|Life is all about having fun. Being crazy and enjoying the adventure.|
I perfectly remember the day many years ago as if it were yesterday. I had just returned from serving a mission for my faith for two years. I was working in a Steak House, and I had a great day job, I had a Firebird Pontiac car, (that's another story) and I had friends for the first time in my life. Everything was great, except me. I was not happy. I complained all the time, whined about everything to everyone and just plain hated life.
One particularly hard day I complained to her about everything that was going on in my life. She listened as I told her about everything that was wrong. It was crazy. Later that day as I sat whining at work my spiritual leader showed up and sat me down and gave it to me. Come to find out my Grandmother had called him and reported to him how miserable I was about everything. That's how she was.
He totally gave it to me. Wow. As it turned out it was one of those days when I was ready to listen and learn. He totally told me how out of line I was with all my whining and complaining. And then he gently but with a firm hand told me that no matter how bad life was, and he named everything I has been complaining about. From my job to my car door my mom had just dented, he went down the list. When he finished going down the list he said "Brad, no matter how life is treating you, no matter what is wrong, you have the choice to be happy. If your car is damaged, if your job sucks, you make the choice, you choose to be happy. It's a choice".
For some reason I actually listened and learned. Happiness is a choice. I am in charge of how I feel and I have learned no matter what I can choose to be happy. And I have learned that I still need to be reminded of that from time to time. It does get ruff sometimes and I have to remind myself that I am ultimately in control of my own personal happiness.
Our lives are stories. Stories that can change, inspire, motive, and move forward whether we like it or not. Our personal stories can be what ever we want them to be, sad, boring, happy, exciting, we choose.
The first few years of my life, actually the first 18 years were really hard. I was abused and struggled everyday to be happy. I served a mission for two years and for the first 9 months I struggled with learning how to be happy and how to write a story that had meaning.
After my mission I struggled with life and with all the challenges I was faced with. Life is a struggle in so many ways. But the best medicine in life is to put on our "Emerald City Glasses" and go forward. I have been accused of wearing those glasses often. I decided once to take them off and see life for what it really is, wow I decided it was much better with the glasses on. In other words life is better when we look for the good and choose to be happy.
Often the hardest things in life have the easiest solutions and the easy things seem the hardest. It is easy to say "I choose to be happy" and hard to actually do it. It takes practice and persistence, but as in all things the more we try the better we get.
Each of us have hard challenges. In fact I don't know one single person who is challenge free. As I take the time to listen to others I am so grateful for my challenges and often marvel at the strength of others in the face of huge adversity and over whelming challenges. Some of the happiest people I know are burdened with huge challenges, yet they seem to move forward. In all cases as I learn about them I discover that each has made a choice to move forward and be happy.
As we write our own stories we decide if the story is going to have a happy ending. We make the choice about the journey. Is it going to be filled with happy moments each day or are we going to spend our precious time suffering because life is not what we imagined in to be. It is easy to fall into the habit of complaining and feeling sorry for ourselves. No matter what the trial we face in this life we can choose to be happy and find joy in each day.
I remember one day years ago I was driving in my car and on that particular day I was feeling especially blessed. I asked God "How do I show you how grateful I am" and in one of those rare moments I received the answer almost immediately in my mind. "You show your gratitude to God by enjoying what you have". So simple, yet so true. God joys in our appreciation of what we have and he finds great joy when we can learn to choose to be happy and enjoy the journey.
One of the hardest things to do it to step up and be happy. And I am not perfect at it, and often we let the unhappiness of others effect our happiness. We cannot take responsibly of the choice others make. We can encourage and inspire, but ultimately the choice to be happy is a personal one that each individual has their own responsibility to do. We don't need to carry the burden of others who are struggling with the choice to be happy.
How is your story going? Is ti field with you and happiness along the way or is it filled with sadness, dread, and despair.
My personal leader was so right. At that time in my life nothing changed. My car was still dented, my job was still hard, life was just plain hard. But guess what it all changed in just a moment. The moment it to me to just decide to be happy, to make the choice to be happy no matter what. I am grateful for a leader that took the time to tell me straight out that I had a choice about my own personal story. And I decided I wanted a happy ending, and not just a happy ending, but I want a happy journey.
Have a happy day, it's your choice.
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