By Dawn Onley
Have you ever met someone who seems to have it all — a loving marriage, cool kids, a great job, a nice home — yet still they are unhappy?
Do you know people who have faced hardship after hardship, from childhood to the present time, yet they are so joyful to be around, so grateful for everything?
It’s because happiness is about a person’s inner state of being and has nothing to do with our circumstances or possessions. That’s why some rich people are unhappy and miserable while some poor people are rich in spirit.
Happiness is linked to being grateful. When we stop appreciating how blessed we are — whatever our current state in life — we are prone to unhappiness. When we live in the past or in the future, not appreciating the gift of this moment, we are apt to be angst-ridden or sad.
Mahatma Gandhi had a great interpretation of true happiness. “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
Albert Camus agrees. “But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?”
I have a plaque on my wall that I love. It reads simply: Happy is what you make it. Always has been. Always will be.
Nothing should be able to shake our core happiness. We will all face moments of uncertainty, grief, sadness, disappointment, anger and frustration. The key is to not allow those moments to take over our lives and to overshadow the good that abounds.
“I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstances but by our disposition,” said Martha Washington.
Read that quote again. Slowly. Let it become a mantra moving forward. Let’s choose happiness. It’s so much better than the alternative.