Is happiness a choice, or is it something that simply is? Do we get to decide if we are happy or not? Are we just a victim of our surroundings?
In my life, I believe we can choose to be happy. Yes, things happen in life that can be difficult, but when it comes down to it all, how we opt to deal with the things that have happened, its ultimately up to us whether we choose to remain sad or bitter about the events, or if we instead decide to still be happy.
Happiness is a much healthier option. I have seen people who seemingly have everything in life, yet they simply cannot be happy for themselves. Keep in mind, this is different from those exhibiting signs of depression, and I would not lump a mental health condition into the same category. I have also seen people who have had severely traumatic events happen in their lives who still chose to be grateful that they are still alive on this earth.
We all have days where the weight of the world brings us down. I try to remind myself that I am lucky to be where I am. I have gratitude for the friends and family I have, my living conditions, my job and my passions. I am grateful for having an able body which allows me to do things that others may not have the opportunity to do. This gratitude invariably leads me to happiness.
I look for the positives; for the good in the world. I avoid the news because happy news does not make money and therefore they do not play it. I cultivate my circle of friends to ones who reflect my inner light, and we bring each other up instead of drawing them down. I count my blessings.
Everyday, there is something new to be grateful for. Look for it and you will find happiness everywhere.
Friendship is something that can be taken for granted. For many people, they have always had friends surrounding them, and it is a blessing. Old, long-lasting friendships are truly a treasured thing for they have endured the test of time; a friendship that has grown and changed just as the people have. It can be rare to find these days. People tend to move with work opportunities and for the hopes of a different life. These decisions impact those friendships simply because distance is a difficult thing to endure.
New friendships are forged, and they become equally as important. They are based in what is relevant in their lives at the time they were brought together. The great thing about new friendships is that they all have the opportunity to turn into old friendships, given enough time. Neither one is more valuable than the other. They are all equally as important.
I am grateful for all the friendships in my life, both new and old. I look forward to these newer friendships growing and ageing along with me, and I truly hope they do. I do not ever wish to take any of my friendships for granted. For me, they are blooms in my garden of life. I want to cultivate them, removing the weeds, and feed the flowers.
I spent yesterday evening thinking back to what the past five years has brought me, and how my life has changed. Yes, divorce will do that to you. But, there is more to it than that. I have realized when I look back at the past five years, I am amazed at how much I have done and how it has helped me grow as an individual.
Not only have I become free from a life (and marriage) that were strangling me, I have opened myself up and become more of who I truly am. I have taken courses and completed two certificates, with the third and fourth ones to be completed shortly. None of which have anything to do with my profession, I might add. They are simply because I enjoy them and choose to increase my knowledge in other areas that interest me. I have dramatically improved my photography skills through practice, mentorship, and coursework, and continue to do so. I have taken myself out of my comfort zone and explored places I would never have expected to go on my own before these five years. I have joined groups and met new friends that mean the world to me. I have plans and aspirations for the next five years that have spiralled off of what the previous five years have provided me.
Something that I didn’t realize when I was in the midst of it all, but when I look back, I can see how much the little bits have changed me over time. Tony Robbins says that people overestimate what they can do in a day but underestimate what they can do in a year. It’s true. I have seen it in myself, and I believe what he has said. I am grateful for my self-motivation to do more. I am glad I have not allowed my life to become passive, but instead, take an active role in what happens in my life. This is my journey, and I want to make the most of it!
The term “self-improvement” has always left me with a cliché sense to the term. What exactly do you mean when you say you’re doing some self-improvement? The term, to me, implies that you felt you weren’t enough as you were. Harsh, I know.
It isn’t what it means at all. In fact, I too, have been working on some self-improvement. I do it all the time, even if I may not use that term specifically.
Self-improvement really refers to bettering yourself as time goes on; to compete with the person you were, not anyone else. We all improve with age, don’t we? Any time we pick up one of those self-help books, or an audio podcast designed to help us with one aspect of our lives or another, we are tuning into self-improvement.
Striving for more is self-improvement in itself. Are you looking to learn a new craft, a new language, or try a new cuisine? Anything that broadens our own experiences is a form of self-improvement. It doesn’t have to be the inspirational, motivational speakers, or the life coaches, the woo woo, or even the subliminal tapes. Anything we do to experience more that our world has to offer is a form of self-improvement.
So, call it what you will, but whatever it is, I encourage you to continue to be a better person tomorrow, than you were today.