Monday, February 18, 2013

Choose happiness

Last week I talked about the book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying by Australian palliative care nurse Bronnie Ware. Each day I talked about one of the regrets she recorded as she listened to the epiphanies of dying people with whom she worked.

The fifth regret is: "I wish that I had let myself be happier." Here's what Ware says about that: "Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again."

Yes, happiness is a choice. And fear of change can be deadly.

I've heard some people say, "I don't deserve to be happy." And others who say, "Happiness is just frivolous. We're here to be productive." Perhaps that looks very different at life's end—just sayin'. And, as with so much of life, it's not either/or. Either you can be productive or you can be happy. You can be happy or you can be sad. Life is always both/and. Even when you choose happiness, you will still experience sadness. You can be productive and happy. 

Choose life. Choose happiness. And choose to focus on the positives, not the negatives. It will make your life so much richer.

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