Like every other person in the world, I find that I can sometimes get into ruts where all I can think about are the negative things happening in my life and in the lives of those around me. I have found that life presents many opportunities for discouragement and disappointment. Some days, it is hard to be happy. However, at the start of this year, I decided that something needed to change. I decided to fiercely pursue happiness every day of my life.
Webster’s Dictionary defines the word pursue as the following: “To follow in order to overtake, capture, kill, or defeat.” Realize the word pursue is a verb. It requires action, and not a passive action. You cannot wait for happiness to come stumbling along your path. You have to make a conscious effort every day to fiercely find and overtake happiness.
How have I tried to do this? I bought a journal, and everyday since January 1, I have faithfully written down things that have made me happy during the day. I did make some rules for myself because I did not want the journal itself to become something that makes me unhappy. The first is that I have limited myself to only using bullet point responses that more often than not are not complete sentences and do not have grammatical punctuation. Second, the things that I write must be relative to that specific day. This keeps me from being generic with my answers and forces me to really think about things that happened that day. Finally, I am allowing myself to write super sappy and cliché things that make me happy (because honestly, who doesn’t love the smell of coffee on a gloomy day?).
As I continue to write more and more, I notice that some days I have many things to write about and others it is a struggle to even put the pen on the paper. But everyday, I have managed to be happy or thankful about something in my life regardless of how I feel. When I started my journal, I made a conscious choice to write in it only at the end of the day right before I get into bed. This allows me to consistently end my day feeling happy, and I have noticed that it makes a difference in my life. I have found that I start the mornings in better moods and that every day I am constantly looking for things to be happy about that I can write down to remember.
Here are some of the things that I have written:
- Sunday church as the start of the New Year
- Getting into clean bed sheets after a hot shower
- The harmony in the song “Because” by The Beatles
- The syllabus days are considered official school holidays by some professors
- Sock buns and wearing glasses
- Shamrock Shakes
- Breakfast for lunch