The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be. -Marcel Pagnol
My friend Melissa shared the above quote on Facebook and it really resonated with me. All too often do we idealize the past (they’re called the “good ol’ days,” right?), focus on all our problems in the here and now and worry about the future.
Just be happy
Happiness is a choice. I firmly believe that. We either choose happiness or we don’t. Plain and simple. But just because we’ve decided to be happy doesn’t mean we’ll be happy. It’s a constant process and one that can seem far out of reach if you let all the crap in life pull you down. But deciding on happiness is the first step. So do it.
Wherever you are, whatever you do for a living and whatever your personal circumstances are, life can suck. For some, it sucks more often than not. But isn’t that sometimes a matter of perspective and how you choose to react to things?
When someone lets you down, remember that that was their doing and not yours. Their choice to blow you off, disappoint you, etc. was THEIR CHOICE and isn’t a reflection of you or how you conduct yourself. Hold your head higher.
Sometimes I get stuck dwelling on the negatives when I’m in a bad mood and I’m working on changing that. Why focus on the negatives when there are so many positives? Don’t believe me? If you’re reading this, things must be somewhat OK. You probably have access to clean water and a roof over your head. Sure, things can suck but put it in perspective. And do it often.
For more on that, there’s a post making the rounds on social media called “How to Get Flat Abs, Have Amazing Sex and Rule the World in 8 Easy Steps” and it really hit home. Kate Bartolotta writes:
We chase this idea of ‘I will be happy when…’ I will be happy when I have a new car. I will be happy when I get married… What if instead we choose to be happy — right now? Life might bump and bruise us, it may not always go the way we plan and I know I get frustrated with mine, but here’s the thing: You are alive.
Sometimes it helps to remind yourself every now and then.
She goes on to say shut up and just be happy now. I couldn’t agree more: “… We can choose to appreciate what is in our lives instead of being angry or regretful about what we lack. It’s a small, significant shift in perspective. It’s easier to look at what’s wrong or missing in our lives and believe that is the big picture — but it isn’t. We can choose to let the beautiful parts set the tone.”
So let’s look at that quote again from the beginning. Let it sink in. Think about it for a second.
“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.” -Marcel Pagnol
Are you guilty? I sure am.
I have to admit, even if I’m not busy, my mind is constantly on the go. Always thinking and rethinking — the past, present and future — and analyzing and making mental to-do lists. And when on the computer, I’m clicking and swiping and opening new tabs. My computer usage is frantic. Sometimes I even rush through dinner (a French sin I think) for no good reason.
All for what purpose?
There is no purpose. Not one that matters now anyway in this exact moment. Take your time. Open your eyes and find the things around you that matter. That shift in perspective might just surprise you.
And maybe most importantly of all, choose to be kind. It might just make all the difference.
P.S. Dagny is 2 years old today!! So had to give her some photo love up top 😉