I can choose to be happy.
It all started when I was a child. Every Saturday, Michelle and I would do our housekeeping chores. But we would have additional cleaning responsibilities if we were having guests or before holidays. During those times, mom would be present and I remember these times well.
She would explain the importance and urgency of the chores. I think my sister and I were low on the continuum of “buy-in”. Then to encourage us, before turning us loose, Mom would always, always say, “Alright girls, let’s get this house cleaned up…and let’s have fun!”
I don’t think this actually worked in my child’s mind, but it has affected me deeply in adulthood.
You see, I know I get to choose my happiness–or not. It all depends on the thoughts I purposefully think.
Let me explain.
An example of this in action was a practice that I utilized during my last couple of years of teaching. I would drive a 1/2 hour to school every day. I loved listening to podcasts and audiobooks. But once I hit the parking lot, I needed to transition to TEACHER. In order to do this, I would often… usually sing “I Feel Good” as I walked through the parking lot, up the stairs, and down the hallway to my classroom. It got my head in the right place–to be the teacher I wanted to be. The simple lyrics to this song still pop me into a place of positive anticipation.
Whoa! I feel good, I knew that I would, now
I feel good, I knew that I would, now So good, so good, I got you
More recently, I was in a challenging work position. I was struggling with having a positive mindset (even starting out with James Brown’s iconic song). So I challenged myself to find someone to compliment or appreciate every day. I hoped that by taking some positive actions, my mind would respond with the positive vibes I was creating by feeling happier.
Once, it was Lynnette in maintenance who kept the break room astonishingly neat and clean. Or, a trainer, Stacy, who gave the perfect amount of “wait time” before helping out while expecting me to memorize a work pattern. Still, another instance was Dave, a co-worker who was quick with smiles and regularly complimented me on my persistence and commitment to achieving mastery of the job.
Perhaps the easiest person to appreciate was Alex. She was so darn positive and cheerful. I often saw her laughing and joking with co-workers. Once I witnessed her DANCING down the hallway arriving for her shift. I told her that she was the mythical unicorn of the facility and I was sure that she even pooped rainbow sparkles. (I did feel kind of weird after I made this comment, however.)
This is all to say, that I made sure to not just smile and be silently appreciative. These people were making daily positive contributions to the work environment that were usually taken for granted. So, I told them that I noticed their actions. I said that they were impacting me in a positive way, and I appreciated them.
Whoa! I feel nice, like sugar and spice
I feel nice, like sugar and spice
So nice, so nice, I got you
So, sometimes I can choose to be happy by just deciding it.
Other times I can create my own “happy” by acknowledging the happiness and positivity in others.
I feel good…
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