01 Dec Happiness – stability and consistency
I just received and read this article from Lionel Ketchian who writes a happiness eNewsletter out of the USA. It is, as is often the case with Lionel’s writings, useful and stimulating for anyone interested in happiness and, quite simply, well considered and written. Thanks, Lionel, and enjoy, everyone.
Stability and consistency seem to be things we do not experience very often these days. Starting about twenty or thirty years ago, our fathers and mothers and grandparents experienced a different life. Many had jobs that they worked at nearly all their lives. It was not unusual to have the same job for thirty or forty years and then retire. You might say that they had job security because they could keep that job as long as they performed it well.
Our parents and grandparents may not even have cared that much about their jobs. They were glad to have a job and earn a living, but they did not seem to make their job the center of their life. They went home at a normal time; they spent a great deal of time with their family and friends. For the most part, their interest was in other things besides work. The importance of work was to find a job they could do and earn enough money to take care of their family. Staying with the job provided a lifetime of job security, stability and consistency for many of them.
Another aspect of life then was that people did not get divorced as easily or as often as people do now. This is certainly another part of the inconsistency and in stability we now seem to experience so often. Things have changed. Today, it is not unusual for people to have new jobs every few years and even to change careers. Marriages do not last as long with more of them leading to divorce than ever before.
What we need now, more than ever before, is constancy. Where does it exist nowadays? Where can we find it in a world that does not seem to offer any kind of stability whatsoever. I have found that being happy provided this aspect of life to me. What can we really count on in life? The more we feel that we are in control of ourselves no matter what may be happening, the more constant our lives become.
It is a great feeling to know you can count on yourself. Being happy allows us to know we can count on being in control of ourselves in situations that we may not like. Life happens fast, it may not be what we like, but what really counts is what you do about what happens, not about what happened! It is time to allow ourselves some stability in our life. Having a more positive, happy and accepting attitude allows us to feel a smother road.
Happiness acts like a shock absorber to your brain. Instead of getting upset with what happens in life we can begin to give ourselves the gift of making the Happiness Decision to make our life experience more stable. As Charles Horton Cooley said: “Form the habit of making decisions when your spirit is freshê¢__‘Ô_to let dark moods lead is like choosing cowards to command armies.”
You really can’t choose happiness until you make the decision to be happy. Your decision to be happy supercedes all else and directs your ability to choose happiness. If you have not decided on happiness as a decision than your emotions will decide for you. They will choose how you will react in a given situation. You will not have the power to make choices, but your emotions will. Life is always forcing you to make choices, and that is where your problems are created.
Life doesn’t force you to make decisions. It is only when you make your own decisions in life that you’re meaning and purpose can emerge. Many people do not know what their meaning and purpose in life is. This is because they have not made a decision on what is most important in their life. Once you realize that happiness is more important than anything else, than your authentic meaning and purpose can be realized.
Viktor Frankel said: “Man does not simply exist, but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment.” I know I can count on feeling well every day and I feel good today. No matter what happens, I have made the decision to be happy and allow that positive feeling and mental wellbeing to handle any problem that may show up in my life. Being unhappy only makes every situation worse for you and everyone around you as well.
Our parents and grandparents had constancy and stability in their lives. This was the way things were back then in the world they grew up in. We have a new challenge in our world today and that is to find a way to experience stability into our lives. Being happy and making the happiness decision is a great way to bring something you can count on in your life. What you do is up to you. Don’t give your power away to situations or people that you cannot control. Life is tough, so don’t make it tougher on yourself. Be smart, stay happy and experience some constancy in your life. You owe it to yourself!