Do you consider yourself a happy person?
When I was growing up, my Dad would sing “happy songs” in the mornings to wake us up. He would clap and try to get us to sing along. I remember rolling over in bed. All I wanted was to let my eyes adjust first. To get up first. To get a drink of water first. To get dressed first. To eat something first. . .
Then, I could sing happy songs.
He knew better though, and he wouldn’t quit. So, I would slowly start to sing his happy song, through gritted teeth, just to appease him.
Inevitably, about the second chorus, I would smile and start to laugh as I tumbled out of bed.
What Dad knew, and I learned later, is that if I waited until it felt right, until I got everything I needed, and I was where I thought I needed to be, I would never sing happy songs. What he taught me, is that life isn’t about the end destination.
Life is about what you choose right now.
It’s about what you choose each step of the way, because in the end, your moment to moment choices shape who you become.
Dad was a big fan of a guy named Jim Rohn and still quotes him to this day. Jim was an entrepreneur with a famous rags-to-riches story. Many of his quotes encourage me on my journey these days. One of my favorites is this:
It’s so easy to think, if you could just get that job, that house, that car, that amount in your checking account, that vacation, that marriage, that child. . . then, you could be happy.
The truth is, happiness isn’t in the getting, at all.
It’s in the daily choices. In fact, it’s usually more in the giving. When you make daily choices that are generous toward others, you’ll find that you become happier.
When you focus less on getting all the things you want and more on helping others get what they want, it changes who you become.
You become content right where you are.
The person you have to become to choose to sing happy songs in the morning is a very different person than the one focused on getting all her needs met first.
I don’t doubt your life is hard. You’re facing struggles and mountains that seem unscalable. I’m not pretending they’ll go away if you sing a happy song.
What I’m saying is, you get to choose who you become while you climb.
You can become bitter, angry and hard, with every rock you move.
You can choose joy, in this moment. You can choose to be thankful for one thing, in spite of what seems like 50 things going wrong. In spite of all the things you really need to get first.
You can choose to go ahead, through gritted teeth, and start singing a happy song.
You never know, you might even crack a smile.
I hope you do.
To more love,