You are Not Stuck

Jul 21, 2015 by

          I was on the elliptical yesterday morning, thinking about life. Some of my most profound life thoughts seem to happen weekday mornings while on that elliptical. I have a favourite one: the sixth elliptical from the right. I get irrationally irritated when I see someone else on it during my cardio time. All of the ellipticals may appear to be the same, but I can feel the difference.

          I’m not sure why my mind likes to buzz so early in the morning. Maybe it’s trying to deny the fact that my body is already moving. Maybe I didn’t over-analyze whatever I was thinking about the day before enough. Maybe buzz is just my head’s default setting. Regardless, yesterday morning, on the sixth elliptical from the right, came this thought: I don’t ever feel stuck. I only vaguely remember the trail of thoughts that led to it. Much of the lead-up was lost in morning tiredness, but I definitely remember the thought’s significance.

          I think a lot of people feel stuck when they are in situations they don’t like. Maybe they’re in unfulfilling relationships. Maybe they don’t like their jobs. Maybe they’re just bored. But sticky situations are only sticky if you choose to stick to them. You can break up. You can switch jobs. You can change your life at any moment you choose.

          When I interviewed for my current job, my now coworkers and I discussed my perspective on happiness quite a bit throughout the interview process. They were familiar with The Happiness Experiment because my blog precedes all of my employment history on my resume and because I introduce myself as a writer. In the midst of talk about the importance of being able to identify unhappy circumstances and deal with them, one of the questions I was asked was, “What do you do when you notice you’re feeling unhappy?”

          “I make a change,” I answered without having to think about it. I used pole to illustrate: “Actually, I noticed I was kind of down at the beginning of January. The next day, I walked into a dance studio. I have no background in dance and no coordination, but I needed to do something different. I’m very action-oriented. If I don’t like my situation, I change it.”

          While on the elliptical yesterday morning, I thought about how key that mentality is to my happiness. I don’t ever feel stuck. When I’m unsatisfied with an aspect of my life, I make a move. I do whatever I think will make me happy, because I can. That sounds simple, but it’s amazing how complicated people can make it. It’s mind-blowing the number of excuses people can list off in opposition to doing what makes them happy. I used to make excuses too, until one day on a bathroom floor I realized that I am responsible for my own happiness. Like I did the day I walked out on Corporate Hell on Earth about eight months prior, I recalled that I could change my life at any moment I choose. This time, I wouldn’t forget it. I unstuck myself from the floor, not letting myself believe in being stuck again. There is no such thing. I have the power to choose to do what I want to do. Owning that power keeps me happy. I don’t ever feel stuck because I’m not. I never was. I just hadn’t grasped that yet. You’re not stuck either. If you want to do something, do it. If you don’t want to do something, don’t do it. It really is that simple. Realizing that it’s that simple is the hard part. It took me until age 23. How long will it take you?

Happiness Tip: You can change your life at any moment you choose.

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