Being Happy Is A Choice You Make

Being happy is a choice you make.

Being happy is a choice you make, not a circumstance outside of your control.

What do you think of that statement?

Some people seem to be happy a lot. Others never seem to be happy.

With that said, I’ve discovered that some of the people who seem happy, are actually putting on a front. And some people who never seem to be happy, are actually happy inside themselves.

I suppose that reinforces the saying, “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover”.

But for the most part, you can just tell (if someone is generally happy or not).

What Makes A Person Happy?

To each their own, right?

Is one’s “happiness” controlled by external circumstances – those out of one’s own control?

It can be, if you let it…

Or, you might not let it. Rather than blaming external happenings, some people might try to adapt to it – or ignore it altogether.

Generally, in my view, people are bombarded all the time with negativity. The odds are stacked against us. It’s easy to be sucked in to all the bad out there. I’m guilty myself of this sometimes.

But those who are “happy”, or you might say content, are those who somehow deflect that negativity. Happy isn’t ‘material’. It’s inward. It’s a state of mind.

The Choice Is Yours

But you know what? It’s a choice that you are making. You do have a choice. You have a choice to make external circumstances your problem, or choose not to.

Sure, some problems must be dealt with. No choice. But lots of so called problems really aren’t your problem. They’re someone else’s. Or problems you really can’t do much of anything about.

Other People’s Problems

People love to make their problems someone else’s problems. That way it’s less of a problem (for them). But more of a problem (for you).

Happiness is a choice, to a large extent. It is easier for some people. But we all have a choice.

The world we live in is full of problems. Some are pretty big problems. Some we might be able to do something about. Others not so much.

We choose. Whether we realize it or not.

Simple, But It Rings True

Why am I rambling on about this? Well, it’s because I happened to come across an old comment on the blog from someone many years ago. It reads, “Being happy is a choice you make, not a circumstance outside of your control.

It’s a simple statement. But it rings true.

Tumultuous Times

We’re living in tumultuous times. A time of ideological extremes.

It’s our choice as to how much we let that affect us in our day to day lives.

Maybe if we dwell on those things too much, we’re not so happy. While some of us can’t ignore what’s going on out there (because there are major problems), we can choose to realize that what’s going to happen, is going to happen. Not much we can do about it.

And that’s just one example.

Suck it up, Buttercup.

Like I said earlier, when others try to saddle you with their problems, you can choose to say no. Essentially telling them to suck it up, buttercup. Deal with it yourself, so to speak… “Not my problem”.

And that’s just one other example. There are lots more…

So, the takeaway is it’s your choice. To be happy, or not.

External circumstances will always be there. It’s how you deal with those circumstances, or choose not to.


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  1. Yep!
    Im thinking its better to just smile, and cruise along.
    Not worth stressing over BS we have no or even little control over

    1. Again we agree Kula my man. I used to be a very angry guy. Now I’m old and realize I’m going to die no matter what. Where is the sense in pushing it along and being miserable all the while. This Bud’s for YOU, Mr. Ambivalence.

      1. We salute you mr ambivalence man
        With a smirk on your face and a gleam in your eye,
        You know none of it really matters,

        That song “dont worry be happy” comes to mind

  2. I tend to complain a lot but am generally happy. I consider it a game “who is the biggest idiot today”. There are many examples to choose from. Some times things go wrong and I get frustrated but as you said I suck it up and go on. The best way to get back at some one that is trying to cause you trouble is to be happy in spite of them. Reality only counts for 10% my attitude counts for 90% to be happy.

  3. Some people enjoy making others around them miserable. When these people get into a management position life of those around them gets very difficult.

    1. So very true, but the best way to handle these emotional vampires is to never act emotional around them. These people feed off the emotions of others, so don’t feed them. Every politician, wanna be dictator, controlling boss or family member controls others through emotion. Master yourself and no one will master you. True happiness comes from within, not the outside. Never use people as a mirror to reflect on how you feel or think about yourself.

