The Choice is Yours

Bonnie Ware spent several years caring for people in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She heard many confessions of regret, one of which was “I wish I had let myself be happier”. She goes on to write “This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to themselves, that they were content, when deep within they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”

Many of us feel stuck, in a job, relationship or location. As a life coach I often hear the phrase. “I do not have a choice” or the procrastination, “I just need to get through this year”. The truth is there always is a choice. It may involve compromise or sacrifice in some areas, but ignoring that niggling feeling that you are not on the right path only makes the inevitable car crash larger and harder to deal with . A good place to start is accepting the idea that “I can always be happier”. This is hard to argue with.

The American Declaration for Independence contains the right “for the pursuit of happiness”. An early hint that this is an active choice and action you can take. No one has the right to happiness, in the same way that high levels of happiness are non discriminatory. We all have the ability to increase our levels of happiness.

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