Be happy. I know what you must be thinking right now, “Sure thing, Raynor, I’ll just be happy.” I can even hear the sarcastic tone in that thought. For many people feeling happy is a rare thing and I understand that happiness can be hard to come by. What I want to let you know is that happiness can come into your life more frequently and for a more sustainable period of time. How? Well, it’s going to take some work on your part and also a shift of mindset.

Why do I suggest a change of your attitude? One of my favourite quotes of all time is by Abraham Lincoln, who I think does not need any introduction, he said, “Most folk are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Now, also realise where this quote is coming from. Abe had many setbacks and hard times in his life. He had to overcome the death of his fiancé, he failed in business, he failed in many different political races and even had a nervous breakdown. Still, he said even when life is only giving you lemons you can still be happy. Happiness is a choice. Debasish Mridha, the American physician, philosopher and author taught, “Choose to be happy, that is the only way to find happiness.”

So, when I tell you to choose to be happy I mean choose to let yourself be happy. This then allows you to go out and take responsibility to fill your life with the things that make you happy. Those things are different for each of us, but I read a great article on that shares 25 ways to be happy. So if you’re looking for suggestions on ways to find happiness I can highly recommend you read this article.

Now I know it can be hard and often we fall into the trap of letting the hard times take control of our moods and ultimately eradicating our happiness, but I do know that despite what life throws at you, you can still be happy. Now, I don’t mean that you are not allowed to feel, sad, depressed, stressed or anxious, but you cannot allow those feeling to linger and fester otherwise they will soon be in control of your overall moods. For instance, when my brother was murdered in 2007, I felt really sad, which is understandable and OK to feel. I had to go through a mourning period to get to grips with what life had thrown at me, but I couldn’t stay in that state of mind, I had to choose to carry on with my life and let go of those ill feelings. I had to choose to be happy. So, I chose to surround myself with people that made me feel better, I started playing football at a local football club and so on. I did the things that made me happy and I was able to have a genuine smile on my face.

I can relate countless other experiences that have made me sad, but I can honestly say that despite that I am happy. To paraphrase Debasish, choose to be happy and happiness will find you.

Your friend,