  4. you’re so right, about much in this post…and that “suck it up buttercup”.
    “Maybe if we dwell on those things too much, we’re not so happy” — no need to “dwell” on those things….Just try to think of one small thing you can do about it regards yourself/your situation, and think happy about that. There’s lots going on / wrong in the world. You are never going to be able to fix it all, so to speak.

    You can take small progress and one small improvement and be happy about same. Those who choose to be unhappy, will take the same incident and be miserable they did not “get it all”, and as you say, try to carry on until all around them are miserable. I have noticed those unhappy folks/many unhappy folks really do seem to perk up when they accomplish making others miserable about some perceived problem.

  5. There can be nutritional causes for depression, good to be knowledgeable of that and take steps to correct it. Alcoholism is often treated with Vitamin B and a good brisk walk will do wonders for those cranky moods that everyone gets. Another tip; don’t get down on yourself for being in the dumps, it’s okay, just work your way out.

  6. Coming from the Ministry I can tell you that for many people with a problem, ” just talking it out” seems to help. For some folks it might be as simple as too much caffeine, stress, or a person who just doesn’t see things their way. Many churches have now a program called ” The Stephen Ministry” where trained lay persons act as Counselors.

    For me, just knowing that there is more to life than what we can sense is enough.

  7. I learned a lot from my mother’s not-so-good examples. First of all, she was a very emotional and sympathetic person; she went to funerals for people she only casually knew and would cry more than the immediate family.

    And she suffered greatly from grey weather days. Aware of that I get outside and am active and engage with the short, dreary winter days.

    I also learned from her not to tag the calendar with bad memories. Her dad, for instance, died on Christmas eve and so every eve as when I was a child she cried, she never got over that. Let each day be it’s own and not tied to the past.

    My neighbor is a good example of a disciplined mind and a merry heart; he has been diagnosed with “incurable” cancer and yet is very upbeat every time I’ve seen him professing a strong faith in God.

    Lastly, there is music. I have playlists of uplifting, joyous music that is good for the soul. Joy and happiness; good crops to cultivate.

    1. ( She suffered greatly from grey weather days.)

      I am seeing this a lot these days, people all around me are complaining about the start of winter. The last week with the Arctic Blast we are getting has people really complaining about Winter.

      While I don’t love real cold days, at the same time I don’t let Winter drag me down. I have numerous projects that I never seem to get to in the Summer as my work (home repair / handyman work) keeps me busy. But it usually slows down in the Winter so I have time for hobby projects that I enjoy doing. I rebuild old Ham and tube radios and then resell them for a bit of extra money. Throughout the warmer seasons I find a lot of old radios and things to work on. I must have 25 electronic projects sitting on the shelves in the basement ready for restoration. I really enjoy giving these old things a new life. I honestly would still do it even if I had no way to sell them. I’m also always working to learn more about fixing things. So Winter means I get to play more. It’s all about your frame of mind as to how happy you are.

      I also have a lot of test equipment / skills and use them to help new Ham’s get antennas and radios set up. It’s rewarding to help others.

      Being happy comes from within, I don’t need external validation to like myself and my life.

      1. I could disappear into my workshop and be happy as a clam and not surface for months, never get the time to really do what i want in there

        1. Kulafarmer,

          I get you. A few weeks of awful weather would really make you appreciate the paradise you live in the rest of the year. Where I live we get 5-6 months of cold and 5-6 months of warmth. About time you get bored with one, the other starts. Makes it easier to enjoy it all.

  8. Told my boys when they were growing up that life is 99% attitude. That 1% is for the real problems and health. Also told them when you grow up and figure that I might be the cause of some of your problems, if you are old enough to figure that out, your old enough to get over it and move forward.

  9. I chose to be happy. Im comfortable with who I am, s I don’t need react to things I cannot control. Taught that to our children, tho they sometimes need reminders even into adulthood. Life is to short to not be happy.

  10. I think it helps a lot to be around positive people. One fellow i know is always negative. I literally heard a person say what a great day, sunny and 75. Mr negatives response was you will probably get a sun burn. I stay far away from him and those like him. I make lists of things to do, but once in a while the list gets overwhelming. I have learned to throw the list away and attack one of the things to get done then move on. That is what works for me.

