Making the right choices lead to a happy life

Published 10:21 pm Friday, August 30, 2019


Contributing columnist

Every day each one of us makes choices that will affect our lives in one way or the other. While many times we want to blame our troubles, or lack of happiness on other outside factors such as our parents, our race, our past relationships, our age or our economic situation — the hard truth is that the only person responsible is ourselves. We make the choices for our own lives. We all have the ability to choose to be happy. One thing we must realize is that we must give up trying to control anything, except our own actions. It will drive you crazy, and people will do exactly what they are going to do anyway. In addition, you should forget about trying to please everyone, because you will never pull that one off. Many times, we lose our happiness because we have negative people around us. While it may be hard, you have to keep toxic people at arm’s length. There is only one thing more contagious than the flu, and that is negativity and unfortunately, there is no shot available to keep from catching it. I am reminded of the old 80’s song, “Don’t Worry Be Happy.” As much as I would like to not think about that song, the fact is that the message is true. Don’t spend all your time worrying about something that you can’t control, just focus on being happy. I am always saddened at those people that think if only they had this or that, or was in a relationship with this person or that person, then everything would be perfect. They haven’t figured out yet that happiness begins with themselves. You can try to blame others for your problems, but the bottom line is that nobody is responsible for your happiness, except you. Since I am a huge animal lover, I have often thought that we can learn a lot from watching dogs and cats. Most of us act like dogs. We try to please those around us, and our happiness depends on someone else paying attention to us and telling us that we are either good or bad. Have you ever noticed how a cat behaves? The cat has no desire to please anyone. They know they are awesome and their happiness has no bearing on anyone else. They spend time with us because they choose too. My dog would likely leave home if he knew I said that. I have heard so many times that money can’t buy happiness. That has proven to be true, repeatedly. How many times have we heard those stories about some hard working person winning millions of dollars in the lottery and not only does it not bring happiness to their lives, many times they end up worse off than before. How many times have we seen a young athlete, or entertainer, hit the big time and make lots of money, and it ends up being their downfall? So many times, we pursue money as if it is the golden key to happiness when it in fact is not. We cannot base our happiness on chasing a certain job or let the job you have dictate your emotions. While we all would like to believe that we are irreplaceable, the truth is that if you died, the job vacancy would be posted before your obituary. For me, happiness lies in a beautiful mountain view and special people to share it with. That is worth more than any lottery winnings or job.

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Jack Godbey is a resident of Danville and is a published author.