I am the author of the book A Happy Life for Busy People and the creator of this motivational site. When I give my seminars on these subjects, and even on occasion in the men’s room, I am asked the question, “I’m not happy all of the time, what is wrong with me?” The short answer I give is “Not a damn thing.” To elaborate on that, let us examine what it would take to be happy all of the time and what the result of that would be.
First of all, in order to be happy all of the time you would have no challenges. You would be winning the lottery every day, you will be able to eat anything you like and stay fit. All of the people you meet would say and do exactly what you want them to do. The weather would be the perfect temperature every hour of every day. Sounds pretty good at first doesn’t it? In a short period of time one word would describe this situation – boring! If you knew who would win every sport you watched and how every movie would end how exciting would life be?
Let us look at the results of this situation. You would not be very smart. Why? You would never have to learn or evolve because you would have all the things you need. Your character would never grow and develop because everyone would have the same thoughts and opinions as you. Even your grass would be brown if it never rained.
When we set an expectation to be happy all of the time, we are, in fact, setting ourselves up for failure. It may sound cliché to say, but without the rain you do not appreciate the sunshine. ‘ Getting a flat tire on the way to work is never fun, but the next day when you make it all the way to work with no problems and suddenly that trip you took for granted everyday seems a lot better. Trust me I had a car that recently broke down in the middle of a busy intersection one block from my work. Now, every time I make it through that intersection without stalling out I feel grateful.
The most important thing about personal challenges is that they allow us to grow as people. We learn new ways to do things. We are forced to better ourselves just to keep up. Plus, it reminds us to enjoy and appreciate the good days we would otherwise take for granted.
It is ok to have an off day, everyone does. Life can throw us things we do not expect. When it does, learn to be grateful for the challenges. You are either going to learn, grow or just appreciate the good days when they return. Just know that being upset, sad, angry and all of the other host of ‘negative’ emotions we experience are all part of the plan to develop us into the person we are meant to become.