I was thinking about this today because my sales haven't been what I'd hoped for February and there were some setbacks. I am struggling with promoting my shop and my blog and over all, it's been pretty frustrating. It's easy to be unhappy, to be angry and grumpy and dissatisfied. There are so many challenges every day and we are constantly bombarded by bad news, disappointment, stress, worries and on and on. So it really can take some work to be happy.
I used to think that being happy would just happen all by itself. That it was more like an event or something I could have as soon as my life was just perfect. So I would get really upset when it wasn't perfect because that was messing up all of my plans for being happy one day. I finally realized it wasn't ever going to be perfect and anyway that would be terribly boring and then I'd have to complain about that. So it dawned on me that being happy wasn't about having a perfect life, but instead was about finding perfection in the life I had.
The funny thing is that it took one of the absolute worst times in my life for me to understand where happiness really comes from. Maybe it took having a really, truly serious problem to realize that all of the things I thought were problems weren't that bad at all. So in a strange way, the most terrible time in my life is the one I credit with making me the happiest I've ever been. Isn't that strange how that happens?
Even so, being happy still takes some work. It takes thinking of setbacks and problems as challenges, and remembering that challenges make us stronger and more resilient, more resourceful, more creative, more independent and confident. It takes forgiving and letting go of grievances and grudges and allowing others to be perfectly imperfect. It takes removing your ego from the equation. It takes smiling even when you are sad, stressed, worried, fearful or just plain bummed out because when you do, you make the people around you happier. It takes finding the silver lining in everything bad that happens and of course, that's the biggest challenge of all.
Happiness is not a state of mind. It's a program for living. It doesn't just happen. It takes work. So I was reminding myself of these things as I was thinking of my problems and frustrations. I forgot to mention that it takes reminding. Lots and lots of reminding. So while I was reminding myself, I thought I'd remind you too. Just in case you need it.