Teaspoon of HappyShades of HappinessSarah May Bates

We often measure the success of our lives by whether or not we’re happy enough, taking the slightest lull in our mood as a sign that something is wrong. However, those long stretches of “middle” are often where we are processing who we are: making decisions about how we feel about our current life and deciding where we want to go moving forward. If you’re feeling just okay about your life, or maybe you’re frustrated you haven’t reached the stage you want to be, consider the idea that you’re exactly where you should be right now.  This is just a part of your road to get there. Think of it as a rare middle in life: nothing is wrong or too late or less-than.  No “should” applies, because this is your life and no one else’s, and it’s all just part of living.  Your next stage simply hasn’t arrived on the horizon yet. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong, focus on listening to where you want to go.  Expand yourself as often as possible and traverse this time with open ears and open eyes.  Stay on course and don’t give in to the vortex of negative energy. Your life can be much better than you see it is.

Happiness is a decision you make about how you will approach your life, and because it is a mindset, it can be constant– even when your life in literal terms is not what you would deem as ideal for one reason or another.  Because like a color scale, happiness comes in a variety of shades to match the array of emotional experiences you have throughout life. Some are just brighter than others, or more popular because they come with a chemical thrill. The richness of your life only comes from the palette in its entirety – from the dark to middle to light. Life shouldn’t be a constant gush of euphoria, for that would get boring, and it’d mean you’d lose complete perspective on the true weight and value of your experiences.

As silly as it may sound, to be able to function as a responsible, reliable person who doesn’t give in to impulses, represents a great amount of inner strength and maturity. You are a successful individual with a strong foundation, and you should be proud of this ability – as it’s something built through discipline and honest effort. Know that you will reap the rewards of the stability you foster and as you progress through life it will promote your happiness in ways you cannot imagine. And as you continue to grow, you will grow at faster and faster speeds. Almost like a cartoon snowball barreling down a mountain: the longer you try your best the more momentum you build, and the easier it gets.

Sometimes when we don’t feel enough is happening in our lives, we get anxiety, and that can lead to giving in to impulses and destructive behaviors, which only move us backwards on our path. To maintain a state of inner calm, accept the up’s and down’s, the middle’s, and just be – that is what builds a Launchpad of a foundation.  That stability is what gives you the footing you need to grow into your “best” self. If you feel stuck and you’re getting an itch to do something destructive, replace that instinct with a positive action that broadens your horizon in any direction.  Start taking a new class, try a new kind of exercise, read a self-bettering book you wouldn’t normally think to try, and don’t let yourself be lazy about it. Know that any feelings of anxiety will pass.  Just try to use your smartest thinking and move toward the general direction of your greater goals in life.  When the perfect change is ready to happen, it will happen.  You will see it clearly, it will feel right and easy, and then you’ll just do.

When you make a decision to be positive and act as your best self, what happens is you stop hiding from your true abilities. From the outside in, you rise to the occasion. When you encounter challenges, you conquer them and experience dramatic growth.  When others are petty, you rise above it.  When you could do the minimum, you go for what you know you’re capable of: which is excellent.  It all starts with a decision about yourself. And that decision becomes your reality.  You unlock secret powers inside yourself that catapult you toward the life you really want.

A happy life is a decision you get to make. You can decide to live as your best self. To grow above. To be kind and forgiving. To eat healthier at lunch. To stop wasting energy on what’s negative, and instead look for solutions in your power to change.  You get to decide all of those things everyday.  And once you commit to that decision, the rest is easy. When you stumble, you simply remind yourself of who you are.  And you try harder. And then life falls into place. Just because today isn’t adorned with all the bells and whistles of a cheering crowd and a golden statue with your name on it, doesn’t mean it’s not great.  And it doesn’t mean you’re not a success. Smile and know that you are on the right path, even if you didn’t recognize it at first. Just focus on where you’re headed. Because things move quickly when you aspire to be your best.

Happy Sunday lovelies! xox Sarah

Featured image via tamara noland

comments

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  1. SO BRILIANT, Sarah! This is exactly what I believe about happiness being a mindset, an attitude, but I’ve never really thought of it like that. I love the color scale analogy. Your words are really beautiful and wel-thought and you speak for me, as always. xx

  2. I don’t know if I’ve ever read something so astute and so needed at this point in my life. Thank you infinitely for this. It is truly wonderful.

  3. love this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Well, I know you’re a comedy writer and everything, but that was really poignant and i am *tear* tearing up a little bit. What an affirmation your article is! I am bookmarking it and looking to it later in life when things get tough. :)

  5. I love this so much! This is by far the best that I’ve ever read, considering what I’m going through right now, which is exams. I felt like giving in for tomorrow’s chemistry exam but I guess a motivation speech from an estranger writer gets me right back to the positive side of my path. Thank you so much for this.

    • Thank you, Alyssa!! That makes me very happy to read – this took me a long time to write so it means a lot that it impacted you this way. xoxo Good luck with exams!! Sarah

  6. Thanks Hello Giggles. Really clever, I feel better and now I’m ready to try new things in my life. Really.

  7. I love this. Thank you so much.

  8. I love this site and this article. How does Hello Giggles (and New Girl) seem to find the right content for me at the right time? Thank you for making such an amazing community that I hope to one day have some articles I can submit to be posted! :-)

  9. It can be hard to be happy. Ever since I lost my leg in Dec 2011, life has changed. Things look differently and I was recently in the hospital again for 2 weeks. Trying to maintain your positive attitude is hard. But I do my best and joked with the nurses and doctors in the hospital. I’m also in online classes and try to forward myself. You can be happy even with setbacks, of which I’ve had many. The positive attitude is the key. Get up and start your day with a good attitude. It’s hard some days but be positive. God Bless

    • Paul – I have not lived what you are going through so I cannot say that I know how you feel, however I know when I recognize someone who has overcome difficulty and hardship in their life – because there is something profoundly different about them. They have a great capacity to love, to see beauty, and to enjoy the gifts of life. I truly believe as hard as this time is for you, you will come out the other side of it a strong, kind, beautiful person with a heart much bigger than average. And that is worth more than anything in this world. Thanks for your comment – wishing you much love, xo Sarah

  10. This is the best article ever !
    Touching yet motivating right from the first sentence to the last.
    Love it !!

  11. Thank you!! This exactly what I needed to hear today.

  12. This good advice is something this guy could use too! Words of wisdom continue to pour forth from Hello Giggles. Keep up the great work!

  13. Just the thing I needed to hear and read! Really inspiring, so easy for us to forget and take for granted whilst focusing on what we don’t have yet..thank you for posting this!x

  14. Thanks, this is great.