  11. I’m a pretty happy person. I’ve long ago (30-years) decided I was in charge of my life, my goals and how I lived my life. Even a small step forward is a move in the right direction. And a lot of small steps still gets you a lot farther then doing nothing.

    When I first started prepping and putting food up I was unemployed recovering from a motorcycle accident and a divorce. I had little money for extra food but I still bought a few extra cans each time I went shopping. It was a slow process and really quit rewarding to build up that supply. I was pretty happy about it.

    Yes we all have bad days, but it’s been years since I can remember a bad day. The last one was about 2-years ago when my brother (and best friend) died of a heart attack.

    As bad as that time was I still found life enjoyable.

    A goal without a deadline is just a dream. Set goals, work to make them happen and you will see your dreams turn into reality.

  12. As a child I realized this–I was finding myself more and more angry, depressed, etc (there were reasons for this) and I decided I didn’t like what I was becoming and started smiling. I also forced myself to look up rather than down and did a few other interesting things. It wasn’t fast or easy, but now people tell me my eyes are always smiling. : )

    Having something to do and obsess over other than my problems also helped a great deal. I remember a time when my youngest sister screamed at me that she hated me. I asked her why and she said “You’re too happy!” which made me laugh. It still makes me laugh when I think about it.

    Sure there are situations where chemical problems cause an actual physical change in the brain. But I think in most cases if the individual makes a conscious decision before that point it can be deflected, redirected. Anger and negative emotions have a real, physical effect on the brain and its chemistry, and once that downward spiral starts it’s really hard to stop. Thus, counseling, neighbor therapy : ), hobbies, whatever it takes to keep the endorphins flowing.

  13. Aside from abject hopelessness like starving to death, happiness IS a decision for the person to make. I’ve seen in many 3rd world countries HAPPY folks living in what you and I would think of as abject Poverty. Yet they are Happy.

    I find talking to trusted friends helpful. A personal therapy of mine AND thus my suggestion to others feeling depressed is to HELP Someone Else.

    Taking a turn helping at a soup kitchen, helping some grumpy old persons yard work anything like that done in a cheerful nature WILL raise your spirits.

    Sickness can be borne, A crushed spirit who can bear? Proverbs 18:14

    Ecclesiastes 3:12 “I know there is nothing better for people to be happy and do good while they live”

    “What does the LORD require of thee oh Man, To DO Good, to Love Justice and to Walk Humbly with they God”. Micah 6″8

    Plenty more in the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth manual.

  14. Just thinking every morning that I was lucky enough to born in the USA lightens my load. Our poor people are rich compared to many countries.

  15. Haha,
    Ima Happy Bitter Person.

    Generally I’m happy and all to often I don’t take in the realization that I am truly blessed.
    I let the frustrations get the best of me, work, stupidity of politics, everybody’s hands in your pockets, bad luck, etc.
    But I do like to make people laugh, smile, most times at my own expense, seems to make my days better.
    Then there’s the one lady, at home, that says,
    Looks/sounds like you need a hug.

    Maybe I’m just Happy, Old, Bitter, and Frustrated…..🤔

  16. I decided many years ago to make the best of a bad situation (husband mentally ill, for one thing), move forward and make a life for myself. I’m mostly quite happy with my life (have some regrets, but don’t we all) – 2 terrific sons, good friends, done quite a bit of traveling (and made friends doing that), and now that I’m retired, my youngest son and I have a cut flower business that keeps me busy and brings joy to people who stop to purchase our bouquets (and who write the nicest notes to us). If I don’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning, my golden retriever reminds me he needs a walk, and off we go. My husband is a recluse who stays in his room. It’s his choice to be miserable, but it was my choice to live my life as a happy person, and by golly, I am!

