Although we might like to imagine otherwise, we are, for the most part, as happy as we choose to be.
Happiness is a choice.
But it’s not one choice that you make. This is where people get confused. They think they can wish or think themselves to happiness by one choice, like a magic button or the right lottery ticket. One choice and they win! Well, life doesn’t work that way, just like the gym doesn’t work that way. One lift will not make you strong. One workout will not make you fit. One PR will not make you accomplished. And one good job will not make your kids love you, or your partner stay, or the dog come home.
Happiness is a hundred choices. A thousand choices. A million choices. All day long. Every day. Every week. Every year of your life.
You choose your response to every situation, every person, everything. And, in that moment, you choose whether you will be on track for happiness, or despair. Or maybe even mediocrity, like some sort of emotional purgatory, where you never get to hell or to heaven. Yeah, that would suck, right?
Think about it. Think about your choices. There are so many ways any one situation can go, and so many ways your emotions can go. In the gym, and in life. When you suck at double unders, do you work them? Or ignore them, and hope they don’t come up in the WOD? If you miss a lift, do you walk away? Or blame someone else for distracting you? Maybe even fault yourself for not being “athletic” enough? If you’re a slow runner, do you dwell on that during the WOD? Maybe ignore the exhortations of your fellow classmates, who make a joyful noise in the little spare oxygen they have, just to cheer you on? Do you think only of your slow time, instead of the fact that you never quit? And do you make these same sort of choices outside the gym?
In these moments, however small or large, you are choosing your life.
Every situation will not be easy. All reactions are complex. But there are choices we can make to improve or degrade our lives — and these choices are rooted in our internal reaction just as much as action.
Every situation can seem to suck, or every situation can seem to hold the seeds for growth.
Choose well, my friends. And, remember, that happiness is not given, but chosen.