It is posited that the majority of people abandon their New Year’s resolution before the end of January. In the end, what we have practiced (intentionally and unintentionally) overtakes our best ideas. Making new habits takes intentionality. Creating our own reality about both new and old habits also takes intentionality.
As we head into fall, and the many holidays of the seasons, many good ideas will be thought and followed, for awhile at least. At this time of year, we typically use words like “gratitude,” “thankfulness,” and “joy” more often without consciously reflecting about what those mean – both in our lives and in the lives of the people around us.
We want to “be” something (happy, content, successful) but we’re not quite sure how we’re going to get to that state of being. Often we are not very realistic about what that state of being will bring us. We think of being “happy” or being “successful” and set an unrealistic expectation of what this state of being will look like and feel like. We think once we have arrived at this destination we can check the box and it’s smooth sailing from there. Then comes a bad day. Uh-oh. There goes our state of being out the window. How can we be happy if we’re sad? How can we be successful when we screw it all up?
It is easy to think of happiness or success as a destination rather than a journey. In today’s world, happiness and success can feel unattainable with our all-access pass to the filtered view of other people’s lives via the constant news cycle and ever available social media.
Joy is a choice. Happiness is an emotion that comes and goes, just like sadness or any other emotion. But joy is a state of BEING. We can be joyful even when we screw it all up. It takes a whole lot of practice. It takes a whole lot of discipline. It takes a whole lot of patience. It takes a whole lot of support. And, of course, it takes a whole lot of intentionality.
We must choose. Not just annually on New Year’s Eve or Thanksgiving or any other holiday or event. We must choose every.single.moment. We must choose.