I want to start this week with an idea that many may find difficult to grasp; that, by and large, happiness is a choice.
I’m following on from a posting on Six Degrees Of Inspiration on this topic as it’s something I’ve believed myself since my mid-thirties. At that time I was living with an ex-girlfriend because he house we’d bought together had so much negative equity we couldn’t sell it, our business had gone bust and we were in serious debt. I was far from happy.
Then I can distinctly recall one morning thinking to myself, “I am not going to put up with feeling depressed anymore”. In that instant of choice my depression lifted.
The reason why I’ve added a caveat “by and large” to my statement above is because whilst I believe it’s a choice to be happy I don’t believe that everyone is in a position to make that choice. Some people (and someone I’m very close to) suffer from clinical depression which is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Do these folks have the luxury of a choice in this matter?
Finally the post on 6doi.net has some excellent quotes and I’m going to take the liberty of reproducing them here;
Happiness is a way station between too little and too much.
Channing Pollock (1880 – 1946)
Happiness is a present attitude… not a future condition.
Happiness is the only good.
The time to be happy is now.
The place to be happy is here.
The way to be happy is to make others so.
Robert G. Ingersoll (1833 – 1899)
All these seem to be saying to me that happiness is Now!