Licensed to smile

Jul 6, 2011 by

Licensed to smile

I just found this perfect quote to begin my article with…

“I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstances but by our disposition.” –Martha Washington

Disposition means a person’s temperament, and I know many of you will believe that this is a fixed thing, that you are born with, and you are now shrugging your shoulders and saying ‘that’s just the way I am’, and if you’re happy with it that’s fine, and if you’re not adding to the greater misery of the world with your disposition, I’ll say, ‘Well carry on so!’

smiley face in sunny windowBut… if you’re not, I’d like to tell you that you can change your disposition if you want to. I know it’s possible, because I’ve done it. Oh don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I was a complete misery guts! It’s just that I complained a lot, and if someone asked how I was, they were bombarded with a list of latest ailments. And the conversations would always end with the other person saying ‘Poor you’ and with me nodding in sympathy of myself, happily unaware that I had now succeeded in helping two people to feel miserable instead of just one !

Okay it won’t happen overnight, it takes time, and persistence, and dedication. Set your intention, and see if there are any little ways that you can change your disposition to a happier one. I’m not for a moment suggesting we bottle all our troubles up inside and don’t talk about what is troubling us, if we can find one or two people to share with that’s great. But if we complain to everyone we meet, if we tell everyone we meet how poorly we are, then these are the thoughts of ourselves that we carry away, and replay in our minds, and we are saying ‘Poor me’, we are now a victim to be pitied, and we will not be adding to the joy of the world, only adding to another’s burdens I feel. And we will be adding to our own sense of unhappiness too.

So just think about this, we have a choice of disposition. We can sit in traffic or stand in a queue, we can look around at all the miserable faces, people showing irritation and impatience, and we can join them, peer pressure is powerful, we feel we have to show how peed off we are too ! And we give each other a harassed grimace ‘we’re all in this together, isn’t it terrible’ is our silent mantra, well let me tell you, misery loves company, and you will never be alone!

I called this article ‘Licensed to Smile’, but you don’t need a license to smile you know, you can just wear one anytime you like, you can choose to see the lighter side of things, and have a sense of humour, you can choose to carry on regardless whatever happens, you can choose to accept where you are now, before you move forward or stay as you are. You can choose… you can choose… nothing is carved in stone…. When we know this…. We are free….

Go on, I dare you to smile the next time you feel like scowling, and watch the expressions on other’s faces it’s priceless ! That alone will give you something to smile about !