Happiness: It’s a Choice We Can Each Make for Ourselves

February 22, 2011

in Life Lessons

Happiness running

Happiness: how do we feel it more often and hold onto it longer?

I believe it isn’t an elusive emotion, but something we attain by recognizing small, joyful moments throughout the day. Stringing those moments together creates a permanent state of mind instead of a fleeting emotion. Some days are more challenging than others, but there’s always the opportunity to see the good, embrace it, and let a happy feeling take over.

Optimist: Person who travels on nothing from nowhere to happiness.

~Mark Twain

I feel happy regularly, but I don’t work hard to be happy. Here’s how I accomplish this:

  • I believe it is my responsibility to create my own happiness.
  • I live fully present in the moment.
  • I embrace positive experiences.

These small moments last weekend, strung together with other positive experiences, led to joyful, fun days:

  • Watching the children on our block enjoy an unseasonably warm day on Friday. All of them were laughing, wearing short sleeves, and eating popsicles. Monkey, the messiest of the bunch, had purple popsicle smeared on his face from ear to ear, on his chin, and even on his forehead. I didn’t ask him to wash his face until bedtime because I was enjoying the dried popsicle marks on his face. It made me laugh the rest of the evening.
  • Running 11 miles on the canal, enjoying the beauty around me. The Potomac River was rushing past me; the sun was shining; and the water was glittering from the sun. I felt so fortunate to be there at that moment and to be healthy and capable of exercising in these surroundings.
  • Waking to a wonderful text wishing me a good morning Sunday. It was from someone I had missed. It warmed my heart.
  • Inspecting my four orchids daily to see how close each is to blooming. I have never had all of my orchids re-bloom simultaneously and I am filled with anticipation as I wait.
  • Cooking dinner together with AC.  We connected in the kitchen– catching up, laughing, and chopping.  It was followed by a fabulous meal with more great conversation with AC and her husband.
  • Walking our dog Lucky with Princess Daisy and AC’s daughter. We went for a long walk, laughing the entire time. Lucky was dragging a huge stick and entertaining us with her antics. The three of us giggled and tried to avoid getting smacked with the stick.
  • Receiving “Aunt Kelly hugs” from two wonderful little girls in my life. Each day these two special girls stop me for hugs as we walk to school.

Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be.

~Abraham Lincoln

Happiness is a choice; it isn’t something that simply happens to me. I embrace this concept daily.

What are the small moments that bring happiness to your life?

Please share!


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen February 22, 2011 at 10:53 am

Love the post!
Happy Happy Joy Joy :)
xo
JK

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Naked Girl in a Dress February 22, 2011 at 6:53 pm

I am glad you liked it Jen!

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Sandy February 22, 2011 at 11:43 am

This is a great post and I am really glad I found your blog. For me it is hard to find blogs that truly come from the heart and have fantastic content. I don’t want to read “fiction”, I want to know how people are feeling and what makes them tick.

I too believe happiness can be found in little things. I am a horse person and sitting outside with a cup of coffee and listening to my horses munch away on hay is such a joyful time for me. I am grateful for them, for being able to house and feed them, for my home & even my coffee maker….all is right with the world.

In this crazy hectic world we sometimes forget to slow down and enjoy the little things in life..hopefully this post will encourage someone to do just that.

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Naked Girl in a Dress February 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Sandy,

Thank you for the nice comment! I am happy you are enjoying my blog and that what I write resonates for you.

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Eduardo February 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Once again your insight is “spot-on” and I loved the quotes. Hold on to those little things. They’re like a bank to draw from when you’re struggling with things.

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Naked Girl in a Dress February 22, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Eduardo,

Thank you for visiting! I am glad you like the quotes I chose today to reinforce the message of happiness.

I agree with the concept of a “happiness bank.” When I do have difficult days, I am able to rebound much quicker as a result of the positive experiences I have embraced in life and tucked into the account. But also, as I move forward through a difficult period in my life, I am still able to recognize those small, wonderful moments in life as they happen. It helps pull me through.

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Random Girl February 22, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Another great post. I agree whole-heartedly. Happiness is not an accident, it is intentional. You have to recognize the moments as they happen or they blend into the mix of everyday life. Happiness is not something that you are entitled to, it is something you are privileged to receive. I have been privileged to receive an enormous amount of happiness when I intentional have sought it. Like great new blogger friends….

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Naked Girl in a Dress February 22, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Thank you Random Girl! I am glad we “met.” You are very insightful and supportive of my blog. Thanks!

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Mel May 28, 2011 at 7:46 am

I like this post so much. I, too, try to make each day a deliberate choice for happiness. I often think about how to help articulate this for my daughter as she grows. You did it great!
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jessica May 28, 2011 at 7:50 am

True happiness is built on these small moments! So beautifully stated! I’m working on this one.
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Vinobaby May 28, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Thanks for a smile. I also believe that we must choose to be happy, and those who wait for their own ideal version of happiness to appear will be waiting their entire lives, unfulfilled.

Cheers.
VB
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Kristy May 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Yes, I totally agree. I am so totally impressed with the 11 miles of running!
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Marie May 30, 2011 at 10:10 am

I am a little late to the game, just found your lovely post on Facebook and enjoyed reading every line of this essay on happiness!

I have in recent years decided that happiness is less circumstantial and more deliberate, more choice-centered, so your words rang true to my heart! Right down to the Abraham Lincoln quote, which used to have almost permanent resience on my kitchen chalkboard. LOL

So happy to have found your blog, keep writing! : )

~fledgling blogger in Oklahoma

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Mary@Everyday Baby Steps May 30, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Best post I’ve read in a long time. I absolutely adore your attitude and your philosophy on happiness. I want to pass this on to a certain someone who is close to me who just doesn’t seem to understand the concept of gratitude. Thank you.
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Kim at Let Me Start By Saying August 20, 2011 at 11:01 am

I hope a lot of people read this.
Positive and reasonable and lovely all at once. I completely agree with you. I’ve been happy ‘despite’ many things, because I can always depend on myself. I see things and smile even in the worst of times, because my eyes allow me to see the single violet blooming by the cemetery’s edge, hear the bubbling giggles of a nurse in the hospital hallway, feel a commenter’s words as I read them on my Blackberry while locked in a house with tantrumming kids. You just have to look.
Came from WOE linkup.
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Anastasia August 21, 2011 at 6:48 am

My small moments. a bit of quiet for a cup of tea and a good book, my littles running around and laughing, hugs and cuddles from my littles and sitting on the couch relaxing with my husband.
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