Friday, 11 December 2015

Choose Yourself, Choose Happiness

Okay I lied. The first part of the title is not exactly my headline, but a term I casually adopted from a venerable author James Altucher. He wrote the book Choose Yourself and albeit I have yet to get my hand on it, I reckon it’s going to be mind-blowing. I definitely can’t wait to get one!

Imagine ourselves lying on the floor, barely able to lift our heads, unsure of where and when to turn. James has thrived in the past by starting up so many companies, but hit rock bottom multiple times too. Every year is challenging for him, but he still continued to live each day clasping his Daily Practices (reading, writing, doing podcasts and inspiring others with his unique experience and brutally honest and creative ideas, BEING THANKFUL). 

Just this week alone I have been pondering on the idea of happiness. Even during Sunday Service in church 5 days ago, my pastor talked about choosing happiness. How much more coincident can it get because I have been pondering the same thought for the past few days prior to the service.

I honestly admit I am not exactly a happy-go-lucky person, in fact I am quite the opposite. I always find myself struggling in the dark space of depression. Maybe you will think I am exaggerating. Anyone who knows me personally will never think this is the case. So you are safe, you are not alone. There were countless times I thought of ending my life, and it was awfully easy. I chickened out. Also, I hate seeing people who love me crying, worse still because of me.

But how come?! I thought you are a Christian! You have your God with you and if you do everything He asks you to do faithfully, you will never find yourself having to struggle with all these, right? Well yeah, that’s why prayer is important to keep me in sanity. Maybe you can keep me in prayer.

In life, everything can pull you down. Jean-Paul Sartre said “Hell is other people”. Imagine you are having a nice day thus far, then on the way driving home, you find yourself almost crashing into a reckless insensible motorcyclist. Then you started cursing and your day is no longer nice. I am 99% sure I am not the only one who get irritated easily at little things like this, but really if we let others dictate our day, it’s not surprising our happiness can be robbed from us in a split second.

What about people you love and people who love you dearly? They too can bring us down. When you form a relationship or friendship with someone, you subconsciously put a price tag on that person. You set an expectation. The painful truth is that everyone wants something from you, including your parents.

The sooner you are able to figure out what is the something that everyone wants from you, the quicker you are able to realign the expectation set earlier on and save yourself from unforeseen disappointment risk. It can be love, career progression, business deal, or plain platonic relationship.

Maybe this is when we can choose to be happy, meeting optimum expectation others placed in you and in turn meeting others’ expectation. Now this sounds like a bad idea, but it’s true! Life is full with meeting expectations. Whether from parents, bosses, friends, lover, children etc. The key word here is optimum. Optimum always work the best.

Firstly, it can prevent ourselves from burning out. Secondly, it can help us not to be lackluster.

Even if nobody chooses you, the only person who can choose you is YOU yourself. Quit your 9-5 job if you failed to find any meaning in your work. You yourself have the ultimate power and capability to rise up to be the person you want to be, by exercising your own customized Daily Practices. I am no expert in this as I am still learning. But you know who to learn it from.

Choosing yourself would inevitably bring happiness into your life. That is when you realised the purpose of your life – why you are doing what you are doing. Doing what you love, at the same time satisfying your inner desires.

Maybe you would like to change the world. Maybe you would like to add values to your network, by connecting people within your network who don’t already know each other but would immensely blessed by one another had they known one another. Are you giving your dream a chance?

Moving forward one step at a time means you are not stopping and you are on track on achieving your dreams. 

Another vital key is to be thankful. Whenever I find myself not happy and have nothing significant to cheer on, I often forget about being thankful. It’s easier said than done. But to practice it religiously daily is not a mammoth task neither. If you have not already been doing this daily, be thankful the moment you open your eyes can start your day right.

To be honest, every morning when I wake up I will ask myself these few questions:

- Did I sleep enough? Am I energized sufficiently?
(If I didn’t sleep enough, I will feel like crap the whole day. There goes my day. Can’t even start it right.)
- Is there anything I can be thankful of?
(Hint: Of course there are plenty of them. The very fact you are awake now and reading this are themselves two blessings already.)
- How’s my schedule like today? And how can I improve it to make it better? 

Come out with your own questions. I am pretty sure you can do way better than me.

Start your day right and you will be delightedly surprised that happiness comes knocking your door.

Lastly, don’t let happiness stand outside your door. Let happiness soak into your heart chambers.

Happy people attract more people. It is not always the case that we can become happy on our own, so being able to happy innately is an enviable gift.

I'm choosing happiness. Are you up for it? 

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