Happiness is a Choice

We spend so much time looking at our mistakes and regrets as terrible failures. What would happen if we took the time to switch our perspective on life? In this world, nothing is a waste of time. Experiences that are painful to deal with are merely lessons for you to take and grow from. You either learn the lesson and choose a better path/option when a similar situation comes up, or you can keep repeating the same mistakes until you learn from them and had enough of the situation.

The only reason that we have the tendency to repeat our mistakes is because the other path is uncomfortable. Why is it so? It’s because change is actually uncomfortable, since your mind and body aren’t used to this new direction. Many times, you head back into the direction that isn’t alien to you, and you realize (hopefully you do) how unhappy you are. Oops, three months later (maybe even a year), your world tumbles after you make that realization.

Please congratulate yourself on coming to a realization, because so many people look for excuses to stay in the same comfortably, unhappy situation.

Examples of some excuses are:

  • I’ll stress my loved ones if I make this decision.
  • I’ll never be able to find a better situation than this.
  • Maybe, this is what I deserve.
  • Oh, this happened in the past, it might repeat itself again.
  • Who am I to be happy?

Well, isn’t it a bit strange that we fear being in joy?

Once you’ve had a wakeup call about your state, it’s up to you to change your path. This is why we have freewill. Nothing is going to change or improve until we exert our freewill and make the decision to be happy. After all, happiness is a choice. 

5 Life Lessons I Learned

1) Acceptance

It's important to be aware that we cannot control situations and people to be the way we want it to be. This is why we must learn to accept situations and people for what and who they are. At the end, we can only control our actions and responses. 

2) As cheesy as this may sound, do everything with love

If you love what you do, then every aspect of your life will depict this. By working from a sense of compassion and love, people will be drawn to your positive energy and your world will be filled with small and large forms of inspiration. 

3) Your internal world is reflected in your outer world

What do you see? Chaos? Fear? Joy? Bliss? 

If you don't like what you see, then it's time to polish your internal mirror. It's time to let go of thoughts that are wearing you down or making you feel fearful. Dig deeper within you to understand how you can heal. Be watchful of your self-talk, because it manifests experiences in your outer world (your environment). 

4) Choose to be happy 

Yes, happiness is a choice. Everyday, you have the option to follow this route. When you consciously make this choice, it will become much easier to manifest what you seek and to have experiences that you truly want to have. You need to feel good to attract better things in your life. Feeling good does not necessarily come from your external world, accomplishments or material purchases. It comes from being authentic, doing what you love, pursuing your life purpose, and aspiring to improve your well-being. 

5) Speak only the truth

When you're honest with yourself and towards others, your heart becomes clear of worry, stress and fear. Always fight for the truth, this will keep your spirit free. 

 

Mosquitto Repellent (Lesson 3)

I've worn mosquitto repellent from the ages of eight to seventeen. 

Every morning, I would open a small, plastic packet of mosquitto repellent, and smother the lotion all over one arm.  When I was younger, I could get away with using two packets, but eventually, I had to use seven to eight packets to cover my skin. The process was so tedious that I would put it on a four minute timer. I believed that the faster I could do it, the less of a nuisance it would be. By the time I was done, I patted my skin to feel the stickiness of the lotion. I wondered whether the humidity would allow the repellent to absorb into my skin. For a second, I pictured myself in a mosquito net onesie battling every unfriendly insect in the Congolese rainforest. However, it was just another day in eight grade, and I would have to do this for four more years. 

"This is so annoying Mom," I complained.

"You have four more years of this. I think you should get used to it," she replied. 

"Nature is so cruel....."

"You know what happens when you don't put mosquito repellent...Your school is a jungle." 

"My school is not a jungle. It was constructed on a terrain of a jungle....This repellent doesn't get absorbed, and it's so sticky. How is this going to last through the humidity? "

"Just accept it for what it is. No point getting American repellent. It does not work here. You will have to use a lot more." 

The solution to everything had become acceptance. Acceptance that some solutions may not always be easy to adapt to, but may be neccessary for your wellbeing. Therefore, accept everything for what it is, and difficult situations will frustrate you less. 

At school, I watched others apply American repellent and still get bitten by insects. I remember suggesting to buy local brands, because at the time, I believed that Congolese mosquitos and other insects had different and stronger biting strategies compared to American ones. However, no one took my word for it. 

After three years, a friend asked me, "Dude, why do you never get bitten?" 

I replied, "Dude, buy Congolese mosquitto repellent." 

"Does it have this strong perfume?"

"Ya, but it definitely fades away after an hour or so."

"Do you have to put a lot?" 

"Yes, a lot! But, beware of driver ants. Sometimes they sting. I know, because I got stung twice. " 

Lesson Three: 

Each problem has its own solution. Be flexible.