Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What is Happiness?

Some people might say happiness is being surrounded by the people you love. Others may claim success in your chosen field is happiness. There are those among us who claim happiness is seeing your boss’s Porsche being carpet bombed by a flock of migratory birds. While I believe every one of these is a valid source of happiness, I think true happiness is a choice.

That’s right I said happiness is a choice. I’ve had my fair share of crap to deal with. More than some, less than others. It doesn’t really matter how much is shoveled onto the top of your heap, it’s all relative. If you haven’t had to deal with much more than a paper cut then running out of gas on the highway is a true tragedy. If you’ve watched your entire planet destroyed by a Death Star while wearing cinnamon buns as hair accessories, losing your job isn’t so bad. It’s all about your tolerance level.

I’m not going to give you a list of my greatest hits. That would serve no purpose. I will tell you that at my lowest point I had an epiphany. I realized I was angry because I’d chosen to be angry. If I could choose to be angry, I could choose to be happy. Right? So that’s what I did. In that moment I realized that I had a pretty awesome life. True, life had been a cruel mistress but all the loss and pain I’d dealt with only proved how lucky I truly was. I had a family who loved me and I’d found my passion. How many people can say that? Not many. Now, I’m not saying you can just decide to be happy and it will suddenly start raining men and money. It takes work. You have to act like your life is happy. Believe your life is happy, act like your life is happy, and your life will be happy. Some days I have to say, “My life is awesome because I didn’t spontaneously combust today.” Other days I get to say, “My life is awesome because…it’s just awesome!!” For me, any day that passes without me shooting someone in the face is a great day.


  1. Katie-Katie-Katie, you never cease to amaze me. You can sprout some of the most inane comments I've ever heard( most of which are too freaky funny ) and then you'll come up with a dazzler like this one that simply takes my breath away. It is profound and humorous all at the same time.

    I've told you before how very thankful I am that the Universe brought you into my life and today is another one of those days. I will share this post with all my FB friends and I hope that they all get the same tingly feeling I got when I read it. *Except the part about shooting people*

    May you live Long & Prosper and always be my friend.

  2. I do believe happiness is a choice. I also believe that it's ok to be angry sometimes. Life is unfair at times but that's just the way it is. Choosing to stay angry, rather than being grateful for what you do have doesn't help. As a person going through a huge transition right now, both personally and professionally, I fight with old personal demons - they're like those old friends who are no good for you and you have to consciously stay away from. However, just because the future isn't laid out neatly before you as you'd like it to be, won't mean it won't be good. Having faith, choosing gratitude, and believing in yourself go a long way.

    Great post!

  3. I agree wholeheartedly. You must choose to be happy if you really want to be. It's not about what happens to you, it's how you react to what happens to you.

  4. Benjamin, You are my long lost friend found again. I am so grateful you are part of my life.

    Kellie, I agree, there are times when anger is righteous. It's knowing when to let go of that anger that is most important.

    Angie, agree. That was my grandfather's motto.

  5. I absolutely agree that happiness is a choice. If we choose to, we can all probably find something to grumble about, but the opposite is also true. When we look for our blessings, that's exactly what we'll see.

    Oh, and I like your "fake it 'til you make it" suggestion. I've read that when we smile--just the mere act of turning our mouths up and smiling--our brains release endorphins and we feel happier. It doesn't matter whether or not we felt like smiling, it just takes doing it.

  6. To me happiness is accepting the things you can't change, doing something to change the things you can - and knowing the difference between what you can't and what you can!

  7. Paula said exactly what I was going to say. Everyday I CHOOSE to be happy. I have to do that everyday because otherwise, I just might forget and fall off into the abyss of woe-is-me sadness and frankly, I don't like it there!
    Love this piece and I am so happy to meet you here.

  8. Agreed! And it's our own responsibility to ourselves to be happy. Sometimes, it involves making certain choices. It sounds like your own gratitude played a big part in your found happiness.

    Nice blog!