Half & half

 Have you noticed how some people look generally unhappy and sad while others look happy and content? I am not referring to those moments of sadness and happiness that we all have as we sail through this adventure we call life but more to a permanent state they tend to display.

Maybe is a co-worker, a neigborgh or a distant family member, but every time you cross paths with them they are always unhappy and complaining about something -old or new-. You know, the person that is driving in front of them can’t do anything right, or the cat is too loud, or too quiet, maybe is too cold or too hot, and the list of complains goes forever.

If we want, we can find enough reasons to be sad and miserable our entire life. Or… We can live a happy, fulfilling life under exactly the same circumstances. It is a matter of half and half.

Half of the equation to a better life is what just happens to us. Those things we can not control such as the weather, an unexpected sickness, the kind of co-workers we get. That is the “circumstantial half”. There is not much you can do to influence that part.

The other half (the important one) is how we choose to react to those things. Yes, you read it right, it is a matter of choice and that is entirely up to us. If it is a sunny day, I can choose to complain about how hot it is or enjoy a nice stroll in the park. The weather has not changed, only the way I decide to react about it. This is the “Attitude half”. And there is a whole lot of things I can do to influence that part.

The attitude half is a crucial factor in determining how miserable or happy we will be in any given situation. Oddly enough, many people will choose the unhappy path without even realizing that the dark shadow casted over them is their own doing. On the other hand, by making better choices we can learn to enjoy nearly every situation that life throws at us.

I am not suggesting that by making good decisions for the attitude half life will be all nice, easy and rosy. We will always face the ups and downs of life. Some times we will be happy, some sad and some others we will experience a combination of emotions that we will find hard to describe. That is what makes us humans!

But I am sure that the choices we make regarding the attitude half will influence our overall perception of life and make a difference on how we go about our days. In any case, what is the alternative? Just go from one day to the next with a general sense of dissatisfaction? Mmmhhh… Not a good option. Is it? I rather try and maybe, just maybe something good will come out of it.

And do not worry too much about the circumstantial half. There is not much you can do to influence the weather anyway!

-Stein