At my mother's funeral, just under four years ago from the time I am writing this, I spoke about a binary choice that we're faced with every day: to be happy or not.
It's not an easy choice, and there are great arguments as to why it isn't as cut and dried as that. But we humans crave complexity, it seems. It quests after us as much as we it, a symbiotic relationship that keeps chaos alive and well in the world. Stress and anxiety are perhaps more familiar than happiness. Our lives are lived in a constant push-pull between obtaining the things we need to survive, on one side, and the work/life balance that for a generation has been a mantra of self help gurus.
Have you ever tried to distill things down to a binary choice?
It is very difficult.
A good example of this difficulty is going out to eat. That is also a good example of the way we naturally go for the binary process. First there's finding a place to go; Greek or Italian? Neither? Sandwich shop? Chinese or Mexican? Ethnic or American? Then there's the decision we make inside the restaurant. A menu, even a simple one, will have many things to choose from.
In the end, though, it's a binary decision.
Four years ago I recommitted myself to the quest for happiness. Every single day I commit myself to choosing happiness - Joy (which was - is - my mother's name). It doesn't work most of the time, to be honest, because of the chaos that thrives in our world.
But I try. And that effort means a lot to me.
So you, too, should attempt to find that happiness in your life. Make that decision to seek a happy path, even if faced with every reason in the world to be sad.