I've been thinking a lot about this quote by Leo Tolstoy. Explained in such a simple way. If you want to be happy, simply be happy. If I want to be happy, all I need is to be.
My initial response to seeing this quote on Pinterest was, "Okay, yeah, that's right. Happiness is a choice.. I'll just choose to be happy." Well first, what does it mean to me to be happy? If I'm being completely frank and honest, to me, being happy is being positively distracted long enough from sadness that it isn't present on the mind.
After spending all day thinking about it, I decided this simple quote isn't actually that simple. Yes, I do agree to an extent that happiness is a choice. But I believe that after you make that choice, it requires effort. It requires work. It also requires consistency.. To be doesn't require much. Being is existing. We all exist. Without any effort or work at all.. But choosing to be happy is a constant effort.
I hate when people say, "Why are you so sad? Can't you just choose to not be sad?" Well, yeah. I can.. But then I have to focus on being happy, and do things that make me happy. Maybe hold Abigail extra tight, listen to soothing songs, go for a drive, maybe eat a bowl of my favorite ice cream, and sometimes, I just let myself be sad. Because I believe that on the journey to being happy, you also need to recognize that it's okay to have other feelings. That it's okay to not be 100% all the time.
Everyone has their own definition of happy, but I do believe that each one requires work and effort. Happiness isn't something handed to you. It takes actual muscle movement to even smile, or laugh.. So whether it be a mindset, or a goal, it takes training, it takes patience, and you’ll likely have setbacks. But I truly believe that we deserve to be happy. We all need to find what is prohibiting our happiness and leave it. Find what is promoting our happiness and nurture it.
If you want to be happy, work for it. And it will be worth it.