We have a choice in life, to be happy or to be miserable. It would seem at the outset that the choice would be an easy one, I mean, who among us wants to be sad? Unfortunately, it would appear that a lot of us go out of our way to make sure that we remain unhappy. As strange as that may sound.
How do you know if you are one of those that are determined to go through life cursing the day you were born? Consider the following and see if any of them have a familiar ring.
Dwelling on the past. Nothing is more useless. It’s over, it’s done, and until we perfect time travel, it cannot be changed. Focusing on the past only serves to eat away at valuable minutes, hours, and days that we can never get back. Choose instead to make today the best it can be and look towards the future with optimism.
Speaking of the future, don’t worry over the things that might happen. Of course, anything could happen, but if you are going to obsess about the future, do so over the good things that might come your way.
Incessant complaining. This one is a tough one, because who here among us doesn’t enjoy a good old fashioned gripe session? We think it makes us feel better and purge some negative emotion, when in fact all it does is take up valuable time that could be better spent resolving the problem we’ve been griping about. Or does that make too much sense?
Being resistant to change. Change can be good. I resisted getting a cell phone, and once I did, I refused to get texting. Now I have the complete package and am amazed at just how much it has contributed to my life. Granted not all change is good, but when something beneficial comes along, grab it and make use of it.
Hanging out with negative people. This can go two ways, either people who are just negative in general or people who are negative towards you. Either way, it does not contribute to anything good in your life. Make a choice to hang out with people that are positive, upbeat, and add something solid to your sense of worth and well-being. You’ll be surprised at how much it does for you.
Laziness. It breeds more laziness. Trust me on this one, I know. Eventually you look back in amazement at the amount of time you managed to waste. Be active, be involved, be engaged…..there is a time to kick back, but it isn’t ALL the time.
Always having to be right. I was married to someone who always had to be right, all the time, about everything. I came to the conclusion that it must be a very lonely feeling. It’s okay to be wrong every now and again.
Refusing to take responsibility for your actions. You can only blame other people and circumstances for so long. Eventually, you have to come back to you. The buck stops here. Stand up and take responsibility, and that includes whatever consequences may be coming your way.
Quit when things get tough. This is one of the most surefire ways to run yourself in the ground. You find a way to make a given situation work, and you’ll be very proud of yourself when you do.
Refusing to help others. No man is an island, my friend. I don’t believe in karma or anything like that, but I do know it is
hard to go wrong with putting out a hand to help somebody else.
Looking for validation from others. This is a surefire way to keep yourself down. You cannot let what other people think of you determine your self-worth. I went through a divorce last year and if I had allowed myself to get too sidetracked by all the people that vilified me, I’d probably be in an upstairs room dead by my own hand. Learn to be comfortable with who you are and what makes you who you are.
There are of course, other ways to condemn yourself to a life of gloom, despair, and misery. Perhaps these will be examined in a future installment, but for right now, I’ve gotten as depressed as I care to be.
Now go therefore and don’t do any of the things listed above. Be happy and content.