I hope you found yesterday’s post regarding Believing, Breathing, and Baking helpful. If you just joined this journey, be sure to take the time to go back and read from the beginning, The Alphabet of Happiness. Without delay, let’s get to it and discuss the letter “C”.
Courage and Choice
Often times when we think of the word courage, we recall events of courageous acts. Personally, I think of our military personnel who serve our country unselfishly and voluntarily. But, I also envision the Cowardly Lion from the popular children’s movie, The Wizard of Oz.
We learn from Wikipedia, “Since lions are supposed to be ‘The Kings of Beasts,’ the Cowardly Lion believes that his fear makes him inadequate. He does not understand that courage means acting in the face of fear, which he (actually) does frequently.” Having or displaying courage, as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is to display “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.”
When you live your life in the face of fear, you are not allowing yourself to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. It’s very difficult to feel happiness when you are engrossed in this state of mind. Try to free yourself from this dead-end street. When you can display courage in the face of fear and adversity, it will become a lot easier to feel happy.
If you’re shaking your head from side-to-side in disagreement, I encourage you to try the following exercise. Keep a small notepad close to you every day. This includes at work, in the car, next to your favorite chair in your home, on your desk and all other places. Every time you make a decision and act against fear and/or adversity, write it down. It doesn’t matter how big or small. Then, at the end of your day, collect all of the notes you have written.
You will be pleasantly surprised, like the Cowardly Lion, how many times you displayed and felt courageous. This then becomes a practice of concentrating and focusing on the positive, rather than all of the negative. Displaying and acknowledging courage will lead to more happy moments, guaranteed.
Happiness is a choice. It isn’t genetic. It isn’t something given. It can’t be bought or borrowed. There are events and circumstances that occur in your life that will provide you with a lot of happiness, such as; college graduation, first job, marriage, the birth of your first child, a day filled with sunshine, and so many others. However, in the absence of these naturally occurring happy filled moments, you still have the choice whether to be happy or not.
As I have mentioned in several previous posts, in no way am I suggesting that you should sing the little ditty, “Don’t worry, be happy” and all will be perfect in your life. I know it is not that easy. However, you can choose to react to your surroundings and circumstances differently. How you react to circumstances in your life is by choice, your choice.
I know it sounds much too simplistic to suggest to you to just choose to be happy. If only it were that easy, huh? However, I am going to tell you that in many circumstances it can be that easy. There are many challenges and adversity that you face in your life on a regular basis. Many of those situations, if not most, are out of your control. So, what can you do?
You have the choice to respond positively versus negatively. I will give you an example from my own life.
Every day when I collect my mail from the mailbox, I know there is a large chance that I am going to find another bill that needs to be paid. These bills are outstanding medical expenses. They are all related to a car accident in which I was injured several years ago. I have an attorney representing my case. Nothing can be resolved until the claim is settled. In the meantime, these various health care providers are losing their patience and demanding immediate payment.
So, what can I do? I can’t pay them right now. And I won’t. So, I can go out to my mailbox each day with fear, anxiety, and stress, or I can choose not to react this way. Remember there is nothing I can do right now to change this situation. It is out of my control. So, I choose to not react or feel negatively. Does my choice affect my overall happiness every day? Of course, it does.
I’m encouraging you to look at least a few situations in your life where you can choose to react differently. How does that saying go, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Yes! Sometimes in life, it is that easy.
As we continue this journey together, I encourage you to keep reading. If you have yet to find your own how or why to happiness, I strongly believe you will. Please come back tomorrow as we explore the letter “D”.
©Julie Corbett 2017