Recently at a conference I spoke at, I was interviewed on stage before I spoke. The person that was interviewing me, is a close friend. She refused to tell me any of the questions ahead of time… God love her! She was kind in mentioning that I am a joyful person and ask where I felt that joy came from? My response was, “it’s a choice”. I put more thought to that later and wanted to add one thing.
Do you know someone that they are always going to be happy when… I make more money, I can get a new car, when I find a spouse or get rid of the one they have, lose some weight, when I finally get a vacation, when our kids are old enough to… Guess what, they are NEVER going to be happy!
Abraham Lincoln said “People are as happy as they make up their mind to be.” Joyce Meyer has a book called “Making Good Habits”. I love that in the book, she talks mainly about making good habits and very little about breaking bad habits. She felt like if we create enough good habits we will slowly wipe out most of our bad habits. One of the habits she talks about is “The Happy Habit”. She says “I am convinced that happiness is a choice and a habit that we can develop.”
My husband and I raised 3 boys, two of them with special needs. I can promise you we went through some “stuff”! When I would share with friends, some of the “stuff” we were dealing with, they would be surprised. I had some mention that they had no ideal because they always saw me smiling and appearing happy. They questioned if I was being fake or not real with others. The first couple times I had people say that, I was taken back… they made me really question myself. Was I really joyful on the inside? Or was I putting on a front, smiling only on the outside? What I determine was, most the time I truly felt joyful and happy, in my innermost being and thankfully that was showing on the outside. I am very human in that I have tough days and moments. When I am dealing with “stuff” and there are tears, lots of tears! I just make a choice not to camp out too long in that space or energy.
Watching some of the Olympics just this week. Kerri Walsh Jennings, one of the USA, lady sand volleyball players, writes JOY on her hand before she plays. I saw one interview where she said it reminds her to remain playful and have fun while she is playing. She was being interviewed after just losing the semifinal round that took them out of being in contingent for the gold medal. The reporter ask Kerri again what having JOY on her hand meant to her. She said “It’s a reminder to me to remain grateful, I am a blessed woman”. Her and her teammate went onto win Bronze the next day. I love that… right after a loss, she was still able to remember she had so many things to be grateful for!
Tony Robbins in a recent interview talked about two states. State of suffering (stress, fear, frustration, anger, loss) or State of beauty (happy, playful, grateful, love, appreciation). We are going to spend time in both of these states… We just can’t be in both of these states at the same time. Therefore, we get to decide or make a choice on how long we are going to camp out in the state of suffering (emotionally draining) or the state of beauty (gives energy)!
The one thing I would add to the answer I gave at the conference, is that I can’t doing anything on my own, but… I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Philippians 4:13
Psalms 118:24 (NKJV) This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Make a choice today to be Joyful!
**The image is a t-shirt I got from a local Christian radio station. It has been a great conversation starter!**