The Key to Happiness

The key to happiness is realizing you have the ability to choose your own happiness; however, this is often realized too late in life or triggered by tragedy. We're giving you perspective on how to start choosing happiness now and positively impacting your life while you still have plenty of time to live it! 

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Let's take a look at an example of a "shitty" day that normally would leave you feeling aggravated and frustrated by the end of it.

On your way to work, you run into construction and there is a single lane closure. Another vehicle speeds up in the lane next to you and cuts in right at the last minute (Don't you hate when this happens?!). Once you finally get to work, you see that your co-worker has canceled the meeting that you have been preparing for all week. You go to get your morning cup of joe only to realize the last person who took some left the burner on with an empty pot and did not make a new batch. The takeout you picked up for lunch tastes like something your 6 year old nephew whipped up for his science experiment.

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By the time 5:00 hits, you are just ready to get home and put this day behind you, but you remember you need to pick up some toilet paper on the way home (UGH!). Once you get to the super market, you seem to be in slowest line and behind a baby that will not stop crying. After what seems like an hour, you checkout and are back in your car finally on your way home.

You eat a lousy frozen dinner, and can't find anything to watch on TV. As you go to bed you think, "Man am I glad today is over" and you look forward to what possibilities tomorrow holds.  The only problem is, if you continue to look at your life through this lens, no day will bring the possibilities you seek. Because the reality is every day is filled with annoyances. Some days more than others and they may vary in magnitude, but no day is completely free of them.

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Now lets take a look at the day you just had through a different lens. Maybe the construction that was being done prevented an accident that would have taken someone's life if the road conditions weren't fixed. Maybe the person who cut off the rest of the flow of traffic was rushing to the hospital because his wife was in labor with their first baby boy. Maybe your co-worker canceled the meeting because she had to make a last minute trip due to a family emergency. Maybe the person who left the coffee on without refilling it received a phone call just as he poured his mug that his child passed out at school. Maybe your food tasted like garbage because the normal chef was off helping his sick mother. Maybe you ran out of TP on that day and at that moment because if you would have been on your normal path home, you would have gotten in an accident. What if the mother with the crying baby had previously been to 3 stores looking for the ONE medicine her child wasn't allergic to. What if you couldn't even afford a lousy frozen dinner or a roof over your head?

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While majority of these situations are unlikely, they are not impossible.

Image how you would have felt at the end of your day had you looked at each event through that alternate lens. The pent up annoyance and frustration simply wouldn't have existed. Now think of the affects that annoyance and frustration has on your overall happiness. Day after day, month after month, year after year.

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Once you realize that you may not have the ability to change the situation, but you do have the ability to change how the situation affects you, you can control your own happiness.  

We all live in our own personal realities, but it's important to remember that some people's realities are battling cancer or trying to figure out where their next rent payment is going to come from . If you have that perspective, you begin to realize that if your annoyances only consisted of a traffic jam or burnt coffee, then you are pretty darn lucky and you can begin to feel gratitude that you had the ability to wake up on your own, drive yourself to work, and pour your own cup of coffee. You begin to realize that all of those annoyances throughout the day aren't annoyances at all, they're just life.

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And life is a beautiful thing.  

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Taryn Kutches