I’m going through what should probably be a really challenging period in my life, both personally and professionally. When I describe it to a friend I’m like, “Whoa. Okay, this is kind of crazy.” But despite the intensity of this time, the past few weeks have actually been some of the most fun I’ve had in recent memory. How can that be? It makes no sense. But I’ve realized it’s all about perspective.
I’m in a brand new city with new friends. I’m able to explore freelance opportunities and be a more independent person. Things are different and that can be hard, but I’ve also found a renewed sense of energy because of all of these changes. Nothing is the same, and as a result I’m never bored. Yes, some aspects of my life are not quite where I’d like them to be, but the changes and challenges keep me on my toes.
The fact that I’m able to enjoy myself in the midst of some really, really awful moments made me realize that happiness is not always a situational thing. You don’t have to be happy just because something awesome happened. In fact, you can choose to be happy in spite of a situation. You can be happy when most people probably wouldn’t be. You have control over how you direct your thoughts. Instead of wallowing over a breakup or stewing over a rude comment a co-worker shot your way, you can redirect. Move your thoughts away from the negative and the aggravating and shift them towards the positive. Focus on the progress you’re making as you train for a half marathon. Think about a new friendship or how your pup wakes you up by putting his face right next to yours in the morning.
Unfortunately you can’t completely eliminate crappy things from your life. It would be nice if you could, but it’s just not happening. But you can block these things from completely dominating your thoughts and stealing your happiness. When you’re starting to feel really negative and annoyed, make a conscious effort to redirect. You may not be able to eliminate the negative situation entirely, but you can keep it from ruining your entire day and your good mood.
Remember that you don’t have to wait for everything to fall into place perfectly before you let yourself feel genuinely happy. In fact, many times happiness comes from appreciating and enjoying completely imperfect moments.