This is what I’m becoming: a happyologist. A person who studies a subject – HAPPY, and who has knowledge of a certain topic – HAPPY. A person who understands that living with gratitude (even in hard places) shifts the heart and the head into a better place—of love, of joy, of grace.

Who doesn’t want to be happy?  Who doesn’t want to become a happyologist?

That would be. All. Of. Us.

And here’s the rub: it’s in our power to be happy. Because it’s our choice, no matter what our circumstances, no matter where we are in our journey, no matter what chapter of our story.

My first real step towards becoming a happyologist came as a teenager when I dove into that swimming pool on that summer day and broke my neck and became a quadriplegic. There was a choice before me: become bitter or become better. {Read more of the story here.} Will I focus on what I lost? Or will I focus on what I can gain? Focus on who I was? Or who I can become? Could I still be grateful, even in the midst of this life-altering circumstance?

I decided to live with gratitude. I chose happy.

Then, and now all these years later, through shocks and surprises and sudden storms that have often shaken and knocked me off balance, as a happyologist-in-the-making, I believe that there is always something happy or good in every day.  The key is to notice these things and celebrate them.  It’s training our hearts and minds to see the good.  Positivity is a choice.  Studying each day and seeing a happy moment of our lives, and our relationships, depends on the quality of our thoughts.  It’s understanding when we cannot change a situation, yet knowing we can change how we think about it.

And the first step to becoming a happyologist is learning we CAN celebrate – the lessons, the laughs, and the love that each day brings. We CAN live with gratitude.

A matter of perspective, a choice.

We decide what to look for and what we see. We decide our focus.  It’s about learning, studying the ways of contentment and appreciation.  As a happyologist, I know that by slowing down, by looking differently, I choose to focus on the light, the positive, and all the reasons I have to be eternally grateful.

Without gratitude, we lose fulfillment, joy, happiness, and a sense of meaning.  In constantly rushing from task to task, our focus can quickly shift from all that we have to do, how tired we are, how under-appreciated.  We focus on frustrations, storm clouds, the negative. We become anxious, tired, irritable, frustrated.

The thing about November …. and December …. and every single day …. is that we have the choice to be thankful, to live with gratitude, to work at becoming a happyologist.

The thing about November is that it can be a reminder that there are things we still want that we do not have, or that the year has held more heartache than we expected. Yet, we can choose to be thankful.

Finding a happy day moment in every day isn’t about complacency, it’s about accepting the full truth of the present moment. It’s about focusing our minds on the positive aspects of a situation, and then reaping the benefits of doing so.

Finding a happy day moment even in very difficult days involves acceptance of (and even surrender to) things that we didn’t choose and perhaps didn’t want. But instead of pointing to all the ways the day is hard or wrong or bad, or focusing on all that we’d like to change, we can transform that dark day by also acknowledging that it can contain a happy moment, even if it’s a teeny tiny second of gratitude.

Lets be happy

Seeing this fuller picture–accepting both the good and the bad of any day–is a solid tactic for becoming a happyologist, for feeling happier and more fulfilled. Gratitude, love, hope, optimism, compassion, awe — these emotions all make us healthier, happier, and more satisfied with our lives.

And turn us into – HAPPYOLOGISTS!

It is our CHOICES that show what we truly are. You know this is true.

Happy kitty

About Me

About Me

Hi! I’m Jama, the writer of daily Happy Day Moments, author of Then Came A Miracle, and retired Director of Midwest Writers Workshop. I’m an unapologetic Happyologist with a desire to share the importance of “living with gratitude” … finding a “moment” each day to be grateful. I’m a lover of family and girlfriends and Jesus and words and chocolate and encouraging others in their faith and in their writing. Luke 1:37.

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