Friday Philosophy: You’re Always Choosing

We all know at least one person in each of our lives who somehow seems to have an uncanny ability to stay cool, stay calm and stay happy. Regardless of what comes their way, their attitude remains upbeat and hopeful. Their posture remains so unflappable that other people may find themselves either amazed or annoyed at their disposition.

What may be more surprising is not the ability for these people to remain so positive and upbeat but rather the inability for so many of us to do so. We all know (at least on some level) how much our attitude influences our mood, perspective, actions and, by extension, the reactions from and interactions with other people. But yet, day in and day out we may find ourselves pushed or pulled into extended periods of being anxious, annoyed, angry, disillusioned, discouraged or any other variation of feeling that pushes us from our center of emotional balance.

In reality, each of these feelings is a decision we make. Whether explicitly or implicitly, consciously or subconsciously, we make a choice about how we react to any circumstance or situation. We choose to be anxious. We choose to be pessimistic. We choose to be fearful. And because each of these reactions are choices, it is quite possible to choose otherwise. We can choose to be happy. We can choose to be optimistic. We can choose to be hopeful.

Now I know you may be reading this and thinking: “but it’s so hard!” I get it. It is. And that’s because we’ve spent so much of our lives buying in to and being influenced by the decisions we see so many people around us taking: Anxiety. Pessism. Fear. Everywhere we turn, people around us are making it easier for us to join the herd of negativity. It takes work to steer clear of the herd!

But if you’re committed to discovering and becoming your best self, you’ve already taken the first step away from the herd. You’ve already said “I’m ready to be less like them and more like me.” You’ve already made the hardest decision!

And so now that you’ve realized the magnitude of this first decision you’ve already made and this first — and most difficult — mountain you’ve already conquered, it should give you the confidence you need to make the next, much easier, but arguably more impactful, choices you have to make today and every day of the rest of your life: Choose happiness. Choose optimistism. Choose hope. Your future self will be eternally grateful.

“In every life we have some trouble
But when you worry, you make it double
Don’t worry, be happy
Don’t worry, be happy now”

-Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin

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