. It is not a natural instinct especially when you are in the middle of something that is uncomfortable or a storm that wasn’t in the forecast. But life happens. Choose to be happy even in the storms of life. Be the lady who was positive even in the pain and who blessed others in the process. Don’t keep saying “I’ll be happy when…”. Today is when. Happiness is a choice!