A friend posted this link on her Facebook page and I loved it so much I had to share. Happiness, to me, is not about your surroundings, or what you have (or don't have for that matter), it's seriously about making a mental choice and making the most of what you do have! I know life isn't always a bowl of cherries and we all get dealt a crappy hand from time to time, but how you deal with it depends on you, and you alone. Choose happy!!!
This post is not to spite or insult the medically/clinically depressed. Rather, my focus is the people out there (not in need of medical help) that just don't appreciate the important things in life and more so, don't know how to prioritize what it is in life that would make them happy. Trust me, more "stuff" is not the answer to happiness.
Think about it, what is it in life that truly makes you sustainably happy? Sure, you might get a happy feeling buying that new car, new outfit or new technological gadget, but how long does that "happy" last? What I'm talking about it sustainable happiness! I know for me, sustainable happiness comes from my friends and family and the times I share with them. Not only do the original encounters provide hours of happiness, but reliving them in memory, and recounting them at future gatherings bring back the original (or even better!) version of happiness that I felt.
I also do my best to appreciate what it is that I have, as I know others are far less fortunate then I am. Of course I'm human and I want "stuff", but I also know my over all happiness doesn't come from it. I "make do" with the simple versions of things like a value packaged car, a basic smart phone (admitted former flip-phone user and lover) and even basic cable. The fact is, all of those things meet my basic needs. The car starts and stops and allows me to drive to fun new places and explore new adventures. My phone calls, texts, and allows me more time on Facebook then one human needs all while keeping me in touch with those I value. My lack of cable options (at times) force me to find other ways to entertain myself, whether it's reading, exercising or reconnecting with my friends. My point is, more isn't always better. Having (or not having) what I have today affords me plenty of opportunities to enjoy life and be happy if I just take the time to focus on the "haves" versus "have nots".
Additionally, I have learned to find purpose in volunteering, and helping others. Purpose doesn't always come from having the highest job on the pay scale. I don't have my dream job (yet), but I won't hate what it is I do in the mean time, either. Instead, I do what I can to feel accomplished in the role at hand, and more so, focus on ways to add purpose to my life outside of work. I enjoy numerous hobbies and volunteering. And believe you, me, there is no greater reminder to be happy with what you have then volunteering and being charitable. Be thankful, grateful and happy for what you still have and can use, whether it's financial or physical.
And finally, if I've learned anything from the dogs I've worked with, it is to live in the moment. Act, re-act if need be, and move on. You don't see dogs worrying about the past or future, and they sure do forgive and forget far easier and faster then their human counterparts. All too often I find myself thinking of the past and dwelling on what I could have done differently or thinking fifteen steps too far into a future that never materializes the way I thought it would. If I could harness that energy and focus on the moments at hand, I'd be even happier then I am today!
In closing, no, I am not happy every second of every day. I have my bad days (just ask my friends). I have to work at being happy, and believe indeed that happy is a choice so why choose to be miserable? I refuse to stay focused on the negative things that happen because life is too stinkin' short to only attend the pity party (you know you've thrown one in your own honor at some time!). Come on, get out there and be happy - you've got far better invitations in life to enjoy!!!