I begin to suspect that the world is divided not only into the happy and the unhappy, but into those who like happiness and those who, odd as it may seem, really don’t.C.S. Lewis
Throughout my life, I’ve often been asked how I manage to be “happy” all the time, despite being aware of so many problems in the world, and having so many directly impacting me. Piggybacking off my thoughts earlier this week, here is my “‘secret”:
In this life you can find infinite things to be angry at, afraid of, and worried about. Atrocities and suffering occur daily. There is no shortage of loathsome things.
You can also find infinite things to be grateful for, joyful about, and encouraged by. Wonderful things happen daily and we live in the most prosperous, peaceful, and fair era in human history.
Both optimists and pessimists are “correct” in a sense.
Those who say the world and people in it are selfish, wicked, and always have been, have a solid case and mountains of evidence.
Those who say the world is wonderful and that humans are amazing, loving, and generous, also have a solid case. There is so much undeniable goodness.
What you choose to focus on (and for how long) is up to you.
Personally, I choose the path that leads to more joy, constructive activity, and better relationships, health, and overall success.
Life is too short to sacrifice the beauty of life in favor of scarcity.
I love your thinking here, Erin. Life IS too short — and spreading the joy should be job #1.
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I’ve been thinking about this for awhile this morning and honestly Erin I don’t know that I choose one way or another. I think I just take what comes at me on any given day and roll with it. I don’t feel like I’m more to one side than another. Of course things bother me and I experience whatever feelings all the crap brings rather personal or societal but then I let it go. Same with happiness. When it’s present I’m thankful and enjoy the gift, knowing that the next day may be a different day all together.
Thank you for this important and wise reminder today, Erin. I think choosing joy doesn’t mean that we don’t acknowledge the hardships in our lives and in the world. But it’s about recognizing what’s within our control and focusing on the things that can affect a more positive outcome and life. Way to go for spreading this message!
It seems like this is a message that stands the passage of time, from Marcus Aurelius who told us “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” To Groucho Marx who said “Each morning I open my eyes and say, ‘I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.'”
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I’m right here with you. There’s an old prayer that is titled, Take Joy. I don’t know the words but I remember the sentiment after reading it and remind myself of it as motivation.
Beautifully said, Erin! What we choose to focus on is up to us – and it matters! Love your secret!