Happiness is a choice

I love processes.  I love productivity.  I love creating in my business.  Yet lately, I’ve felt heavy.  Tired.  Things feel difficult.  Maybe you understand what I’m feeling.  Maybe you have been feeling it too.  

I recently stumbled upon this quote:  

“Happiness is a choice, not a result.  Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy.  Your happiness will not come to you.  It can only come from you.”


Sometimes a quote just passes you by other times they make you pause and think.  This one made me pause.  It made me pause because of how I’m feeling.   I realized that I do agree with this.  Happiness is not something that comes TO you.  It comes FROM you.  I agree that happiness is a choice. 

Based on how I’m feeling, is this something I just needed to be reminded of? If I focus on the choice, can I change how I feel?  Or is what I’m feeling something different? 

I think I’m a simple person.  I like the company of my husband and my friends.  I like board game nights and dinners with great conversation. I enjoy reading and spending time on creative projects.  I enjoy a nice meal out, VIP movies and traveling.  Almost all of this is unavailable to me right now. 

My home is where I spend all my time.  Meetings are on zoom and so are most of our social hangouts.  My home which was once my sanctuary causes me to feel trapped and stressed.  I’m thankful for the warmer weather as it helps me extend my living space to the deck.  I get a lot of enjoyment by taking my lunch or tea outside.    

As I consider this quote and I look at my feelings, I wonder, am I waiting for happiness to come TO me?  Am I waiting for visits with friends? Restaurant patio’s to re-open?  The opportunity for a pedicure? The option to shop for shorts and new sandals?  Am I waiting for things to open so I can book a short getaway to give us a break from our care giver responsibilities? 

If I’m honest, yes, I am waiting for all of those things.  Yet, I don’t think this is it.  I don’t think a pair of new sandals will make or break me.  This heaviness I feel is different.  The question still plagues me… Do I have the power to shift my thinking/feelings and just make the choice to be happy?    

As I ponder this, I am reminded of a frame that I teach and try to live by.  One where we choose to live one of two ways. We can live in a way where we take responsibility for our life. We choose how we respond to situations and choose to respond by striving for results, looking for peace and being creative.  Or we can also choose to live in a way where we blame others and things for our life. We search out reasons for why things are happening to us, we live in the drama, even create the drama. Am I choosing the way of blame? 

Although I strive to live in a way where I take responsibility for my life, I know that sometimes, I slip. Sometimes, I slip into the victim mode. I look to blame instead of taking ownership. As I ponder this quote and look at how I’m feeling… I wonder have I slipped?

I was discussing this frame with a friend and she suggested that I can still be taking responsibility and still be feeling what I’m feeling.  She suggested that what we are feeling is a lack of inspiration, not unhappiness.  Again, it was something for me to think about. 

I move myself forward every day.  I get up, I work through my action items.  Dispite the rought start to 2021 in my business, I keep optomistic and keep moving forward. What I have no energy for is the extra.  At the end of the week, I’m not sure I want another zoom call.  I have no energy for the craft project.  Yet, I still move forward.  I cleaned out my clothes closets the other day, we finished our fence and opened the pool.  I’m not sitting anywhere feeling sorry for myself.  I wish things were different yet I do move forward and make the best of it I can.  I have calls with friends on a regular schedule.  My husband and I still have date nights.  I still build my business plans, network and follow up.  Yes, I think I’m still taking responsibility.  I am owning my results.  I am not blaming anyone. 

Yet, I do acknowledge that life still feels heavy.  I’m tired.  But overall, I’m not unhappy.  I have so much to be thankful for and every day I recognize the wins I had.  I am grateful for my friends and the connections I’ve maintained throughout this life event. 

So as I ponder this quote, I realize that happiness does come from me and I am creating it.  I just also miss some of the freedoms I had. Those losses of freedoms make me sad. I think of the birthdays I missed, the hugs I haven’t been able to give and the Christmas presents still in my closet.  I believe I can be happy and still feel sadness and loss.  I think what I feel is the weight of those losses and the frustration that we are still living this. When will it be over? It is hard to be forward-thinking when after 15 months, it seems that we still have months to do. It’s hard to get excited about something that you can’t even remember.   

It just might be that I need to accept that I am doing the best I can. That I am taking responsibility, that I am moving forward. However, 2021 just has a heaviness about it that humbles me. The heaviness leaves me to appreciate what I do get done and presents me the opportunity to still love myself for all I cannot do right now.

I shared my feelings with a friend of mine last night. She was shocked. Shocked, that I, who seemed to have it so together, was suffering the same as her. She told me that she felt seen and heard because I could understand her. I gave her permission as I have given myself to forgive herself for all that she hasn’t been able to do, all that she has no energy to do, and just be thankful for all that she has done. She thanked me for being so open and honest.

I will continue to practice my gratitude but also be kind to myself.  I’m accepting the events, I’m making the best of them, I am moving forward every day.  However, if I’m feeling heavy by the weight of the losses and the lack of certainty for the future, that is ok.  It’s healthy. I will just continue to do my very best every single day.  

My wish for you, take the time to check in with yourself.  You have a choice to be happy.  Happiness comes from within you.  Also, be kind to yourself. You’ve been through a lot and still we are being asked for more. We got this. Do what you can, forgive the rest.  If you want to chat, I’m here for a phone call or a zoom chat. 

“Each morning when I open my eyes, I say to myself; I, not the events, have the power to be happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead. Tomorrow has not arrived yet. I have just one day, and I’m going to be happy.”

Giroucho Max