Today, I choose Happiness!! I’m trying like hell, anyway

If Voltaire could choose to be happy, why am I having such a hard time?
If Voltaire could choose to be happy, why am I having such a hard time?

Some days are easier than others; you wake up, smile to the rising sun and choose to greet the day with a positive attitude. It’s a great day to have a great day!  Things could be worse! Count your blessings!   But some days it really, really takes a great deal of effort to smile, to forget the wrongs being done continually by inconsiderate people.  Some days are a lot more gray than others. It’s just the way of the world.

There is a fine line between shrugging things off “for the greater good” and putting your foot down and saying “enough is enough”.   When someone doesn’t bother to honor my feelings, or at least my professional dignity, it can be hard to feel part of a team; it makes me feel more like a cog in a very rusty wheel.  A wheel running willy-nilly down a steep hill.  I suppose every time you put yourself out there, take down the wall and allow yourself to get lost in something, there is the possibility that someone will hurt you.  Without the protection of thick skin, emotional distance and professionalism, it’s a lot easier to feel the pain of disappointment.

For me, passion is not an option; it’s who I am.  When I love something, become passionate about it, I cannot give less than 100%.  I put my Taurus head down and pour my heart and soul into it. It becomes part of my identity.  It’s not just a job, a relationship, a hobby.  I’m all or nothing and while I try not to, I take life very, very seriously.  This trait can obviously lead to a lot of disappointment, heartache and the desire to just give up completely.  Unfortunately, that’s not an option for me either.

It’s my own fault I suppose.  Over and over again I put my trust in people who do not deserve it. I give myself over to situations I cannot control and hope (with all my might) that this time, this time, things will be better.  And when they aren’t, when I still have the same results, I chastise myself for being naïve enough to believe again.  Because by then, it’s too late. I’ve already given myself over. Because I don’t know another way of being, I keep believing in people. I keep trying.

It’s a choice to be happy and it’s a hard, hard choice to make on days such as this. The biggest problem for me is that I want to make a difference.  I want to be more than just your average gal.  I’m smart, I’m loyal, I’m passionate and I give my all.  But for some reason, I’m incredibly obtuse when it comes to believing in the wrong people.  In believing that this time it will be different.  This isn’t my first heartbreak. This isn’t my first let down.  I’m 46.  I’d love to have the option of not caring, of not trying, but it’s just not who I am.  So, I take a deep breath, build another layer on my already thick skin, and put another brick in my wall.  I paste on a smile, try my very best to shine despite my pain, and keep on going.

While I can’t control how other people treat me, I do have control of how I treat myself.   Anger and pain is a poison that destroys my ability to be happy; destroys my ability to be the person I want to be.  So I’ll repeat slowly and often, “I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health”.  And sooner or later, I’ll believe it.

As sung by one of my favorites, Frank Sinatra (written by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields)

Pick Yourself Up

Now nothing’s impossible, I’ve found for when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again.
Don’t lose your confidence if you slip, be grateful for a pleasant trip,
And pick yourself up, dust off, start over again.
Work like a soul inspired until the battle of the day is won.
You may be sick and tired, but you be a man, my son.
Will you remember the famous men who have to fall to rise again,
So take a deep breath, pick yourself up, start all over again.
(musical interlude)
You gotta work like a soul inspired until the battle of the day is won.
You may be sick and tired, but you be a man, my son.
Will you remember the famous men who have to fall and then to rise again,
So take a deep breath, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.
(musical interlude)
Once again now:
Will you remember the famous men who have to fall and then rise again,
So take a deep breath, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.
That’s enough now.

As Promised…my Personal Mission Statement

I worked and reworked it…but I think it states who I am and who I wish to become.  I highly recommend doing your own and I’m making it a requirement for my children before they’re allowed to leave the roost 😉

I aim to nurture my mind, soul and heart with ageless wisdom; I want to pass my knowledge on to future generations, reminding people of the fragility of humanity across time and that we are all connected.  I wish to never do harm to animal or human.  I never want to stop learning, growing and evolving into the absolute best person I can be.  Through actions as well as words, I aim to always be a good role model for my children and all who touch my life; a positive influence always.  I wish to ultimately become a Sage, a wise, gentle soul who passes knowledge on to all who listen. To surround myself with those who help me create positive growth and distance myself (guiltlessly) from those who wish to hold me back.  I aim to never hold hate in my heart, but to replace the negative with empathy, kindness and acceptance.  I wish to have a beautiful soul to take into the next life.

Personal Mission Statement

It’s been a long time since I took a class, but I recently signed up for a year of classes through Franklin Covey. Cheesy perhaps, but I’m finding them just what I need in my life right now.  The “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is the basis for the classes (of course) and while I know these are really nothing new in life, it’s good to have them pointed out to us from time to time.

A few of the classes are interactive videos that walk you through the Habits; I just completed 1-3 last night.  One step in the process is to come up with a Personal Mission Statement.  The thought had never once crossed my mind. Sure, I’ve helped with our company Mission Statement, but the idea of a personal one was foreign to me.  Until I thought about it.  What’s the saying, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”?  I began to wonder if the choices I’ve made in my life would have been different if I’d had a Mission Statement of my own.  So, with the help of the Franklin Covey resources, I’ve started sketching one out.  There are 10 pieces to consider:

Performance:   I’m at my best when…

I’m at my worst when…

Passion:                What do I really love at work…

What do I really love in my personal life…

Talents:                What are my natural talents and gifts?

Imagination:     If I had unlimited time and resources and knew I couldn’t fail, what would I choose to do? (no brainer there, but even I was a bit surprised on what came out along with “be a writer”)

Vision:                  Your life is an epic journey and you are the hero.  What are you doing, who is it for, why are you doing it and what is the journey’s results?

Character:           It’s your 80th birthday.  Who will be there and what tribute statement would you like them to make about you?

Contribution:    What is the most important future contribution would you make to the most important people in your life?

Conscience:     Are there things you feel you should really do or change even though you’d dismissed them many times before? What are they?

Influence:         Name three people who have influenced you and name one quality/attribute for each person

Balance:          What is the single, most important thing you do for balance that gives the greatest impact in these areas:





These are the questions I’m answering to try and help me with my Personal Mission Statement…and each one is a volume of information on who I am (that’s the purpose, duh!).  Each one of these questions makes you stop and truly consider what is important and dig into who you really are.  What you want, what you desire, what you need to be completely true to yourself.  What if we taught THIS in high school?  What if every teenage child was asked to create a Mission Statement and to be true to it?  Think of the understanding they could gain from their lives.  Think of the direction it would give them in some of their most turbulent times.  Why AREN’T we teaching this?

I find the idea of a Personal Mission Statement much like spiritual guidance; we are asked to look deep within, pull out everything that truly means something to us, and put it on paper.  We are asked to live with truth and balance in our lives based on our OWN needs and desires.  Will it change as we age? Of course!  But the basics will always be there.  It’s a guide to our own heart, soul and deepest needs that no one else can provide.  People often live their lives based on religious doctrine set down by others, but rarely create their own.  If God is in each and every one of us, doesn’t it only make sense that He/She has given us our own doctrine deep within? We just need to dig down, find it, and live by it.

One sample was “I hope to be the person my dog already thinks I am”.  Think of the power that small statement has.  How it would shape your thoughts and actions towards yourself and others!  Mine is a work in progress and I promise to publish the finished product here 🙂