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03 January 2012 @ 11:29 am
State of Being - Happiness is a Choice  
I'm currently in a debate with someone about Happiness and other states of being being a choice. It's not the first time I've had this argument and it amazes me how stupid people are to not get this. Happiness, sadness, loneliness, anger etc. are states of being and they are all a choice. It's always a choice even when the person is unaware of this. A while ago I mentioned that I had a theory that feeling types have a default emotional state and they can not break from this. Some are happy, some are depressed. Because this is a choice, even a subconscience one I now think that everyone has a default emotional state. Mine would be happiness or contentedness. I found this great site that's done research into happiness and it's great to see what I already knew backed up with evidence. The name of the site is Choose to be happy. Everyone's heard this phrase and it's very true. In previous debates I've always heard the sad people say, "But you don't know what it's like when depression hits you." Sure I do but I chose to not stay in that state. I've had many reasons to get depressed but I don't. Those of you that really know me know what all I've been through and what I can over come. When the sad people see someone like me they get angry because it just reminds them of how they fail to remove themselves from said state. They don't like success stories. And when I see that I'm even more grateful I am not them.

I've also often mentioned that INTJ's don't have too many emotions except anger. We tend to be grumpy. Well that's true but I hadn't seen the big picture. One thing I'm extremely proud of is that when I'm angry I don't act on it and do something stupid. I think and then act and let my anger fuel me. Some of my most amazing stuff I've accomplished through anger or grumpiness. People that annoy me I say, "I'm not going to be like that and I'll show them!" And when I show them boy do I show them. The points mentioned in this website made me realize that using these "negative" emotions to my advantage is part of what they call being a happy person. I'm taking a bad situation and rechanneling, or as they say recasting, or turning it into an opportunity. Here are the 9 points which are very interesting as they do seem to be INTJ traits.

1. Intention (Chapter 1 in How We Choose to Be Happy) is not simply the desire to be happy, but the intent to be happy. It is the fully conscious decision to choose happiness over unhappiness. As you go through your day, to what extent do you actively intend to be happy?

2. Accountability is the choice to assume full personal responsibility for our actions, thoughts and feelings, and the emphatic refusal to blame others for our own unhappiness. It is the insistence on seeing ourselves as having control over our own lives, rather than being at the receiving end of circumstance. When happy people have been hurt they refuse to act like victims. To what extent do you assume personal responsibility for your life and take a pro-active stance in the face of sad or difficult circumstances?

3. Identification is the ongoing process of identifying for ourselves what makes us truly, deeply happy. So, happy people can tell us in an instant, what makes them happy. As you go through your day, to what extent do you ask yourself "Which choice or direction will make me happiest?"

4. Centrality is the happy person's non-negotiable insistence on making that which creates happiness a central activity in life. Happy people don't "wait to retire" or put off for later that which gives them greatest joy. They live their passions and dive into those things that make them happiest regardless of the complexities of their life circumstances. To what extent do you insist on doing this?

5. Recasting is the choice to turn problems into opportunities and challenges. It is also the moving and profound ability to convert extreme trauma into something meaningful, important and a source of life-giving energy. To what extent do you recast everyday problems by turning them into opportunity? Do you allow yourself to feel unhappy emotions deeply, and then, as healing allows, move through sadness by converting trauma into opportunities and meaning?

6. Creation of Options and Possibilities is the decision to approach life by being open to any new possibilities, and of taking a flexible approach to life's journey. In your own life, are you aware of opportunities? Do you take risks? Do you try new things? Are you flexible enough to jump into the unknown for the experience of trying something important or new?

7. Appreciation and Aliveness. Happy people actively appreciate their lives and express gratitude and thanks to the people around them. They seem to revel in each moment rather than focusing on the past or worrying about the future. They talk about being exquisitely aware of the fragility and preciousness of existence. To what extent are you aware of the moment and grateful for your life and those around you?

8. Giving Sharing one's self with friends, community and the world at large without the expectation of a "return on investment" is a hallmark choice of happy people. Giving is a constant in life, and may manifest itself in one's profession, community work, or with friends and family. It is the act of sharing yourself — your talents, resources and hospitality. To what extent do you give richly of yourself to others?

9. Truthfulness Happy people "speak their truth" in an accountable manner, enforce personal boundaries, and will not conform to the demands of society, the corporation or the family if it violates their personal belief systems. Their truthfulness becomes a contract they have with themselves and, most important, it is a way to check their thoughts and actions against their own internal, personal code. How truthful are you with yourself and others?

