Happiness is a Choice

The year 2017 was by far the toughest year I had encountered in my life. It wasn’t meant to be that way I thought, putting expectation on what I expected life to be like. The reality is, we don’t have control over everything in our lives, but we do have the ability to control how we act, respond, and move forward in the here and now. We cannot influence the past, but we can control this present moment and lay the foundations for the future.

2017 saw a lot of struggle for myself. In the lead up to my wedding, my partner and I had a massive falling out with my family who in the end didn’t attend our wedding. One of the most testing moments I have ever encountered. Fast forward, we took off on our honeymoon for 6 months around Central and South America which was absolutely amazing. We return home and 4 days later we separate. November 19 it was and it was for me the cherry on top of a truly intense 12 months on the back of an emotion and drama filled 2 years prior. I won’t go into details, but I was shattered due to sharing an amazing 12 years with with this beautiful soul as my best friend and soul mate. Our breakup was not poisonous, it was actually beautiful in how it unfolded and it showed the level of respect we have for one another. What a shame it would be to tarnish 12 beautiful years with hurtful words and negativity.

A few days following this taking place, I stayed at a friends house and watched a Tony Robbins video on Netflix. I can say that in this moment, it changed my life, my perception on life’s events, and how I was going to respond to my latest challenge. Earlier in the year when the drama unfolded with my family, my whole life was surrounded by negativity. I felt like a victim, had a pity party for myself, and I invited everyone. I then went overseas and it was like I had woken up. I saw people so happy with so little, and it put my “issues” into perspective. Whilst I felt betrayed more than I had ever in my life, I had a moment saying “snap the hell out of it”. Then to really throw me onto a new course, the Tony Robbins documentary was the cherry on top. Thank you Mr Robbins.

I decided in that moment, tears streaming down my face (ironically), that I was not going to play the victim card, and I was going to CHOOSE to be happy. It was a mindset shift in that moment. I was heartbroken and felt like I had truly hit the lowest point I had in my life, but I was optimistic. I was choosing me, my health, my well being, and a path forward that I would define with optimism, integrity, and belief that I can move forward and do amazing things. For the years previous, my partner and I had prioritised many other people over us, and also over ourselves. I lost myself in the years leading up to 2017 which was a hard thing to admit, but it was necessary for me to acknowledge. This was my foundation for moving forward. To rediscover me.

So, 3 months on now (it is currently 17/02/2018) from my partner and I splitting, I am happy and have never felt so driven to push forward for where I need to be. I made the choice to be happy in one of the most challenging moments in my life, and I showed that it is possible for others that through adversity, how we respond is what makes or breaks us. We have choices to make about whether we will let emotions rule our lives, or whether we acknowledge the emotions coming into our heads but act out of reason.

Now, the path to remaining happy has not been through me simply pushing forward on my own. I have had some amazing support from family and friends who in my times of struggle when they do hit, they have helped pick me up. 90% of the time has been joyous, but in the 10% time where the sadness of circumstance sinks in, I have lived and embraced the emotion. Hiding or running from pain is not the answer, it must be lived, breathed through, and embraced to move forward. Not only has the support of my friends been pivotal here, but the other routines I have adopted to help me in my life has helped to lay the groundwork to build a better me and to grow.

Some of the things I have adopted and enjoyed in my time of rebuilding myself, include:

  • Meditation each morning upon waking up.
  • Writing in a journal each morning and establishing a gratefulness practice. Writing a few things each day that I am grateful for to have in my life.
  • Training in the gym each day.
  • Not listening to the news which is often filled with negativity, hurt and suffering.
  • Listening to some amazing and inspiring podcasts. Some examples of episodes that are amazing:
    • Tim Ferris: Terry Crews
    • Tim Ferris: Catherine Hoke
    • London Real: Dandapani
    • The School of Greatness: Novak Djokovic
  • Joining an online course surrounded by some amazing people and mentors.
  • Prioritising time with friends.
  • Enjoying times in silence and solitude.

One of the key things I have learned in my journey to self has been discovering that life doesn’t happen to us, it happens for us. It may sound like a cliche’, but I what has happened in my life this past few years has enabled me to be a stronger person. It was like the launching pad for me moving forward. They say that when you hit the canvas, the only way is up. I feel like I have been there and I have now never had more direction and drive to excel in my life. The choice to be happy has been radiating in everything that I do. It has impacted my friendships, my work, my ambition, the random conversations I have, and my perception on reality in full.

Some truly atrocious things happen in this world and my life isn’t that bad. There are many people in this world who dream to be where you are, or where I am in our current life that we sometimes perceive as not enough. So, get grateful for the beautiful things that you do have. Your sight, your family, your job, the beautiful nature you pass on your way to work, the sun, the beach, the random conversations you have with strangers, your coffee. Once you start paying attention to the things you have in your life that we often skip over each day, you will become happier and more content with where you are now.

There is a quote that was made famous by Wayne Dyer and it really fits in well with the train of thought within this post.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change. – Wayne dyer.

If you choose to focus on all the negative things that are happening in life, in the World and all around, you will no doubt be molded into a negative person. If the choice is made to focus on the generosity, positivity and joyous moments that happen in life and that you can see all around if you simply pay attention, your mindset will shift further to the positive. This is what Wayne Dyer was getting at. Choose the positive and your life will change with that choice.

Peace & Love.

Dan

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