The danger in believing “Happiness is a choice.”


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“Happiness is a choice” and “Just BE happy” is a message being spread so much and so often on social media these days that it creates the impression that if you are anything but happy, there is something wrong with you.

And that’s not true.

True happiness involves more than the simple decision to act happy or think positively.

No matter how happy one may act, pretending to be happy doesn’t equal happiness. Habitually convincing yourself that you’re happy when you’re not is potentially dangerous — and here’s why:

When a person who is not happy convinces themselves that they are, they remove the incentive needed to make the changes that are necessary to put them on a path to being genuinely happy.

This only serves to perpetuate the problem because pretending to be happy doesn’t rid a person of any underlying dissatisfaction in their life — it simply covers it up.

It’s far more productive to be unhappy and honest with one’s self than it is to cover up the symptoms of unhappiness by pretending they don’t exist.

It is from pretending to be happy that people often fool themselves into settling for careers or relationships that do little more than cause them to drift further from the things that they truly care about.

And the further one drifts from the things that bring them genuine joy, the further they drift from the most potent sources of happiness that exist for them.

I’ve said it before, it’s not happiness that’s a choice, it’s attitude.

It is a healthy attitude that allows a person to recognize and be grateful for what they already have.

It is a healthy attitude that allows a person to consider mistakes to be nothing more than learning experiences.

It is a healthy attitude that allows a person to consider strangers to be nothing more than friends they haven’t met yet.

It is a healthy attitude that allows a person to see the world as a playground instead of a cage.

And it is a healthy attitude that allows a person to survive a negative experience in a positive way no matter how challenging it may be.

A healthy attitude is what allows a person to see the value in all life experiences, not just the “good” ones.

The simple decision to be happy isn’t as much of a precursor to happiness as a healthy attitude is. A healthy attitude is what allows one to truly appreciate the journey of life regardless of one’s circumstances.

The more one learns to enjoy & appreciate not just the highlights of one’s life, but the complete journey, the more often happiness arrives as a result of that enjoyment.

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