Happiness is a choice

On the long drive back home yesterday as Amma and I were in the middle of a heated debate on life itself, I said something I was proud of. “Happiness is a choice.”

The words have been echoing in my mind ever since. Irrespective of the context in which I used it, the idea is, much like everything else, happiness is a choice. Like picking what attire to wear or whom to make my life with, the choice to be happy resides in me.

No. Life is not fair. Not always do we get what we want or even need. There are always going to be events and choices we regret but in spite of all of that, I realize, it is totally a mental thing. I can consciously exercise the decision to be happy. To very deliberately put away the things that bother me and focus my energies on the things that do make me feel good.

Having said that do I think I should have a smile plastered on my face all the time? Not really. These days, I get upset, I fret, I fume but eventually before the day or week is out, I am back to a state where I am in possession of my faculty. Where I can make an informed choice to remove pointless thoughts from my immediate attention and put them on the back burner so I can process them later. I repeat to myself that it is a choice. I can choose to be happy. I can choose to ignore things that bother me. Or accept them as part of life and move on.

9 comments

  1. So true! I think once you realize that your happiness is something that you have a strong influence on, then your world becomes a different place to live in.

  2. Depends one where one derives happiness from Laksh. If I derive happiness from external forces (pay hike, bonus, positive feedback, appreciation, family, boss, society etc.), then I have little control over my happiness. On the contrary, if I derive happiness from within (based on my attitude, perception, conviction, etc.), then my happiness is under my control. I guess for most of us, it’s a combination of the two with varying intensity perhaps.

  3. I agree with Suman. Or that’s exactly what I wanted to say; she beats me with words and thoughts always hhaha.Thanks Suman.
    Thanks Laksh for the thought provoking post, this is going to echo in my mind for long time..

  4. Laksh,

    I can’t agree more, you phrased it beautifully-“Happiness is a choice.” If only we could always choose that emotion over everything else, then how much simpler would life be. Sigh!

  5. I wish its as simple as you have put it… but then its not always the case for many… I mean if given a choice no one would choose to be sad all their life… everyone will choose to be happy… some are capable of accepting things that happened and move on gracefully… maybe its in their nature… maybe it doesnt strike the right chord for them to be sad or depressed of what have happened… not everyone perceive things/events the same way… not everyone are emotionally strong… and I always wonder how do you choose to forget certain things… I mean if I’m capable of choosing a few things from my mind to forget… then isnt it I’m just recalling them back… and doesnt it reminds you of what have happened… maybe people just ignore things that have happened to move on rather than forgetting…

  6. It really is a choice, you have to look at the big picture in life, understand and appreciate little things in life like nature which teaches us a great deal. Like the seasons change so do we in our life and we must learn from the past experiences and always reinforcing the thought ‘Happiness is a choice’

  7. @SSQUo: Absolutely! I also realized the frame of mind we are in matters much. I doubt someone else telling me this would have been as impactful. šŸ™‚
    @Suman: Nail on head as usual. Totally agree with your way of putting it.
    @Shy: šŸ™‚ I think I will be re-reading this post and comments in the future too.
    @MSChillPill: Aren’t most things in life? :p
    @Mitr: Sigh! šŸ™‚
    @Selvi: I agree with what you say. I have had people tell this to me 2 years back when I was miserable at the thought of not being able to be a mom. I was not able to understand it then. I guess I needed to be in the right frame of mind to realize it and it happened only now.
    @SmallTalk: Agreed. Thank you!
    @Kiran: You put it beautifully.

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