“You’re about as happy as you make up your mind to be.” This is what I heard from my dad when I asked for words of wisdom at his birthday celebration a while ago.
Dad did not remember who said it, but had found it useful in his life. Turns out they are from Abraham Lincoln, and more powerful because Lincoln suffered from clinical depression and said this before Positive Psychology was “discovered.”
As the weather here in New England gets COLD and icy, I get frustrated with the amount of effort needed to be outside, even to get the mail. Layers of clothing, boots, crampons for the boots so I don’t slip on the ice. ARGH! Then I remember my folks growing up in Michigan before fleece, down jackets, and wool socks that do not itch, and realize how easy things are for me.
Not only does this thinking take away my frustration, but it makes me happy. Seems strange to go from cranky to happy so quickly, but it works. I realize how lucky I am to be able to choose where I live, to have experienced the southern California beaches and desert, and now New England. I have the opportunity to live in a wide variety of weather, colors, seasons, and clothing.
When I moved here from California a friend advised me to find ways to get outside and play in the winter and to wear wool socks.** She was right, these small things make a difference between enjoying winter and suffering through it. And the best advice is what I heard from my dad–to make up my mind to be happy. I would add, “By finding small things to be happy about.” (Here’s an eBook with ideas.)
What are the small things you find that help you choose to be happy, even in the midst of frustrating situations? Please share by commenting below!
** I love Smart Wool, worth the investment!