Choose Happiness

While I was on the bus this morning, a guy just snapped.  He was screaming at the bus driver about not being able to bring his coffee on.  Apparently he saw another passenger sipping coffee and just went berserk.  Keep in mind that the driver was still attempting to navigate this behemoth of a bus through the tightly packed streets of morning rush hour Atlanta while she responded to the irate passenger as best she could.  “Sir, her coffee cup has a secure lid.”  He wasn’t hearing it.  According to him, his coffee had a lid too.  Now, I didn’t see his cup and maybe he was right, but I have a hard time believing that the level to which he freaked out was really necessary over a cup of coffee.  I love my caffeine as much as the next guy and I would surely be miffed should I be told I couldn’t bring it on the bus, but would I scream at the driver?

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“My coffee cup HAD a lid!”

Ironically while this was going down, I was posting this quote to Twitter:

“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”  – Abraham Lincoln

I’m in the midst of reading “Happier:  Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment” by Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D and this quote is at the beginning of one of the chapters.  It is my corporate team’s book club selection for this quarter.  It was a bit of slow starter, but is a solid read none the less.  It has a ton of great aha moments that should resonate with anyone.

One of the overall themes is  finding the happy in your everyday existence.  You can’t just keep postponing your happiness by waiting on “the” moment.  The moment you finish school.  The moment you get a job/raise/position you want.  The moment you meet your perfect match.  Happiness exists in the journey.  And we should exist in a balance of currently enjoying happiness in the present and setting ourselves up for happiness in the future.  Sure, we’ll all have periods of our lives that suck, but there are moments to love.  We just have to open our eyes so that we may see them.

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And so, effectively this guy chose to have a rotten morning.  Sure the bus driver putting the kibash on his coffee majorly sucked.  But he chose to sit there and marinate in that moment the entire way into the city.  He chose to have a full blown freak out fest on the bus.  And likely, he chose to carry that rotten energy and feeling into work with him where he likely tried to infect his coworkers.  We may not be 100% in control of what happens to us, but we are in control of how we react.  And we should strive to manage how it affects us.

As I was getting off of the bus, my caffeine loving friend noticed my coffee cup and said, “Well I’ll be God damned.  That’s the same mother effin cofffee cup I had that you wouldn’t let me on the bus with!  What the hell is going on here?!”  He was still screaming when I got off of the bus and headed up the block toward my building.  The last thing I heard him yell at the driver was, “Fine ma’am, I hope you have a really nice day.”  Well, at least in the end he came around…..

*Side note- As I stated above, I do realize people go through stuff (have issues, deal with depression, etc.)  and I’m not taking away from that.  This is merely a commentary on the overwhelming amount of “chosen” negativity I observe everyday.

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Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  Red Hot Chili Peppers – Hump de Bump

Eating:  Ravioli with homemade sauce and lion’s mane mushrooms (these things are deliciousness squared!)

Drinking:  Blue Monster

Random fact:  Happier is a course currently taught at Harvard.

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2 thoughts on “Choose Happiness

  1. I like the stuff at the bottom of your post. Ravioli is great, now I want some? What’s Blue Monster?

    I’m listening to Fuel’s Sunburn album, drinking diet dr pepper, and eating my thumb…I;m the nervous type.

    My wife tells me all the time, “I choose to be happy”. Good for you honey but you’re relatively normal and a walking talking ray of sunshine. I’m a bi-polar halestorm of nerves and doom.

    Good post… you made me think. I’ll make sure my meds are done properly each day. Cheers

    • Ha! I have the habit of biting my cuticles when nervous. Super gross and highly annoying. Blue Monster= Lo-carb version of the Monster energy drink. I’m addicted. It’s a problem about which I intend to do nothing.

      Bi-polar would give you somewhat of a pass (hence my disclaimer at the bottom). I don’t pretend to understand what that’s like. I can only imagine.

      Check out the writings of Eric Victorino. He’s in a band called The Limousines (I adore them. Poppy and electronic, but some darker lyrics) and used to be the lead singer for Strata. He has a few books of prose all about going through life being bi-polar and dealing with depression. Some hauntingly raw stuff. Great reads. I just finished Trading Sunshine for Shadows. I’m sure I’ll do a post about it soon.

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