This I Believe

Meredith - Fayetteville, New York
Entered on December 11, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: purpose

Happiness is a choice. This is what I believe. I first heard this in 9th grade from my Earth Science teacher. I thought he was a little weird, but still an amazing teacher. After hearing this, I found a book called The Year of Yes, by Maria Dahvana Headley. It’s a memoir in which she wrote a small couple of paragraphs about happiness being a choice. The author went more in depth about it, and after thinking about what she had written, it really made sense to me.

I mean why shouldn’t a person be able to choose whether or not they want to be happy? They can choose how to react, and act in certain situations. When I was eight, my parents were divorced, and after hearing this, I went up to my room and cried into my pillow for a while. And then I gradually got over it. I just decided to be happy.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think it’s fine and normal, and definitely good to be upset over things. But once you’re done wallowing you should get up and choose to be happy. This will make it a lot easier to deal with the hard times in your life.

Happiness being a choice has sort of developed into a personal mantra for me now. If I’m upset or something, I sort of just stop and repeat to myself a few times, “Happiness is a choice.” Then I continue to ask myself how I could cheer myself up. It may not sound like an effective method, but it’s what works for me.

I think this is a good way to live because if everyone is in the mind set that if something bad happens to them then they have to be depressed and distraught, then where will everyone be years from now? Dwelling on the past that made them feel bad? I find it much more easing and comforting to think back to the good memories I have. I think those also help me choose to be happy, too. If I’m upset, I try to correlate that bad feeling with a good memory to help negate it.

I think that everyone should choose to be happy. It gets easier with practice, and it is certainly something I will be teaching friends and family in the future. I love being happy, so why not tell others they have the choice to be happy, too?

It is my belief that you can choose to be happy, and I have found that this is the best path for me. It is an uplifting mind set, and though you might find it cliché, I think it is the best way to live.