  17. Response to Kulafarmer: I know you get a lot of grief for living in “Paradise” so here goes:

    When I relocated from California, I left an area that gets less than 20 inches of rain per year to a zone that gets over 100 inches of rain per year with snow and ice thrown in on rare occasions. Winter days are shortened dark with days of no direct sunlight. (at one point, a move to Idaho was being considered was it not?)

    A note to those thinking of/planning a relocation to a different zone: If you do not have an indoor hobby or past time prior to moving, you better get some prior to relocation to a zone with bad winter weather that may keep you indoors for days at a time.

    My relocation took place during the last recession and the great ammo shortage took place shortly thereafter. ( starting about 2011 ) One of my favorite activities during that time was networking and teaching fellow shooters at my local club. I helped people sight in their rifles, tighten loose screws, fix simple things, reload shells and casting lead bullets from recycled range lead. We taught people to adapt and overcome. I made a lot of friends that way outside of my place of work.

    Sorry Lauren, I do not smile as much as you do though I try to follow the rule: If you do not have anything good to say, just be quiet. I do like to look up and smile at the conclusion of a finished job at the end of the day whether it is a fresh cut lawn on a hot summer day, a repaired, stitched-up garment or a box of reloaded shells.

    As mentioned by KayS: I try to get out some each day and my dog is my ambassador. You cannot be a recluse if you walk your dog each day. My dog also means I never really need an alarm clock either.

    1. Cali refugee
      Yep, it was a consideration,
      I have wanted to build my own log home from scratch, kinda hard to do here.
      I also like seclusion.
      Have LOTS of indoor hobbies, from wood working and pounding on or grinding steel to making boots and doing leather work.
      I am also acutely aware that i have gotten quite used to my current AO and recently took a position that allows me a huge hunting and roaming area and a pretty good income while keeping me active and engaged.
      At this point, ill die where im at, and its ok. Not so bad afterall anyway.

  18. So last night I was in my office going through a couple days of mail sitting on my desk. Had a couple boxes with it. One box had books in it. The other had bags of Kona coffee from friends who live in Kona. So I take it out to show the wife.”ooh let’s have a cup!”says the wife.its after 9 but I say ok and go back to the bills and checking emails.
    I’m thinking the wife will make a small cup in the one cup coffeemaker. She comes in with a mug full that would make a Navy Chief happy. Now she knows I like to drink the Kona coffee black. It’s got half in half and crystalized honey it. So we compromise and I drink it.(I ain’t that stupid!)
    She comes in about 10minutes later to retrieve the mug.”good huh?”she asks. The best, baby.
    And I go back to sending emails.
    2 minutes later she’s back with another mug full of black coffee.
    “I made a whole pot!”she giggles.
    Not only that but she brought cookies. Her chocolate chunk raisin oatmeal hybrid cookies. These things are 4″across and half an inch thick. Probably 500 calories each and my personal kryptonite…and there’s 4 of them! Either she loves me or she’s trying to bump me off and collect the insurance. But I digress…
    So the next thing I know I hear the vacuum running. Now I know she vacuumed about 3 hours before. So I’m standing in my office doorway ,mug in one hand and chocolate kryptonite in the other watching my wife.
    Coffee mug in one hand,the vacuum in the other cleaning up the 3 grains of dust that has accumulated since the last time she vacuumed.
    I’m guessing the caffeine to weight ratio caught up to her and turned her into the Energizer bunny.
    I finish up what I’m doing and figure I will check in at MSB and read the latest posts. Next thing I know,I’m posting like a wildman to everybody. I come to my senses and stop. Didnt want you good folks to think I was some kind of freak or something posting at 1:30 in the morning.
    So I go look for the wife and she’s getting ready to mop the floor.
    I tell her no we’re gonna to sit outside under a blanket on the porch swing and look at the stars and the moon.
    So there we sat,holding hands like a couple kids in the early morning cruising the caffeine highway together.
    Moments like these are what make me happy…

    1. Bill Jenkins Horse

      Good for YOU, and your Energized Bunny.!!!! This is one of the best posts I’ve ever read.

      See, I told you, God has already Blessed you.

      Oh, by the way, YOU the MAN.

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