I want to be happy.


Last year I read Stephanie Nielsen’s post on “happiness is a choice“.
[As some of you may know Stephanie was in a life-altering plane crash.]

I marvel at how the hardest trials in our lives teach us the most necessary lessons.

Here is a great quote from her memoir  Heaven is Here:
{Go here, for my book review.}

“But even with all that others were willing to offer me, I realized along the way that ultimately nothing they did could make me happy. I felt comforted by family and my faith, but peace was different from happiness. At first I thought stubbornly that the only thing that would make me happy was for my life to look like it did before the accident. But no one could give that to me, and no one else could make me happy. Happiness was my choice, and though it is hard won, I am the only person who can stand in the way of it.”

I wholeheartedly concur that happiness is a choice. I often hear people complain about their lives and I understand that complaining is a tempting choice (one I give into often), but I guess I have learned the hard way that complaining doesn’t accomplish anything. In fact, if anything, complaining does nothing but make everything seem worse.

I concur that happiness is a choice, but I like how Stephanie put it: It is hard won. I don’t think we just say, “O.k. I am going to be happy,” and then we are magically happy. I think that we say, “I am going to choose happiness,” and then we alter our choices to make sure we are happy. It requires a lot of exercise to do this, but I have found that I have become a lot better at happiness as I have matured.

Here are the ways I have changed to become a happier person:

  1. I try no to complain and count my blessings instead.
  2. I take care of myself and no longer feel guilty about it.
  3. I try to live vulnerably.
  4. I have positive self-talk and work every day on loving myself.
  5. I change and set healthy boundaries and  try to live with love in my heart for everyone around me. (This is definitely the most difficult.)

How do you choose happiness? I would love to have more happy tools in my arsenal.

Oh and I love this song from the broadway show No, No, Nanette.


But it sure was a bummer when I figured out that the song was full of one really big lie.
We can absolutely be happy even when other people aren’t.
In fact maybe that’s the most important time to choose it for ourselves, when others around us are always miserable because misery loves company and who wants to be the miserable company.



  1. Hi Alice!
    Great post, as always!
    In line with your #1 post from above, my primary source of happiness comes from thankfulness. While I certainly have many blessings I call my own, I find greater joy in remembering that I am entitled to nothing. Everything I have is a gift! For me, it’s about giving and teaching thanks!
    Love you!

    1. Stephanie, thank you for sharing the entitlement thought. I think just believing that everything we get is a gift can be a really powerful source of greater happiness. I am going to try and focus on that today. Miss you like crazy.

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