Do you believe that you can choose to be happy? Can you make this choice? A few years ago, my sister revealed a startling statistic to me. She told me that only 2% of the population is happy and 98% are unhappy. She also shared with me that happiness is a choice which can be made in every moment.
I could not get her revelation out of my head, and soon recognized that I was blessed to be part of that 2% club. In fact, I discovered that happiness can actually be attained, but it must be reinforced by habits that support and nurture it. As my life has recently changed, I have made it my new mission to increase that dismal 2% statistic one woman at a time.
I want to step back and tell you a bit about me so you will understand my mission. I should start by telling you that I have certainly spent my fair share of time in the world of the 98% unhappy folks. Having been married for 25 years with two grown, college-aged sons, I was fortunate to be a stay at home mother for their early years. But as any mother knows, the hamster wheel of caring for young children, managing our home and trying to be perky for my husband was often exhausting and frustrating. Sometimes I just wanted to jump off that hamster wheel!
Things came to a head one evening in our kitchen after dinner when my oldest son was about seven years old. My wonderful husband, realizing that I was wound up like a top and ready to explode, decided to host a tickle-thon. Lucky me – I was the first in line!!! I was in no mood for his playfulness, but he just wouldn’t accept it. He continued to tickle and tickle and tickle until the inevitable happened – I exploded! To this day, I am not proud of the fact that he was being playful and I couldn’t handle it. Quite frankly, I had lost my ability to have fun. I was seriously unhappy. The major thing getting lost in the shuffle of wife, mother, caretaker, chief cook and bottle washer and all the other “hats” I was wearing was, well, ME!
Do you believe that there are very few coincidences? Or that everything is connected and happens for a reason? I certainly do, because shortly after the tickle-thon a wonderful change happened in my life. My boys had gotten a bit older and I’d always told my husband that once they were in school full time, I’d go back to work, but not to the 9-5 corporate world. I wanted a job with flexible “Mommy Hours” so I could still be there for my family. I guess the powers that be or the universe heard me because an opportunity literally landed in my lap. I became an Independent Consultant for a direct sales company. What did that mean? At least four evenings a month, I would be in someone’s living room, filled with their friends, showing them how to use our products for decorating or entertaining in their own home. I LOVED having a weekly “girl’s night out” even if it was with women I did not know! Here was a chance to get out of my testosterone-filled home (even our dog was a male!) and bond with women! It was heaven. For my efforts, I was rewarded with income to add to our family’s budget, all-expense paid trips (some with my husband, some without), and, the best reward of all – I found ME again!
The next 11½ years were wonderful. My sons grew up and flew from the nest with no broken wings. And I found a work/life balance that was ideal for me. But my life recently changed again as the company I represented closed its doors, leaving me without my work, in a home that had suddenly become very quiet. Taking stock, I realized that I had successfully navigated a perilous journey; a journey that leaves so many women flat out miserable. Over the years, I learned how to look on the bright side of everything, especially since we spend way too much time worrying about things that we literally have no control over.
Having found my way to the 2% club, I decided that my next journey would be to help other women find happiness as well. If I can make it to the 2% club, you can too! Are you feeling a bit lost lately? Are you missing your playful self? Isn’t it kind of unsettling and sad that 98% of people are unhappy? Where are you right now? What can you do to be in the 2% club or even just move closer to it? Are you willing to make changes? Do you even know where to start? I would like to help you begin your journey towards a happier life. Let’s find your playful self again.
Happiness is a choice – happy today, live longer tomorrow! It’s up to you!
Certified Positive Psychology Coach