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Why You Should Choose Happiness

Choosing happiness is important…especially when life sucks

By
Lisa B. Marshall ,
April 8, 2011
Episode #121

by Lisa B. Marshall and Kris Harty

Why You Should Choose Happiness When Life Sucks

Just last week I was waiting on a train platform when I struck up a conversation with the woman standing next to me. After making small talk about the weather, I learned that her husband was very sick. It reminded me of the difficult times I went through when John (my first husband) was terminally ill.

Our discussion had turned sad and because I was afraid I had upset her, I mentioned that without the depths of the lows, it is difficult to truly appreciate the highs. What I didn't say to her was that if you're lucky, overcoming significant obstacles teaches you a new internal dialog. It teaches you perspective.

It teaches you how to choose to be happy.

You Can Choose Happiness

In fact, my daughter's pre-school teacher summed up this very same lesson with the phrase, "You get what you get and you don't get upset". (That phrase has been uttered hundreds of times in our house! Particularly with identical twins, this phrase comes in handy.) If that doesn’t work, then I add, “Well, it's your choice. You can have what was given to you or I can just take away the option all together. Which would you prefer?”

Focus On How You Can Choose to Be Happy

But for some people this life lesson is much more difficult. What if what you were "given" made your life very difficult? And no one could take that difficult part away, even if they wanted to.

For example, my nephew Daniel has Asperger’s syndrome. He doesn’t have a choice about that. To live a happy and full life he and his family focus on what he can do, and they never wallow in pity of what he can’t do.

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