Thought Catalog
March 20, 2013

Happiness Is A Choice

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It’s the end-goal of everything we do. It’s why we pray, get married, go to college, slave through tiresome days at the office, endure heartache, buy into fads, and move through (the sometimes unbearable) woes of everyday life…  and more importantly, it’s why we care so damn much about it all. It’s why we are so hurt when our lives don’t become what we had hoped they would be. Its happiness, and it’s at the root of everything we desire. But what we seem to overlook is that happiness is not an elusive state of euphoria that we eventually stumble upon once all of our goals are fulfilled. Happiness is a choice, and you are just as capable of experiencing it now as you will be once your life looks as you think it ideally should.

Yes. Happiness is a choice. And you can choose it right now. Close your eyes and decide: today, I will be happy. Today, I will be grateful for everything I have, and know that everything I don’t have, I don’t need. See, the thing is, happiness is not contingent upon the next great thing you attain or accomplish. Ever notice that? You work hard for something, you get it, and then the joy of having it fades, just like everything else you have and don’t care about. And you’re on to assuming that you’ll be happy once you have the next thing. It’s how we’ve been conditioned: to work toward being better, richer, thinner, prettier, happier.

But it’s not to say that aspiring to be better is bad. The concept of growth is, in my opinion, the purpose of existence: everything is for the development of our souls. So what if we took the energy we put toward making ourselves appear successful and happy and put it toward actually being happy, right now. What if we made the next goal to be happy… not in 15 less pounds from now, not in a $15,000 raise from now, not once we have the person we’ve been swooning over, not once we’re better. Just now, just because we’re alive, just because we’re here, and just because there’s something in us that the world needs. Because there is someone, somewhere, who loves us (or will love us) just as we are, right now.

Happiness, if you think about it, is the biggest conundrum we face. The pursuit of it is why we do basically everything that we do, and yet, none of that effort is necessary: it’s the simplest choice of changing our state of mind.

But if you’re worried that being unconditionally happy for yourself is selfish, consider this. Once you’re happy, you’ll find that you begin a domino effect. You’ll exude peace to others. You’ll make the first impact and the ripple effect of peacemaking will follow. My inner hippie has always believed that peace for the world around us has to begin within us. We’re all preaching and fighting (note the irony) for a more peaceful existence, and yet we’re not changing ourselves. So for the sake of your own happiness, for the sake of the world around you, and for the sake of everybody who you love and care for, be happy. Choose to fill yourself with love, light and positive energy.

You choose happiness. You choose what success is. You choose your family. You choose your home. (I personally believe it’s the person or place you always return to, but that’s just me). What you may not realize is that every aspect of your life is changeable, and more important, beautiful, just as it is… because you’ve chosen it. You know what you have to do now, and just like more often than not in life, you know what the right thing is. It’s just having the courage to do it. It’s easy to sit in your misery and feel sorry for yourself. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that worrying about something will change it.

Have the courage to choose happiness. TC mark

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