I think we all know that we have the ability to control how our day will go.
We know we have the ability to will the way we want our lives to go.
It’s not always an easy feat especially when you choose to move to a new bracket or level that seems beyond reach. It’s hard work. There is no denying the intensive labor that has to be aliquot for every endeavor you pursue.
A post-grad who is immersing herself in experiences with a focused line of sight before graduate school, I am currently in-between experiences.
During this slower-paced time, it becomes stressful. You just want to keep moving but you know everything takes time.
I am constantly anticipating the next project to work on, the next interview, the next milestone, and the next step. As a result, these past couple of days I have been waking up at some ungodly hour when I didn’t need to, like 6 AM, only to find myself disconnecting my phone from the charger.
I’d hop back in bed on what is a freezing cold Sunday morning, neglect to put on my prescription eyeglasses because I have this pet peeve about washing my face in the morning prior to putting my glasses on, and then proceed to check my e-mail, my subscribed blogs, and my Facebook.
One morning I extended this little routine by watching a video from one of my favorite comedians as a kind of upbeat start to my day.
The all-consuming quality that technology possesses was underscored that morning; YouTube suggested other videos I may be interested in.
You guessed it. My routine was becoming annoyingly longer.
My eyes were parched and could only be quenched with natural light. As if an old Hindi film actress who was endearingly timid, I lowered my glaze in order to reduce the eye strain, but there was no denying the sleek miniature genius spanning the length of my palm.
Again I stared at the blinding white screen from my iPhone.
Two “Being Positive” videos showed up.
2 out of 5 or so suggested videos is quite telling and/or coincidental.
I was unsure as to why these videos showed up. I was not necessarily perky but I wasn’t negative either. Regardless, I ended up watching both videos because I was awake for what was only some minutes and the prospect of having a positive day just by hearing YouTubers speak of positivity seemed too easy a task to pass off.
Also, the fact that these videos were “suggested” the morning I decided to start my day off with something upbeat was too freakishly coincidental to ignore.
Both YouTubers mentioned that happiness or positivity was a choice.
It is yet another decision that has to be made.
One of them even said, at least admitting to it’s corniness, that “you are the CEO of your life.”
As much as I didn’t care for the juxtaposition of something as artificial and man-made as corporate authority with something as organic and natural as how your life course proceeds, I agreed with the underlying idea. My agreement is evident in the opening lines of this blog post.
The other idea, however, of happiness being a choice, seems illogical.
Why would anyone choose to be unhappy?
Isn’t decision-making a conscious process?
Suppose you spill hot coffee on your hand in the morning. That was not your choice.
At this point your choices are not between “happy” and “unhappy.”
You have many choices because the situation calls for what you make out of the coffee scolding your hand. How do you react?
If you’re not swearing, do not have your brows furrowed in silent pain, or whimpering in audible pain, well that would be cause for some concern.
Obviously one would not be happy at having been burned at what is presumably the beginning of the day. If one was happy at this pain, then he/she would not have been happy to begin with and that is a whole other predicament that I hope only rings true in this hypothetical/thought-experiment sense.
So, the choice to be made isn’t between “happy” and “unhappy”. Rather, the choice to be made is many and varied. How do you react? Do you continue to dwell on the coffee spill this morning or do you move on?
I believe the clear consensus is to move on.
So it seems that we are getting closer to the core point of the misconstrued statements that those YouTube videos made about our choice to be happy.
The choice is between dwelling on something negative that may have occurred or moving on.
It is not always better to move on.
If someone did you wrong in the business setting, for example; say a team member failed to carry out his/her appointed task and therefore you’re business plan has a gaping hole.
If you move on, the damage can be repaired.
If you move on, the damage may not be repaired though, thereby risking the chances that human error goes unnoticed and uncorrected.
For the sake of our happiness then, by moving on from the above situation, that person’s apathy may continue to wreak havoc on future business deals, putting many lives into jeopardy.
If not that person, then perhaps someone else may observe that the actions of that person were not dealt with and so he/she feels that apathy is acceptable.
For the sake of our happiness, the public good’s well-being is sacrificed.
We’re part of the public and so eventually, our happiness will dwindle as well.
In conclusion, I don’t think happiness is a choice in itself.
Happiness is contagious, cyclic (almost karmic-like), and is supremely a consequence to a set of choices.