The happiness card.

Were you dealt one? Are you holding one in your hand? Do you plan to use it to win the game?

We either have “the happiness card” or we don’t. By that, I don’t mean if you weren’t born with it then you’re s*&^ out of luck. I mean that we either have it in our possession or not. And it is up to us to decide whether or not we do.

When you don’t have it

If our hand is devoid of the happiness card, we see bad. No matter where we turn there are things to worry about. We have a tendency to complain. We might feel anxious or depressed at times. The focus of our conversations is about things we’re dissatisfied with. Our shoulders hunch over and our eyes gaze low. The tone of our voice is uninviting and unwelcoming.

The lens through which we view our world is negatively tinted.

When you do have it

When we have the golden treasure, when we hold the happiness card in our hand, we feel excited to make our next move. We see good. No matter where we turn, there’s something to smile about. We make a point of living in a grateful state. We feel happy, energetic and motivated most of the time. The focus of our conversations revolves around the things we’re thankful for. Our posture is upright and oozing with a humble confidence, our eyes gazing upward as we take in the world around us. The tone of our voice is friendly and pleasant.

The lens with which we view our world is positively tinted.

Be happy

Today I asked my kids, “What should I write about today?”

My almost-five-year-old daughter answered, “About being happy all the time?”

I answered, “Wow, great sweetie. I love that topic.” Then I went on to ask, “So, how can we be happy all the time?”

She said, “By giving hugs. By giving kisses.”

I answered, “Yes, that’s beautiful. That definitely makes us feel happy.” (While I positively melted on the inside.) “What else?”

Then my six-and-a-half-year-old son piped up from the family room, “By showing people you love them, and being grateful!”

(Can you tell what my husband and I talk about with our kids on a regular? Jeez, they’re actually listening and taking it in. And that is so rewarding!)

For real though, happiness is a choice. It’s a state of mind. It’s a card we hold in our hands and we dealt it to ourselves. We either choose to play it or we don’t. When life is awesome, it’s easy to put it into play. But when everything isn’t so peachy keen, that’s where our use of the card gets tricky.

In those scenarios, I invite you to:

  • See the silver lining (however thin it may be)
  • Remember all the things you still have to be thankful for despite the misery in front of you
  • Catch your foul mood, see it, and make the conscious decision either to “be happy” in it (in other words, let it be) or turn it around and see how empowered you feel!

It’s up to you. Will you deal it? And more importantly, will you use it?