Happiness is a choice.

Most would agree that life is too short to be unhappy and dissatisfied. However, it’s often hard for people to make the necessary changes to evoke more joy in their lives. Happiness is a choice that often requires work to achieve. The more dedicated we are to living a meaningful and authentic life, the more motivated we are to make the changes necessary to bring balance harmony and ultimately happiness to our lives.

Just who are you?
This is the first question we must ask ourselves when it comes to creating happiness. We have to know ourselves enough to develop a relationship with ourselves. This keeps us rooted to our truest selves, and the process begins with self-acceptance. Self-acceptance opens the door to personal growth and self-love.

Being Purple in a Yellow Crowd
It’s hard to be openly different. It takes a lot of courage and self-acceptance to go against the status quo. This becomes an extremely difficult rite of passage during the teen years. Most of us don’t master this ability as teenagers. It takes years of learning about ourselves and what brings us joy and happiness, to develop the strength needed to stand on our own. Pop culture is often a source of pressure, because the media often promotes sameness in a broad sweeping sense, and downplays authenticity if it’s not catchy and broadly popular. In order to fully embrace who we are, it often requires respecting our own personal uniqueness even if who and what we are are not widely popular.

Happy Being You
When we hide who we are, or simply refuse to truly embrace it, it becomes impossible to maximize our peace and happiness. It’s a way of denying ourselves the opportunity to continue to grow in our own uniqueness and authenticity. We instead force ourselves to live counterfeit lives, showing the face that garners the greatest amount of peer approval, instead of the face that accurately depicts who we are and what we value. We can enjoy cooking and dream of opening our own restaurant, often spending hours combing the internet for the perfect ribbon blender, but if we hide this, we stifle our own uniqueness.

Learning self-acceptance naturally leads to personal growth and development. As we bloom, we discover things we didn’t know before, as a result. The more we commit to being true to ourselves and our own personal growth, it makes it easier for us to stand out, if need be. When we are fearless enough to openly practice our own unique authenticity we inherit all the benefits of this practice: peace, joy, harmony, self-love, and ultimately…happiness.