Saturday, November 24, 2007

Choosing Happiness

I am watching a program this afternoon about being happy.

Travelling across the country, using surveys to determine the extent of the average Canadian's happiness, Sonja and Jon meet people from all different social-economic levels including a cheery funeral director who loves his work and a disabled single mother who happily spends her free time volunteering. Sonja and Jon find that money and prestige are not a reflection of a person's happiness. In fact, many people who are lower on the social-economic scale rank much higher in terms of happiness than many high-income professionals. Sonja reveals that the life traits adopted by satisfied people are the ones that contribute to a truly happy existence and are lessons that everyone can learn in order to live a more fulfilled life.

They say that 50% of your happiness quotient comes from genetics, 10% from life experiences and 40% from ... ?

Leaving many to think that 40% is choice. Can you imagine? They interivewed one woman who says she wakes up happy every morning. And looking at her, you truly believe that she is happy. She shows us a prime example of the "Duchenne smile". Another woman has used that smile to actually predict the lives of her students. The ones who have that smile are more likely to be married longer, sometimes into the decades, where the others either aren't married or are divorced.

You can find out more at Happy Canadians.

What does this have to do with being a Writing Mother? I'm not always happy. Big surprise there to friends and family ;0).

But starting today I'm going to choose to be happy more. I'm going to say thank you more to my friends rather than complain that no one comes to my parties. I'm going to delete emails that upset me or make me want to react in anger. I'm going to smile and laugh when I am frustrated or tired.

The key is... choosing to be happy isn't about faking it. It's about letting go of anger. Yes, there are deadlines to meet and kids who won't sleep. And there are days I oversleep and rush to work horrible hair. There are piles of laundry and kids who would rather throw spaghetti than eat it.

But there's also the promise of income and children who make the days worthwhile. There are days when I have a wonderful job full of opportunities and hair with it's own personality. We have enough clothes on our back and food in the cupboard.

These are the things I'm going to focus on. These are the choices and opportunities I'm going to seek.

1 comment:

Angela WD said...

Well said! Thank you for inspiring me to take hold of my own attitude!

By the way, did you know that happy people actually live longer?