The choice to be happy isn’t always an easy one

Photo by Tyler Meuter

Some of our worst days and darkest moments can make us feel powerless. We feel stressed, angry, or upset about the current situation and feel that nothing good can come from such disaster. How are we able to overcome such internal turmoil?

Choose to be happy. It isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do, but by choosing to be happy or finding a silver lining, you allocate the power back to yourself. Taking control on how you perceive the situation makes you stronger and unstoppable.

Take for example, Ryan Higa’s “Draw My Life” YouTube video. His experience with being bullied inspired him to where he is today, a funny, creative, honest person making YouTube videos. Instead of succumbing to the harassment, he chose to resolve the situation, turning the teasing into comedy by embracing his Asian background. By choosing to change his perspective of the situation and taking action against it, he was able to become a much happier and stronger person.

From his life story, up to that point, that is, his message was simple: “Life will get better if you choose to make it better.” Just like we have the choice of what to wear, what to eat, who to be friends with or where to go in life, we have the choice of making our lives better for
ourselves. We shouldn’t let someone else make that decision or let them influence our choice to be happy.

Happiness stems from our perceptions of the world. The David Foster Wallace inspired “This is Water” YouTube video makes a good point about how we tend to unconsciously
submit to a “default” setting where we feel that, in a frustrating and stressful situation, that our needs are a priority above everyone else’s. It’s easy for many of us to complain or become upset when things don’t go our way — it’s just what we do.

Making the effort to genuinely consider the positives, to find a solution to the problem, to change our perspective is challenging. Deciding to take action or change your outlook shows that you have the power in making the conscious decision to think positively. For instance, the next time you are waiting in a long line, already tired from a long day, don’t give in to your automatic “this is taking forever” mindset. Instead, consider other people’s days — they could have been much worse than yours. Controlling your perspective of the world around you, particularly in the positive sense, make you stronger and happier as a person.

At the end of the day, you are in control of your own happiness and outlook in life. You shouldn’t feel obligated to feel happy just because someone “said so.” There’s nothing you should have to do — you have the power to decide your own happiness and perspective. We only have so much time on this Earth to be the people we want to be and what we want to mean to others. It’s all your choice —how will you live your life?