Friday, March 13, 2009

Happiness is a Choice

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. ~Abraham Lincoln

I believe that Abraham Lincoln lived through one of the worst times that the United States has ever been through and yet he realized that happiness is a choice.

I understand that bad things happen to good people and sometimes it seems never ending - but you have opportunities to seek out the happiness during these bad times.

"Our economy is in a downward spiral, the news is always depressing and it seems that no matter how hard we try, we just can't seem to get ahead. Is anyone really happy? "

Sound familiar? Sure it does. We see how companies large and small are having to cut back, scale down and lay people off just to make it. We see how families are sacrificing family vacations for quality time spent at home because they can't afford the hotels and/or gas to get to where they want to go. But the question remains - do you have to be miserable?


Quality time at home with the family can be so much fun! Break out the board games for a gameathon! Play board games with the family until you are the last man standing. Make homemade pizza and some kind of easy dessert. Pop several bags of popcorn and let the games begin. Give a certificate for "No Chore Day" to the winner (and Mom - let's hope YOU are the winner!)

If we choose to be happy during these discouraging times it will encourage others as well as teach our children how to handle difficult situations. Yes we get tired of always fighting to keep our head above water but it is worth the fight. It is worth the extra effort. Things aren't going to always be bad - there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to keep working your way there.

Here are some benefits of choosing to be happy:

1. Healthy body - your blood pressure isn't up, your body isn't stressed - choose happiness!

2. Your family is happier - Again, things are tough but look for the joy in everyday situations. Even the nightly news world is looking for happier stories to run. (and a side note here - there is NO reason they can't start a newscast off with a positive story of someone doing good, one in the middle of the depressing news and then end the nightly news with a story of someone doing good...they said there is no way they could air all the stories of people doing good - they need to at least try)

3. Your friends will still want to be your friends - Come on - you know you do not like being around Negative Nellie. No one does.

4. You will be successful - What? You don't get it? Success isn't measured by the size of your house, the year - make and model of your vehicle or the balance in your bank account. NO - success is so much more than that. Your children love coming home? Success! Your friends spend time laughing with you when they are with you? Success! Your spouse loves just being with you even if it is just at home reading side by side quietly? Success! Where is your success?

5. You display self control - While you can't control what goes on around you, you can control your reaction to what is happening. Self control is a rare quality these days.

6. You will have wealth that can never be taken away - Money cannot buy happiness! If it could, would as many Hollywood stars be on drugs, end up in rehab and like some - lose it all because they couldn't manage the money. Money is not the only wealth there is. Are your teenage children making wise decisions and getting the best grades possible? Yes - then you are rich indeed! Are you and your husband still happily married? Wow - what wealth there is in that! Are you and your family pretty much healthy? - That is awesome!

The mortgage brokers can't take that kind of wealth away. Some of us are rich beyond compare and yet we are so focused on the house we don't have and the money we don't make that we forget to see the real wealth we have....those that hug us every night, those friends that will help when the times are so tough that we can't make it alone. These are the priceless things that make us happy.

There are so many things out there that we have no control over - but happiness....we have a choice!

What are you choosing? I hope you'll choose happiness, joy and all that comes with it!


Sue Graber said...

I loved this blog....So true that we can choose to be happy -- and to how we react to the challenges in our lives. Many times I marvel at those who really are the encouragers despite the many trials and tribulations they have. I believe God uses these people to reach others...the joy and happiness they reflect encourages others. My dad was one of these special people. He worked very hard his whole life, lost a son in a farm accident, and had many health problems in his last years (he died in January), but he left a wonderful legacy. When someone asked him if he was rich, he would pull out the family picture and comment on being rich in faith and family. Thanks for the reminder that we can choose to be happy!

Marie said...

@Sue - Thank you for stopping by and commenting! Things will come into our lives that are so difficult, but we can still work through them with some joy and happiness. What a wonderful legacy your father has left you! I know this journey will be hard for your this year - but know that someone will be thinking of you as you walk this path! Especially this father's day!

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