Every day is spent making thousands of choices, from the time we wake up and choose to hit the snooze or get right out of bed, we begin the process of choosing.
Our bodies are creatures of habit, and we gravitate towards things we are comfortable with. But, ultimately, it’s our minds that tell us where to go, what to do, and how to feel.
Yes, even how we are going to feel is a choice we make every day.
“Sometimes Happiness is a feeling. Sometimes it’s a decision.”
Every Choice has a Consequence
If we are not actively choosing happiness, we’re choosing something else.
My husband and I have taught our children: “you are free to choose anything, but you are not free from the consequences of your choices”.
Every choice we make has a physical consequence, as well as an emotional consequence.
If we take time to help someone who is stopped on the side of the road, the physical consequence might be that we are late for an appointment, but the emotional consequence is joy from selfless service.
If we choose to over-indulge in food at a party, we might suffer physical discomfort as well as emotional regret.
Whatever choice we make, we are actively choosing a corresponding emotion.
Are we actively choosing happiness?
We are all Cyborgs…
We humans are examples of “cybernetic organisms”. No, I do not mean that we are Terminators, or part of the Borg, but yes, we are “an organism that has certain physiological processes controlled by mechanical devices.”
Our physiological processes: our actions, thoughts, words we speak are all controlled by a mechanical device: our mind.
Over years, we have programmed our subconscious to act, think, and feel certain ways, and every choice we make is either supporting that programming, or overriding it.
Let me elaborate. The thermostat in your house is a “cybernetic organism”. It is programmed to a certain temperature. Imagine you start burning something on the stove while you’re making dinner one evening. You open the window to let out the smoke, and then forget to close it again. Eventually, the heat moves inside, and the temperature of the house starts to rise.
Your thermostat has been programmed to maintain the temperature of your house. When the temperature goes up, your A/C kicks on to lower the temperature back down. Unless we go to our thermostat, and override the existing programming, the thermostat will continue to follow its programming.
…and Creatures of Habit
We are just like our thermostats. Unless we consciously choose to override existing negative programming, our subconscious will continue to produce the same thoughts, behaviors, and words we have programmed it to produce.
Despite how painful our fears, insecurities, anxieties, self-deprecations are, they also become comfortable. I’m not saying we want to be unhappy, depressed, or scared, but our subconscious is a creature of habit, and it finds comfort in the familiar.
The only way to escape negativity is to make it uncomfortable.
Today, I Choose Happiness
We may all have to remind ourselves on a daily basis, your body does not dictate what is going on in your life, your mind does.
And part of our purpose in this life is to learn self-mastery.
You are the author of your own story.
Our culture has accepted, and even embraced the idea of allowing coffee to run our lives. What gets us moving in the morning? Coffee. What keeps us going through the day? Coffee. We can’t function without coffee. Or so our body tells us.
Your body is simply looking for something it is comfortable with. Our bodies are total comfort-seeking, pleasure-seeking babies. It’s our minds that have to step in and say,
- No! That 6th cup of coffee might make you feel a little jittery.
- I know your bed is soft and warm, but hitting the snooze button AGAIN is going to make you late!
Our minds also have to step in and say:
- No! You are not unattractive (or stupid, or insignificant)
- I know you don’t know anybody at the party, but you need to go and make a friend.
I am in charge of how I feel and today I am choosing happiness.
Until we empower our minds to have the ultimate say over our bodies, we will continue replicating our sorrows and negativity.
Choose Happiness in Every Circumstance
“Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy.”Ralph Marston
The phrase and corresponding mindset of “makes me happy” needs to be erased from our society. There is nothing in this world that will make you happy if you don’t choose to be happy. No relationship, no success, no amount of money can make someone happy, should they choose unhappiness.
Conversely, we can be in dire circumstances, financially destitute, living with people who are angry, miserable, and unsafe, and still choose to be happy. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it can be done. It takes an active choice every day—many times throughout the day. It takes a fierce determination that no matter what barriers arise, what problems are thrown in our path, we will choose to be happy.
I know because I’ve been there. And even when I lived in an unsafe environment, when I had nothing but an EBT card to care for myself and four children, I still saw people who were worse off than me, and happier than me.
During periods of our lives, we could choose anger, depression, self-pity, and our choices would be excused by many. It’s understandable to be depressed after losing a loved one; to be angry during a divorce. But why?
What does choosing anger, self-pity, sorrow or any other myriad of negative choices do for us? What problem does it solve? How does it improve our lives? It doesn’t.
The only choice that can improve our lives is happiness. Our choice to be happy reflects that we are a product of our thoughts, values, and beliefs, and not of our circumstances.
Choose Happiness in All Things
Those mornings we wake up and all we want to do is pull the covers over our head and hide from the world…choose happiness.
When it seems like half-way through our day it would be better if we called it quits, went home and wrapped ourselves in bubble-wrap…keep choosing happiness.
Though our bodies might be pushing us to feel one way, even craving the negativity it’s previously been fed, empower your mind to choose happiness over everything else.
Happiness will gather peace, love, fulfillment, purpose, all things positive to itself. When our lives are infused with happiness, all other pieces magically click together.