Updated: Mar 15, 2021

mother, father and young daughter having fun

Well in fact is isn’t really a question, that is because we know the answer.

Happiness is for a fact a choice. There is no doubt about that and yet not everyone is convinced or doesn’t act accordingly. That’s why I would like to clarify it with a metaphor.

Let’s compare it with learning how to ride a bike. Stick with me here…

Before we even think about how to learn to ride a bike. There has to be a desire.

For children it’s easy. They see other children ride a bike, they see it’s fun and want to learn it.

Pretty easy, right.

We adults tend to make it a bit more complicated. Let’s break it down.

The desire is there. We see other people happy and we want some of it. We do a lot of things in order to achieve happiness, the question is however, do we act the right way?

Just like riding a bike, first there has to be some kind of insight. Learning to ride a bike becomes a lot easier if someone shows you how it works and it gets super easy if someone helps you, holds your bike when you are starting to learn it. I don’t assume that there many kids who learn to ride it without actual help.

And yet from the start, with happiness there is a problem with insight. There are so many influences that we are tempted to take the wrong advice. Mostly we take the short cut.

In learning how to ride a bike this is easier. One person, in my case it was my father, learns you how to ride causing the learning to be reasonably smooth.

It should go this smooth with happiness too. Deep down we know the steps we need to take, but mostly we take short cuts. Happiness is something we mostly search in the wrong places and the faster we get it the better.

‘Earn more, work less’, ‘Double your income and free time’, ‘Get your perfect body in 4 weeks’, ‘Get the house of your dreams now’, etc. etc. etc. it just doesn’t stop.

Let’s suppose we would advertise learning to ride a bike like we advertise happiness: ‘You can learn it in 5 minutes’, ‘Learn how to ride without falling’ etc. What do you think will happen?

And yet this is exactly what we do in our pursuit of happiness.

Our insight about happiness is totally wrong. And we know it, just like somebody who has to lose weight knows that he or she has overweight.

There is no shortcut in happiness and you certainly can choose happiness every minute of the hour. However, the choice has to be the right one. If you are capable of doing that, it is in fact not hard to be happy just as it is not hard to ride a bike. Unfortunately, you will have to fall a few times. That is a certainty. It is even a necessity. There is even a chance that you may get hurt bad. Yes, that’s all part of the game.

And now we are getting to the point again that happiness is a choice, which it is. Only, we are no children anymore and unlike children we know that the pursuit of happiness can make us fall sometimes and we might even break an arm. It’s not the choice of happiness we need to make. The choice we need to make is: ’Do we want to break an arm!’.  That’s where it gets stuck. That’s why we want to choose the path of the least pain even if we know it is not the right one.

Yes, happiness is a choice, so let’s make the right one.

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