Happiness

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Ever have one of those days where you seem to come across the same idea multiple times. Like somebody is trying to send you a message if you can connect the dots. For some reason, happiness related things have just kind of crossed my path a couple of times so maybe I should write about them.

Yesterday, I was talking with the guy who runs the fitness center at work. What I really like about this guy is that he genuinely wants to help people with anything related to fitness. He runs a handful of Fitbit challenges every week and so he sends me invites. I was beating him this week so we were talking about that.

Then, he gets into a bit about his life. Kind of an interesting story. He had some health issues as a kid and he stopped being active which lead to what you’d expect. Not happy with how he looked, he got his parents to get him a pull up bar which he positioned strategically to encourage use. Said he started doing it morning and night. One of those cases where you start with something small but keep at it and you lose weight and gain muscle.

That kind of lead him to keep going with fitness and bodybuilding in particular. Anyway, the point is that he was talking about how much you can control how you feel through your actions. Not perfectly of course but the days you find the discipline to get to the gym rather than sitting in front of a TV or computer are the days you are going to feel better about yourself.

Then I read another blog post that covered a similar topic. I know it is not this simplistic but a big part of it may just be choosing to be happy. Choosing to do the things that make you happy or make you feel good about yourself. Looking for the good. Not dwelling on the bad. For me, I see myself as a work in progress. It isn’t always easy but I think I’ve managed to stay mostly on the good side and, even with all the stuff that is going on, I still feel happy most days.

We were out to dinner tonight and this lady came in (her husband had let her off because it was raining). The server showed her to a table and asked if that would be OK. Her response was “Well it will have to be because you don’t have any free booths”. Trust me, her tone made it obvious this was a major irritation for her. And all I could think was “are you seriously that unhappy”. Is sitting at a table rather than a booth really going to ruin your life?

It reminds me also of two people on my team. There is one who just seems to complain about everything. She came in the other day, stopped in my office and asked if this was the complaint department. I said no but she still went on about how the parking garage was ruining the view of the sunset. True, but the parking garage has been there for years and couldn’t you just have enjoyed the view for the time you could see it?

I mean she complains where there isn’t enough to do and complains about being busy. There is just nothing that really seems to make her happy. Contrast this with the other person who is going through some serious health issues (RA + Lupus) and just has days where it is a struggle to get up. But she has a little sign on her desk “Start each day with a grateful heart”. Is she positive 100% of the time. Of course not but she’s a heck of lot more pleasant to be around than the first person. When that first person starts whining, I really want to just tell her to go look at person #2 who really got the short end of the stick but doesn’t sit around all day complaining about everything.

Almost every day will have good moments but if you just focus on what is wrong, you never really appreciate the good stuff.

For example, I ran into Kid T today at the flower show. Just one of those random encounters but it was good to see her again. She asked how the dancing was going and was happy I had continued. Guess she saw our Showcase pictures from the fall and thought we looked good. OK, that’s not really related but I wanted to talk about it anyway.

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