As I was perusing Pinterest tonight, I came across this quote which sums up what I’ve been thinking lately in regard to both my personal and professional life.
There are things in life that piss us off. There are people in life who annoy us, are mean, and frustrate us to no end. There are things in life that we cannot control. We could choose to let those things fester inside of us, make us angry, and rob us of our joy. Or we can choose to be happy. The people and circumstances that annoy us aren’t just going to magically disappear. We have to come to realize that no one can make us feel a certain way. Sure, people can influence how we feel, but ultimately, we are responsible for ourselves, our feelings, and our actions.
For a while, I played the role of the victim. I was so unhappy because people did this or that to me, something didn’t work out for me, or everything went wrong because I live in China where things aren’t always easy. Blah, blah, blah. I had an excuse for everything. I chose to let the things and people around me dictate how I felt. Essentially, I chose to be unhappy. Well, not anymore. I’ve since made the conscious decision to be happy. It isn’t always easy, and there are certainly days when I can get hoppin’ mad, but I’m in control of my emotions now. Where I used to wallow in self-pity, blaming everyone else, complaining to anyone who would listen, now I take a step back, ask myself if this scenario is worth feeling like crap (It never is, is it?), and then simply decide to be happy.
And just like Voltaire’s quote says, “I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health.” Being happier has led to a healthier me. Instead of sitting on the couch being lazy because I wasn’t motivated to do anything, I am now busy, which has led to a more active and social lifestyle. My emotional health has improved tenfold since I’ve adopted this new philosophy. I’m happier and able to share more with others, and I’ve become a better friend, teacher, daughter, literacy coach, and listener.
I don’t dare go back to the old me. The new me sees the world in a different way. The new me smiles and laughs a lot more. The new me is more productive and takes pride in what she does. The new me doesn’t dwell on the negative. The new me sees the promise of a new day. The new me sends love out. The new me is happier. Because I’ve chosen to be.