The Happiness Connection  

Finding your sweet spot

Do you ever have ‘one of those days?’ A day when so many things seem to go wrong? Of course, you do. We all have days like that.

It is common to believe that happy people have ideal lives, with lots of money, great relationships, and a lack of problems. That kind of happiness only happens at the end of fairy tales.

Happy people have tough times and bad days, just as often as anyone else. The difference isn’t in the circumstances, but in the way you deal with them. Finding a positive way to react to negative things, can be a challenge, but people who choose happiness accept the challenge and look for a way to add some shine to the situation.

Let me share an event that happened to me recently, that caused me to struggle.

I love my technology. I have an iPhone, iPad, a desktop computer, and several laptops. Travelling is always interesting, as I take my phone and tablet to entertain myself while I’m away, and a laptop for work purposes.

I have frequently been stopped going through security because I have so many charging cords and devices in my purse.

My iPad is several generations old, and I’ve been babying it along for the best part of a year. Freezing and restarting has been a common occurrence.

Last weekend, the unthinkable happened. My iPad got caught in a start-up loop that it couldn’t get out of.

I tried everything to restore it, but nothing worked. Even downloading the proper firmware, resulted in an error message.

It can no longer be babied along. The time has come to buy a new one.

My husband suggested a few months ago that he would buy me a new one for my birthday. My birthday is in the middle of June. I considered that to only be a few months away - when there was still life in my tablet.

My perspective of how long it is until my birthday took a rapid change when my iPad went into a fatal death spin. June is ages away. How can I manage for the next 67 days?

My husband suggested that I could have an early birthday present, but I really like getting my gift on the actual day.

This situation has left me with a few choices.

  • Get my gift early
  • Survive without an iPad for 67 days
  • Wallow in the annoyance of not having my tablet

Making choices for yourself is an important ingredient for living a happy life, so already my unfortunate circumstance is giving me the opportunity for a boost in well-being.

I get to choose how to deal with this problem.

Getting my gift early doesn’t feel right. Surviving without my iPad for more than nine weeks will be painful. Wallowing in self pity doesn’t fit with my decision to choose positivity.

Although it will be painful, the best of those options is to survive tablet-less until my birthday.

The decision is made.

The next question I asked myself was: how can I spin this so it feels like being without my precious device is a good thing.

  • My 23-year-old daughter only has a phone and she manages just fine. Constantly using my phone will make me look younger, and give me a chance to experience the way millennials lives.
  • I will appreciate my new iPad so much more when I get it on my birthday.
  • This is a challenge. Doing something that takes strength and determination is a learning experience, and that is never a bad thing.
  • I will feel proud of myself when I rise to this challenge and conquer it — although I’ll admit, I’ve already been shopping around to decide what I want to buy.

You may laugh at my system, but trust me when I tell you it works. I am viewing this unfortunate circumstance as an opportunity to try something new.

In the scale of life, going without an iPad is pretty trivial, but it illustrates the process that happy people take when unfortunate circumstances strike.

Take control of the situation. Give your options some thought, and then make a few deliberate decisions to deal with these circumstances in the best way possible.

Remember, it isn’t what happens to you that makes you happy, but how you react to it. 

More The Happiness Connection articles

About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories