Black Oak Coaching

Living with Change & Personal Growth Coaching


Choosing To Be Happy

One does not simply choose to be happy ….” Right?

Quite a few years ago, I was in a bad situation. I was unhappy with my job and where my career was going, and I was allowing it to fester and infect every aspect of my life. To be frank, I was pretty pissed at everything and how things had turned out. I remember talking with a long-time friend of mine about happiness and where and how to find it and why it was so damned elusive and why I wasn’t happier with everything. About halfway through the conversation, my friend just stated, “You know what? I just choose to be happy” … I remember how odd and simple, how disconnected he seemed. I remember being honestly shocked at the idea of ‘just choosing’ to be happy.
One does not simply choose to be happy - you either find it, you find someone that makes you happy or you somehow get lucky enough to just be happy until something bad comes along…

I’ve thought about that conversation many times over the years. I still remember many details about it; where we were, what we were doing and how it made me feel. Little did I know at the time, how much the idea and process of choosing to be happy would mean to me.

Now, many years later, I get it.. and to be honest, I’ve ‘gotten it’ for a while now… and it really is just that simple; we’re the ones that make it difficult. The amazing thing is, that when you stop to think about the actions and situations that ‘we think’ make us unhappy, we realize that they are mostly out of our control. What we make so difficult is the concept of ‘choosing how we react’ to those things; what we can control. Now to be clear, bad things happen all the time, and honestly some are truly horrific and unfathomable and we sometimes struggle to deal with them.

However, most of the things that happen to us really aren’t as bad as we think they are. Most of those things can be seen from another perspective. What takes courage is to realize that we get to choose our perspective.
“How do I want to see this thing that is happening?”
“What is another way of looking at this?”
“What can I learn from this?”
And what’s even better is that we also get to choose how we want to react!

Think about it: I get to choose how I want to react.

Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean I’m going to be giddy and delirious over everything, I will get upset and I will get frustrated, that’s just human nature. But when I allow myself to stop ‘playing the victim’ and start looking at each situation with a new perspective, I find that I am much more mindful of the life around me and I am much more in control of myself, my emotions and my actions.

It’s a very liberating concept. It feels good to know that I can control my happiness; that even in bad situations, I can decide how I want to see it, and ultimately how I want to respond. That idea of taking responsibility for how I present myself to the moment, the situation, the world is a pretty liberating thought.
It’s also incredibly empowering.

I choose to be happy.