That's so beautifully laid out. How often have you heard me talk about these things?

1. This is definitely a J trait. When thinking and dreaming isn't enough, but you make it a reality.

2. This could also be independence. We take responsibilty for our own actions. We also refuse to let others accuse us of things or be door mats. We're harder on ourselves than anyone else can be so when we do screw up we own up and never let it go. Like measuring the chicken coop wrong. We aren't looking for sympathy either.

3. I'm easily amused and lots of simple things make me quite happy. Like pumpkins and budgies. Just seeing these things lights me up.

4. You guys know I don't know when to quit.

5. I love this one. This is the one that makes all those sad people so angry. I take a bad situation, internalize it and use it to make me stronger. Death is a good example because people usually think that's the worst thing. I've dealt with deaths. You're supposed to be sad when it happens but not sad forever. The dead wouldn't want a loved one to be sad for the rest of their lives. That's just stupid. Greif becomes missing and eventually fond memories which is what I cherish and love to talk about when I do feel I'm missing them. As for turning things into opportunities. I'm proud of myself that now when the Jehovah Witnesses come to the house I'm no longer grumpy about it but glad because there's a good chance I'll make money since I sell them eggs after having given them a free sample. Hehe. Money appearing at my door step. Yes that makes me very happy.

6. This is probably one reason I love to travel. I love to explore the new and unknow. Yes it's scary but it's better than reading about it in a book and wishing it was you.

7. I LOVE life. This is why I chose biology as my field. I do not fear death, but I do fear not living. Life is short so I'm not going to be a sad person but live and try to do as much as I can and leave my mark on the world.

8. You guys know I'm giving.

9. And you also know how important truth is to me. INTJ's being blunt is an identifying quality. I hate liars. Especially people that say they're one way and when you put them to the test they are not.
Current Mood: chipperchipper
The Silver Wolf of Darkness: AvistA happysilvolf on January 4th, 2012 01:00 am (UTC)
I think its great that you find opportunities in life and I think more people should learn to do that. My Mum would totally agree with you and so do I. I've found, particularly lately that if I'm upset or sad I just turn it around and look at all the good stuff in my life. People only get depressed because they allow themselves to. Sometimes its hard to pull oneself out of depression but it can be done.
I used to fear death but as I grew and learned, I also learned not to fear it since it's a part of life.
I love to explore and travel too. I remember so many people wondered why I was going to the USA all alone but I knew that it would be ok and I wasn't worried at all and nothing bad happened to me for travelling alone.
Des: Travelthagirion on January 4th, 2012 02:11 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you both agree.
Yes it's important to try to do that and not let life beat you down. Some circumstances are really hard and I know it can be hard to get out of a depression but it's doable.
I traveled alone for the first time when I was 11. I went to Mexico to visit my aunt and cousins. I was so proud of that.
kabuldurkabuldur on January 4th, 2012 11:25 am (UTC)
Hmmm...well, I think that unhappiness is thrust upon us by circumstance sometimes eg I had an unhappy childhood, but I do agree that we can choose to keep being unhappy or not, and I choose to be happy. I have discovered that the little things make me happy; also I am a giving person. I probably do most of the above. The only one I have trouble with is recasting. Also, I am afraid of new things sometimes, but not afraid of travel.
Des: Blue and Gold Macawsthagirion on January 4th, 2012 02:13 pm (UTC)
Yes life does throw some nasty things at us. How we handle it is what's important. It's a wonderful thing just knowing we havea choice. Recasting can definitely be hard on the more serious things.
Cheezey: Thoughtful Davecheezey on January 7th, 2012 05:15 pm (UTC)
It's always good to try and turn something bad into an opportunity of some kind. If nothing else you can usually learn from a bad experience and come away wiser.

Also, I've found that when things are really bogging you down, the best way out of it is to force yourself to fake it and throw yourself into something until it lifts. Sitting around wallowing in misery will never make you feel better.
Desthagirion on January 9th, 2012 01:45 pm (UTC)
Agreed. I think people misunderstand the word happy and happiness. It doesn't mean being giddy constantly but being content. You can't be happy all the time of course and bad things happen that warrant being angry or sad. The point is to not stay in that state forever.

If it's a problem it should be faced and not faked or avoided. They don't go away and pretending it isn't there is bad. I see where you're coming from but it does depend on the situation.