“You’ve got a lot of choices. If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you’re not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice.”
— Steven D. Woodhull
This is one of the most amazing quotes ever, in my opinion. This should be like a mantra that we should remember every day.
Life is too short to waste doing things we don’t enjoy and being with people that don’t make us happy. I remember I used to hear this all the time when I was younger: “That’s the way life is, you have to do things you don’t want.” When you think about small things, this is true. I don’t particularly like doing the dishes and cleaning my house but I have to do it. However, when we look at the bigger picture, this saying couldn’t be more wrong. You don’t have to spend your life in a job you don’t love or with people who don’t appreciate you or living in a place you hate. You should fight and find what you love.
If you’re not happy with your situation, something is wrong. It’s not okay to live your life waiting for something. I’m going to be happy when I move away. I’m going to be happy when I finish this course. I’m going to be happy when I have more money. NO! The time to be happy is now. If you’re not happy with your current situation, you have two choices: change it or accept it. By accepting it, I don’t mean settling but actually finding happiness in what you have, enjoying the journey.
I have a new habit, wherever I am and whatever I am doing, I like to think: “One day I’m going to remember this time of my life with a smile on my face.”
Even though things are never perfect, there’s always something good that you’re going to miss. At the same time, if changes occur in your life, there’s always something bad that you finally get rid of.
“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.” — George Santayana
Personally, I love the change of seasons. The spring is so happy and colourful, I love sunbathing and wearing dresses in the summer, the fall is absolutely beautiful and in the winter I can look so elegant with boots and scarves or cute with earmuffs.
However, this quote is much deeper than just seasons. I think the idea here is that you will be much happier if you embrace changes and find a way to enjoy them than if you hold on to a temporary state as if it’s permanent and the only way you feel happy.
Changes are natural and they are part of life. The seasons are a perfect example of this. You can’t expect to live in the summer forever so you need to find pleasure in all seasons. Maybe you don’t like the elegant clothes in the winter but you can still enjoy staying in and drinking a hot chocolate while snugging your blanket.
I have to admit it’s easy for me to say because I’ve always been fond of changes. I love those days before travelling when I walk down a street and think “I won’t be walking down here for a while”. But I think even if you’re not a lover of changes like me, you can still try to accept it and see the positive side of it.
Changes make us grow and make life more meaningful. We always remember those days when something unexpected happened. It becomes a memory and even if it’s a bad one, it still brings meaning to life and makes it more interesting.
“People universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you’re fortunate enough. But that’s not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it.” – Eat Pray Love
I really love this quote because it explains the whole point that led me to research about happiness and consequently the reason why I have this blog. I think you need to fight for happiness and not just wait for it to fall into your lap. Sometimes that means you have to make changes. They might be big changes: quitting your job, getting a divorce, moving to another country , travelling the world. Or small changes: sleeping well, waking up earlier, taking up a course, going out more. But sometimes that fight for happiness doesn’t necessarily mean you have to actively do something. Sometimes the effort you have to make is to actually practise acceptance. Instead of fighting against your present situation, you have to accept it and make peace with it in order to find happiness.
I don’t think it’s a choice in the sense that you can just decide “I’m happy now” and you automatically become happy but I think it’s a choice to go after it.
I have been striving for happiness, reading about it, trying different things, making changes. And you might ask me: is it helping? Absolutely! I did go through a rough patch even though I was looking for happiness. I felt like giving up but I didn’t and now I’m finally reaping the rewards of my efforts. I believe that this is the meaning of the quote. You need to try hard to find happiness even if it’s not something you do consciously. Most people don’t wake up one day and think “I’m going on a search for happiness.” However, happy people have decided at some point in their lives consciously or unconsciously to go after what they want, to practise acceptance, to find contentment, etc. I believe it’s more difficult for some people than it is for others. That can happen for various reasons. Maybe your brain, your family or your circumstances don’t help but it is there for you to find. We can all get it if we try hard enough.