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“Mummy, I just want to be happy.”
I was on my bed, nursing a headache when my 4 year old daughter came to me and said that. It made me smile and I told her that she didn’t have to worry, she would be happy. As she left to watch cartoons, I wondered what happiness meant to someone of that age; even as young as that, my little girl’s thought process was already complex.
Several hours later, and I’m still turning that phrase around in my mind … I just want to happy happy.
How many of us have had that thought … Or are thinking that on a consistent basis. At some level, each one of us wants to be happy. We want to be happy in our marriages; we want to be happy with our children; we want to be happy at work and with our families but more importantly, we want to be happy with our lives. This desire for happiness is so universal that Will Smith acted a movie “In Pursuit of Happiness.”
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As much as we all desire what we think is a state of being, it seems so elusive. Weeks go by, months, years and we don’t feel more than fleeting happiness. If someone asks you if you’re happy…honestly and truly happy, what would your reply be? Forget about the happy face you put on for friends and haters alike. Deep down inside, where it truly matters; are you happy?
I think the real problem lies in the way we approach happiness, like it’s some nirvana we attain at a certain point in life when really, happiness is simply just our attitude. It’s true that there are circumstances which can shake our happiness, for instance a woman who does not enjoy the love of her husband might find it difficult to experience happiness.
However I do believe that being happy is not so much a state as a CHOICE. At the end of the day we all make up our minds about whether we are going to be happy or not. Most people don’t consciously decide to be unhappy, at least I don’t think normal people do. BUT each time you focus on the negatives, you dwell and wallow in the stuff that make you unhappy, you have just made a choice to BE unhappy.
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As a person, my life has not exactly been a picnic. I don’t talk about my experiences because I’m not completely past them yet, but I got to a point where I knew that I’d had enough, I had to decide that I was going to be happy. I was done with being unhappy or feeling sad about things I had no control over. I said to myself, “It’s time to be happy.” It was not easy at first but a number of things helped me and I’d like to share them.
- Look at your current situation, is there anything you can change? If you can’t change the way things are then whether you’re happy or not, things will still be the same right? In that case you’re better off being happy …your health will thank you.
- If there are things you can change then pick one and work on it until you get change. 10 percent change is better than no change.
- Examine what you have and choose GRATITUDE. Every single day, thank God for what you have. Think of how much worse things could be and be grateful to God that they are not that bad.
- Help someone else. Be a blessing to others. Studies have shown that focusing on others takes your mind off your own troubles which leads to your feeling happier.
My daughter just wants to be happy. As she grows older I hope she learns from watching me that happiness is not something that another person gives you, nor is it a place you go to. I hope she learns that happiness is inside and that it’s her choice.