First a quote: “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln
I spent time this morning searching for a Charles Schultz cartoon from years ago that illustrated this quote wonderfully well. While I was unsuccessful in finding the cartoon, the following is how I remember an exchange between Lucy and Charlie Brown.
In the first panel, you see a dejected Lucy sitting behind her psychiatry booth with a frown on her face. In the next several frames, you see Charlie Brown bringing her gifts of cookies, flowers and chocolates to cheer up his friend; all without success. No matter what he did or said, Lucy was still unhappy. In the last frame, Lucy shouts at Charlie Brown, saying something like, “Oh for Pete’s sake Charlie Brown, did it ever occur to you, I don’t want to be happy.”
How many people do you know who respond negatively to even the happy things in their life? If they won the lottery, they would complain about having to pay taxes. Or, if they won a free car, they would complain about having to buy fuel; their spouse makes an unexpected meal and they complain it wasn’t what they wanted. Or, perhaps fume that beautiful roses come with thorns.
While I am aware that clinical depression is serious and real, I suspect most unhappy people don’t have that affliction. Instead, they have simply allowed “grumpiness” to become a habit pattern response to all of life. Subconsciously, they are choosing unhappiness, or worse yet, expecting someone else to make them happy. They completely absolve themselves of their own personal responsibility when it comes to their happiness. Sometimes, happiness is as easy as making a different choice… simply choosing happiness!
Happiness is a choice, not a result.
And here is a “not so secret” secret; happy people attract happy people. The opposite is true as well, we all know that misery loves company.
What will you choose this week? I vote to make happiness a conscious choice this week starting today.
Bonus Quotes Below.
How will you live and lead differently, or better, this week?
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Have a great week!
“Expanding Your Capacity for Success”
- “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” – Abraham Lincoln
- “Every man’s happiness is his own responsibility.” – Abraham Lincoln
- “The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness.” – Eric Hoffer
- “If you want to be happy, be!” Leo Tolstoy
- “Life is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to be like, and celebrating it for everything that it is.” Mandy Hale