Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happiness is a Choice...

So on a high note I got a job as a 2nd TA for my favorite professor! YAY! I freaking love my illustration program. I seriously have been so blessed since I started paying tithing again. I don’t think we realize the blessings we get until they are gone and we realize what we had. If you are having problems with money, start paying tithing.

So on to what I would like to talk to you about today; happiness.

So my friend posted this quote recently and it’s a good one so read on, “Happiness is a choice. Success is a lifestyle. Peace is understanding. Love is acceptance. All four are personal.” Stunning.

This is totally true. I want to speak on happiness because it really is a choice. I realize that there are other issues, other problems. I am not saying life is easy, it never is, but you make it what you will. Everyone will go through issues and problems and it’s how we react that can make the difference. No matter how crazy things get you need to stop, and breath, now stand fast and fight the problem.

I have a few friends that seem to make problems bigger, drown themselves in their problems, and then try to avoid them. There really are people that make their own problems and that’s a fact. Then they start to whine and complain to everyone around them but when they receive help they choose to ignore or reject it. Then they flee. Running isn’t going to fix your problems, they will follow you.

I used this analogy with a friend recently, problems are like a dragon. In the classic fairy tale what would happen if someone didn’t stand up to the dragon and slay it? Nothing would happen. Chaos would ensue. Does ignoring a dragon make the problem better? NO. You need to pick up that sword and shield and just face the dragon.

I also like to think about my favorite superhero Raven from Teen Titans. There is a fight scene where her friends are all in trouble and everything seems to fall apart. She yells and freezes time. Then she deals with each issue one step at a time.

I am a list maker. I am like raven. I pause, write and list and then fix things one by one. It makes things more manageable and I get a sense of peace and satisfaction when I see the end of the list and realize that those issues no longer exist.

People you need to find a base; you all know what makes you happy and what makes you stressed. Stop running, face the dragon, make a list, and fight your problems. Don’t run, it will only get worse. It won’t be easy, it won’t be fun but at the end of the fight you will see that all those problems are gone and what is left is your happiness.

It is there but just buried deep deep down. Start digging.


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  2. I agree with your ending. Make lists, turn and fight, and start digging. It makes me think of Dory from 'Finding Nemo' - "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."

    We must NEVER give up on ourselves; if we do, we can only fail.

    Thanks for the post and for the imagery. Glad you found another job and that you enjoy it!

  3. I like the quote. But, I have to say, even though I've never had money problems, I've had an abundance of money since I stopped paying tithing. And I don't mean my measly 10%...I've had better jobs and better opportunities since I stopped. Perhaps it's a matter of correlation vs. causation? I think your quote says it best: "happiness is a choice. success is a lifestyle..." I think that if you're of the mindset that everyting works out, then everything works out. If you believe everything will go wrong in your life, then everything will go wrong.

  4. Personally I hate the phrase "happiness is a choice." I was fed that over and over as a kid and it just made me feel like shit when I wasn't happy. Happiness is a choice, in part, but I think ending there dismisses the importance of "sad" times. Sad emotions are just as important as happy ones. In fact, there is usually a lot more depth and meaning in sad emotions. However, I do believe we create our own worlds. I like how Tiffany said it. If you believe it will work out, it will. I believe that. But I don't believe that that means it's going to be merrily, merrily, merrily, all the way home.

    1. I totally agree with your sadness point of view. There are not bad emotions, there are bad reactions to emotions. We need sadness to fully enjoy or happiness. Not that anyone should wallow, but we all need to take our time and face our sadness.

  5. glad you have a good job. I definitely agree more with TA on this one...I've never paid tithing in my life and I've never paid any kind of money to a church--particularly not with the idea that it would help me financially. But, kudos to you for the job anyway.

    I agree with Jo. I hate when people say happiness is a choice, because then on those days when I feel like shit and I cry myself to dehydration, it seems the expectation is that I ought to simply choose to be happy and feel peachy. Now, I have to argue against myself a little. Just because I feel like shit and come down hard on myself, doesn't mean I'm not happy. Happy is a process, not an end goal. I think you can have an overall happiness (or maybe it's called something else, passion? love maybe? joy for life?) and still feel your way around through darker days.

    "Problems" don't ever go away. You make it through one and think that was it, it's over and I can live happily ever after, but if life were like that we'd never grow.

    I don't like the dragon metaphor. why are dragons always the bad guys? look around, it's humans causing all the problems in the world--NOT dragons. I like dragons...they're lizards. :)

    Thanks for the post, Nathan. certainly thought-provoking.

  6. I've thought about your post a lot this week. I can't say I like it when people tell me happiness is a choice because I've never been able to simply choose it. It made me feel like something was terribly wrong with me for being depressed. Like I should be able to just snap my fingers and make it go away, but I couldn't. But I understand the true point of this, you can choose to have a more positive outlook. If I'm sad, I'm sad, but I can see the good in the pain. How it'll make me stronger. So I get what you're saying.