Solely inspired by my mom’s daily email containing the thought of the day: “I believe that we are who we choose to be. Nobody is going to come and save you. You’ve got to save yourself. Nobody is going to give you anything. You’ve got to go out and fight for it. Nobody knows what you want except you, and nobody will be as sorry as you if you don’t get it. So don’t give up on your dreams.”

Over a year ago, my mom and I were at a nail salon just finishing up drying our nails when a lady came over to my mom. This lady (who apparently thought she knew my mom but my mom had no idea who she was) started telling us her life story. She told us how her husband has been cheating on her and how her kids are miserable at home because she is staying with him to the point where her son tried to run over his dad with a car. My mouth was agape and I could not hide how shocked I was. I mean, we were in the middle of the nail salon and I’m sure everyone was hearing this lady’s story. My mom asked the logical question when this women was done bearing her soul: why not divorce him? The stranger replied that she was Italian and it’s a very big deal to get a divorce as an Italian.

We left the nail salon shortly after. I was still trying to process what this woman had told us. She was willing to spend her whole life being miserable because she didn’t believe in divorce? She was willing to spend the rest of her days making her husbands’ and children’s lives miserable along with hers?

I was baffled. I couldn’t fathom what this lady was telling us. I told my dad the story the next day on the way to the airport and I was left with this question: why would someone willingly choose to live his or her life unhappily? Now I know that the world isn’t made up 6 billion blissfully, happy people but we all have the opportunity to be happy.

We are in charge of our own lives. What happens in it is up to us.

We are only allotted a certain number of days on this Earth, so why not spend them being happy? We don’t know when each of us is going to pass away but why waste time being miserable?

You could have 10 years or 100 years. It is literally your job to make the most of it and to live it to your fullest potential. Your life should be about creating the best version of yourself. I know that crappy things happen around the world everyday and sometimes it’s really, REALLY hard to be happy, but wouldn’t you rather be happy than sad? I’m not talking about depression because that is a serious medical condition and a positive attitude isn’t going to fix that over night. However, when you have the power to control a situation or your attitude why be upset?

I admit sometimes I need a good cry; it’s human nature. I always try to remember that someone, somewhere is struggling more than I am, and for that reason I should be grateful for the life that I have. There is always a bright side to every situation and even though it may be hard to see it sometimes, if you look hard enough it is still there. Even if it just the fact that you got out of bed in the morning that is a reason in and of itself to be happy. You have the simple joy of being able to wake up; of being able to climb out of bed, some people are not that fortunate. When you start having less than pleasant thoughts acknowledge all the good that you have in your life and all the greatness that lies ahead of you.

Surround yourself with people who lift you up and make you the best version of yourself. That could be family or friends, it is important to have a support system that makes you the happiest. There are going to be times in life when you are surrounded by people who suck you dry of all your happiness. It’s bound to happen. What you have to recognize is that they are not worth your time and energy. Free yourself from people who darken your thoughts and cloud your sunshine (yes I went there). The only person that is in charge of your happiness is you so don’t try to blame others for raining on your parade when you have the opportunity to remedy that situation.

Be in an environment that you thrive in. Figure out what your dream is in life and go pursue it. Screw what other people say you should do and do what you want to do. It is never too late to try something new. Think happy thoughts. Be grateful. Eat chocolate. I get that to some, dieting and being healthy is important but think about it, if you were to die tomorrow wouldn’t you regret not having a piece of chocolate all because of a few calories? It’s worth it.

Remember there is good in the world that you can help create. Take it one day at a time and know that you possess the ability to be happy.

Choose to be happy. We only have a limited number of days on this planet so why don’t we live it being happy?