I've said this before, and I don't apologise for repeating myself – choosing to be happy doesn't mean always feeling happy. Life will still throw stuff at you that makes you tired, sad, guilty, excited, distraught, overwhelmed, giddy, forlorn, lost, apathetic (you get the idea) but by choosing to 'be happy' you retain a core of being grateful and an approach to life that remains positive. (This blog post explains this is much greater depth!)
But not everyone is ready to choose happiness, and here are 3 very good reasons why you really don't want to be happy:..
1) IT IS REALLY HARD WORK
Keeping a positive mindset and being happy isn't a case of taking a magic pill and never having to worry about anything ever again. Your life will still have as many challenges and tough times as it always has and it takes strength and determination to get through them in a positive way. Choosing to be happy and stay happy takes daily mindset work – constant positive self-talk and practices of being grateful and not taking things for granted. They'll be days when you've had enough and you need a wallow – but then it takes more mind work to kick yourself back into a more positive place.
Choosing to be happy is like enrolling on a long term course in mindset training – it's a commitment to small steps, taken every day to keep your outlook positive and your mindset a happy one. Like I said, it's hard work!
2) NOBODY REALLY CARES IF YOU'RE HAPPY
Think of all the posts you see on social media that get lots of attention, or the stories that make the newspapers and magazines. They're the ones that feature heartbreak, drama, sadness and upset. No-one reports a nice calm day, a mundane Tuesday with no drama or makes headlines with a happy marriage. People court attention with dramatic emotion – and we seem primed to react to it. So to be happy, means you will become, well a bit invisible really. No-one else will really notice.
You have to live a life that is for yourself and your own satisfaction – not one that is lived out for the entertainment or judgement of others. There is no doing or saying things to cause drama and gain attention – you have to be satisfied and happy with your lot in such a way that you don't need the approval or attention of others to make you feel worthy. You have to step away from the dramatically vague facebook statuses and instead embrace your invisibility cloak of happiness.
3) YOU CAN'T BLAME ANYONE (OR ANYTHING) ELSE ANYMORE
Now this is a big one. Choosing to be happy means taking full responsibility for ALL your emotions and how you use them! It means accepting that you have no power over how anyone else behaves or indeed over a lot of what happens to you but you do have full control over how you behave and how you feel – and that means you can't shift responsibility for your feelings anywhere else.
You can't blame your childhood for holding you back, or your bitchy friend for making you feel sad. A bad boss, an aggressive driver, the bank manager, your selfish partner or the woman on the till at Aldi – none of them have any responsibility for your happiness (or lack of it). Only you do. I repeat. Only you do. By all means react to any of these people or events in a natural and emotional way – but then you decide to stay in that negative space or move your way back to a happier one.
And this involves the hefty stuff too. Big trauma, past tragic events, life changing moments. To be happy, you have to call a truce with them. And I don't say that glibly – doing this can be huge and involve help and professional support if needed (I did say in number 1 that being happy is hard work!) but blaming other people and life events for how we feel is again handing responsibility for our emotions to someone or something else – but we need to grab hold of all our emotions ourselves. Only when we own them, completely and utterly, can we take control of them and make choices over how we use them. And this won't happen overnight – in fact, it could take years – but it starts in an instant with the choice to take responsibility and the decision to choose happiness.
So as you can see there are some very good reasons why you really don't want to be happy. It's hard, it takes effort to get there and stay there and you have to actually take responsibility for yourself to do it (which is by far the hardest part). But you know what, if you do chose to be happy, and take the necessary steps to get there, my word, it'll change your life.