“You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” Singer-song writer, Nightbirde,
This from a woman who, suffering cancer, was in the last months of her life. She made this statement during her audition on America’s Got Talent in 2021. She wasn’t able to compete in the finals due to her cancer. She died in early 2022.
Nightbirde lived her message. She glowed with a smile that left no doubt that she had chosen happiness in the face of a terminal illness at the tender age of 30. She became an inspiration to us all.
I have yet to meet anyone, regardless of how astonishing their success, who hasn’t, or isn’t, dealing with some serious challenges. None of us is exempt. None of us goes through life unscathed. Yet the vast majority of us find ways to deal with whatever challenges life deals us.
Joy in the face of challenge
At the same time, we experience the joy of family, friends, personal and professional success. We enjoy feeling valuable and valued. Feelings that are enhanced by the growth of our skills and ability. Some of our greatest joy comes when we use these enhanced skills to help others in the pursuit of their dreams or to assist them in dealing with their challenges.
Challenge and forgetfulness
In the moment of challenge, of new and unexpected shifts in our sense of well-being, we often forget that we’ve never failed to deal with any situation we’ve faced regardless of how daunting it felt at first.
We also forget all the good that we experience on a daily basis: the love of family and friends, the willingness of others to help us in our time of need, the power of our ability to learn and adapt…even when we have no previous experience in dealing with an issue.
We forget that nothing is all good or all bad…that each alternative solution to our dilemma has some aspects that we favor and some aspects we’d rather avoid. Our choices, when made consciously and objectively, enable us to find the solution that offers the greatest number of advantages and fewest disadvantages among the alternatives available.
How can this awareness help us “decide to be happy” even when life is hard?
When faced with an unpleasant situation, pause. During the pause, within milliseconds, your emotions will subside and you’ll regain your full mental capacity. Then remind yourself that:
- You’ve always found solutions to the challenges you’ve faced…even when you had no prior experience or training.
- You have people in your life who are more than willing to help you through the challenges you face. All you have to do is make them aware of what’s happening.
- Nothing is all good or all bad. That you are adept at evaluating alternatives to find the one that best suits you.
- Once you’ve identified and acted upon a solution, you’ll not only experience the joy of accomplishment, you’ll appreciate the lesson learned and the growth in confidence it affords.
For our kids
When the kids in your life have an unpleasant experience, share with them Nightbirde’s message. Let them know that everyone experiences challenges throughout their lives, but that they also have a choice as to how they deal with their challenges. They can:
- Bemoan them, which does nothing to alleviate their pain.
- Accept them, extending the pain by viewing themselves as victims.
- Remind themselves of the good in their lives and their ability to choose a solution that helps them return to that happy state of mind.
What greater gift can you offer a child than the ability to be happy even when life is hard? A gift offered by Nightbirde in the waning hours of her life.
Let others know that you love them by sharing this blog post. They’ll appreciate that you care.
I love hearing your thoughts and experiences, please share your techniques for remaining happy in the face of adversity.
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