Happiness is a Choice

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If I could share 500 words to inspire, this is the important wisdom I'd want to pass along to others...

  • Here’s what I know for sure, Happiness Is A Choice.

    There is so much more we are capable of, and through mindset and beliefs, we have the power to design our life and choose happiness.

    The hustle of life is filled with people, events, and stimuli, there’s no avoiding it.

    The weather.
    Traffic.
    People at the coffee shop.
    Eating dinner with the family.

    Stimuli encountered throughout the day aren’t ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ they’re neutral, and often cannot be controlled.

    Everyday, we are presented hundreds of situations. The beautiful part is that based on our beliefs, we have total self-power to choose how to view, approach and respond to the stimuli. We control our responses. We control our happiness. We can choose happy, peace and calm just as easily as we can choose anger, overwhelm and chaos.

    Stimulus → Belief → Response.
    (Events) (Your Thoughts) (Feelings & Action)

    Allow me to illustrate with an example:

    Stimulus: My 7 year-old son, Jackson, was diagnosed with severe autism. He is currently non-verbal, working on potty training, learning how to communicate through pictures, loves spinning and sprinkling objects, and would often rather play alone than interact with me.
    (Nothing is good or bad about the stimulus, it’s neutral)

    Belief: My belief surrounding Jackson’s Autism is that he is doing the best he can at any given moment, I love him for the amazing boy he is, and I cannot control the past or future. I am what I think, and I choose to ooze love and acceptance.

    Response: I love Jackson in the present moment and celebrate him right where he’s at. I choose a calm, peaceful, authentic environment. I choose to love first and take action second. I choose happy.

    Does my Belief and Response mean I stop advocating, researching and finding Jackson the top medical and behavioral interventions? Not a chance! I do everything in my power daily assist him to thrive to be the best he can be.

    Following the Stimulus→Belief→Response method reminds me that I am in full control of my happiness and the design of my day. Nobody else controls my beliefs. I choose my thoughts, actions and responses, and thus, choose happiness.

    With a decisive strong mindset, a conscious commitment to core beliefs, it’s simple to shift from clutter, chaos and overwhelm to a place of peace, calm and happy.

    This I know for sure, Happiness Is A Choice.

    Elaine Shtein

    I am a 35 year old, mother of two living in San Jose, CA. My life was forever shifted upon my son, Jackson's, diagnosis with Autism at 18 months of age. To provide all the care required for my son to thrive, I put my teaching career of 10 years on hold to focus my efforts on Jackson, now 7 years old (and of course my daughter, Sophie 8.5 years old). I have evolved and learned so much about myself, health, beliefs and attitudes these past 5 years, and am so thankful for the opportunity to share.

    For more information, please visit elaineshtein.com.

    View all posts by Elaine Shtein.

    1. annepinkcoach
      annepinkcoach says:

      I think you are right! Not always easy to do especially with the challenges life can throw but most certainly how we choose to react to what life throws is what makes the difference You son is blessed to have you as his Mum as you clearly feel blessed to be his Mum Keep flying high

      Reply
    2. Eva
      Eva says:

      Happiness is definitely a choice and it sounds like you are making it! I just recently heard Kristin Neff talk about her own self-compassion that she had to discover when her son was diagnosed with severe autism. I loved your blog, your upbeat attitude and how you reframed the situation to reflect who you are as a person. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply
    3. Veronica-Mae Soar
      Veronica-Mae Soar says:

      Interesting – and i don’t disagree with a word of it. But what if I re-write some of it? My husband is 89 years old and displays all the signs of Aspergers – including the need to control, the anger, the inability to empathise. For years I thought it was my fault,. then I realised But that does not make it easier. I am not young and sprightly. I have my own problems, but these must always be put on hold to do what he wants. He is also disabled so I do most things for him. In many ways he is like a 7 years old, but I cannot deal with him in the way one would with a young child. Every day i try to tell myself it is not his fault. but this has been wearing me down for over 30 years, and sucking me dry. I’ve read loads of advice on “me” time and getting away and meditation – you name it. To be plain, it is hard to find many thing to be grateful for – I can still see, and enjoy the garden, but can no longer do much there. I can only hear with difficulty and very short walks are the only ones I can take. I would love to choose happiness, if I had a few times when there was something to be happy about.

      Reply

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