Tis the season to be jolly... so let's talk about happiness.

Thankfully this has been surrounding me a lot recently. Not just because of the season, but because I've chosen to live happier. It seems simple but it's not always an easy decision to make. Of course we all want to be happy, but sometimes there are less than pleasant circumstances that make it difficult to see the brighter side.

There are two things I've learned that make happiness a little easier.

1. I can't change the negativity others bring, but I can change my reactions and who I surround myself with. Again, not always so easy. Sometimes the negativity can come from the closest people to you. Family and friends should have your best interest in mind, but they may not be able to fully understand the journey you're on, and that's okay. There are also just some haters out there too, it's unavoidable. The only thing to do is to trust yourself and know that you will find your people. The people that do understand, that share your mindset, and will push you to succeed. When you find them, spend your time with those that make you better and support the person you're becoming.

2. Happiness is not a place of arrival, it's a choice to make every day. "I'll be happy when..." has to be the worst way to start a sentence. There's no job, no vacation, no event that can dictate a schedule for your happiness. If you're waiting for "that thing" to happen, then you'll miss it, every time. It's important to have goals, and yes reaching them will bring a sense of joy, but that's just one brief moment. Don't let where you want to be, stop you from being happy where you are. It comes down to the cliche of enjoying the journey, and I didn't fully understand it until now.

“Happiness can be born out of pain and struggle, out of striving for worthwhile things. When you feel that you are in control of your life and an active participant in the content of your life, that’s when you come closest to feeling a sense of joy.”
— Don Hahn, author of Brainstorm.

I usually like to write about things I struggle with because I know I'm not the only one, and it's always comforting to hear others speak up about theirs... But right now I couldn't be happier, and I want to share these good moments too. Do I have it all figured out? Definitely not. Do I have everything I could possibly want? Of course not. I'm just trying to be the best version of myself that I can. That means being thankful for what I have, optimistic about the future, and choosing to be happy exactly where I am.

Posted on December 17, 2015 .