You ever meet those people that are just bound and determined to be a grouch, no matter what you say? The other day I had a conversation with a customer at work that went like this:
- Me – “Hi, how are you today?”
- Customer – “Ugh, it’s cold outside. It’s May, it shouldn’t be this cold.”
- Me – “At least the sun is shining today!”
- Customer “It’s supposed to rain later.”
- Me – “Well, at least for now we can enjoy the sunshine!”
- Customer *gives me an annoyed look*
No matter what I said, that lady was not going to smile or look on the bright side for even a second. I see it every day, people who just want to complain or be grumpy instead of appreciating life.
Every time I’m asked about goals for my life, I always say that my main goal is to be happy. That’s what we all want, to be happy, right? So why are so many people so unhappy?
It is so easy to get caught up in the struggles and annoyances of every day life. It is so easy to let the little things bother you, or complain about every thing, or blame other people for your own unhappiness. It’s harder to embrace the struggle. It’s harder to love people even when they’re annoying and frustrating. It’s harder to accept that maybe you are unhappy because you are actively choosing unhappiness.
So many people get stuck thinking that when they just achieve whatever they’re working for, then they will be happy. The struggle and the unhappiness will be worth it because they’ll finally be happy when they get (insert whatever goal they’re working towards). A new job, a promotion, your own apartment, buying a house, losing 30 pounds, finding a boyfriend, getting a nose job, completing a degree, paying off some debt, etc. The thing is, if you get stuck thinking “I won’t be happy until x happens” then you will always be reaching for the next thing to make you happy. I’m gonna drop some knowledge on you here: You can be unsatisfied with where you are at in life and still be happy every single day.
Life is better when you learn to appreciate the struggle. Embrace the hard times because without them, you wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate the good times. Embrace the annoying people, because without them you wouldn’t be able to appreciate the awesome ones. Learn to be happy during the journey, not just when you reach your destination. Happiness is a state of mind and it’s a choice. When you experience a setback or an annoyance, you can choose to let it ruin your day or week or month, or you can appreciate the lesson it taught you and choose to not let it steal your joy.
Life is better when you realize that you are the only person responsible for your own happiness. Not your friends, not your spouse or significant other, not your co-workers, not your kids. You are the only one who has control over your joy. You don’t have to allow anyone to affect your happiness. Someone is being grumpy at work? Don’t feed into it. Not happy in your relationship? Change it. You hate your job? Find a new one. Don’t settle for a life of unhappiness because it’s “easier.” Change is hard, but so is being unhappy every single day. So, no matter what, be happy during the journey. Don’t convince yourself that you can’t be happy until you get your life figured out.
I have no idea the direction my life is going to take, but I choose happiness every single day. Am I happy every single second of every single day? Definitely not. But am I happy the majority of the time? Yes. Because I actively choose to be. I recognize when I’m letting someone steal my joy or complaining about a situation I have the ability to change or stressing about something that doesn’t matter. And I change my attitude. I realize that the person who is trying to steal my joy has personal issues that don’t concern me, and I feel compassion for them. I realize that if I am complaining about a situation I can change, I either need to shut up or do something to change it. And I realize that stressing about things that aren’t happening yet or are inconsequential is a waste of valuable brain power. I. Choose. Happiness.
So if you find yourself grumpy, or hating people, or feeling unsatisfied or unfulfilled in your every day life, realize that you have the power to change it. You have the power to choose happiness and joy every single day. And you have the power to change your life. It starts with self-reflection. And it might require a perception shift or an attitude change. And it might seem difficult. But once you realize that you can be happy every single day, no matter your circumstances, you will realize that it is worth it.