Friday, January 09, 2009

Choosing Happiness

Three are three types of people in this world: Those that are not happy [and if you're neutral towards life I consider you here], Those that are genetically predisposed to happy, Those that choose to be happy.

Someone I know is going through a pretty tough time right now. I called the other day, and they said: You know, I look at everything that's happening and I think of God and I think-

In the brief pause I mentally completed the sentence, why me? what did I do deserve this? my life stinks? I am angry with Him?

But instead, they said, I think, Wow He's watching out for me.

Taken aback, I almost said, are you seriously kidding me? But catching myself in time I politely inquired why they thought so. They pointed out the unexpected blessings from the situation. I agreed, though surprised. I hadn't thought of those things, or if I had, I would have likely shoved them aside as inconsequential when faced with what I'm dealing with in the now.

There are those that are happy perhaps by a wellspring of joy welded into their DNA. I'm not one of those people. However, I can choose to be amongst those who make a conscious choice to be happy. The lives of most people, dare I say, nearly everyone, is difficult at times, sometimes more time than others. But amongst the people I meet, I've found that the correlating happier people don't necessarily have what I would think of as happier lives. They are happy because of their outlook on the world. Duh, right? That's the stuff cliches are made of. But it really hit me today.

I thought of the author of the Last Lecture. He knew he was going to die leaving a wife and young children behind, and yet he chose to make a point of being joyful.

Or the auntie with the son who has Downs Syndrome. She smiles and dismissed the pitying glances, at least he can walk, he can communicate his needs, he is full of love.

Lucia whose fiancee broke up with her three months before her wedding, smiling at me and saying God has his plans, He may have saved me from something I can't see now. Now I will appreciate my future husband so much more than perhaps I could have before.

I'm thinking if this life is the only one I've got, and if its my choice the attitude I take towards it, then I have no excuse than to smile and remember the blessings He bestows every second of every minute of every day.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this! Your post was a good reminder that we should not take life for granted by too much navel-gazing, and that we all have great guides among us who can teach us about living with courage.

Zehra said...

This post only re-affirms why I love reading your blog. You're such a beautiful person, Aisha, and I couldn't agree with you more.

Anonymous said...

I know that I am completely off topic but can you share a little about studying for the bar. I'm studying now so that I can take it (not in your state) next month. I'm not enrolled in Bar-Bri but I bought their books. Thanks so much!

Aisha said...

Anon, Zehra, sometimes I feel vulnerable sharing this type of post, but when you tell me it helped you it makes it worth it to me to have shared. Thanks for letting me know.

Anon, good luck with the bar. If you type in "bar exam advice' in the search field on the top left and hit search blog, it should show the advice that I gave after I took it. Good luck its a doable exam.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Aisha. I read the bar exam advice post and it helps but I'm a little freaked out because I can't devote 40 hrs/wk to studying because I have a baby. Also, I'm not taking the course but I bought the books. Make duaa for me!

--Rasha

Aisha said...

Rasha- congrats! I remember when you were a 1L, lol :) Mash'allah that's wonderful that you have a baby but yes that can make it complicated to devote 40hrs/week. Hopefully you can find a babysitter/familymember/hubby who can help out from time to time to give you some devoted study time.

If it makes you feel better, I think taking the course is unnecessary so don't feel insecure that you didn't do that while your counterparts did. I would recommend focusing your time on the federal laws, and on the multiple choice things because many of them end up showing up in the essay portions so by studying heavily on the Multistate you are also studying for the essays. I personally studied essays the last two weeks before the exam, since I figure I spent three years in law school writing essays i should be able to handle it as long as I can spot the issues. I spent once a week studying state distinctions becaues at least in my state, there aren't THAT many, and you could likely get away with not knowing any at all and still do fine.

Hope this helps you as you focus on how to spend your time wisest.

Anisa said...

great post. such an important reminder. we get to CHOOSE happiness, if we so desire. it's a choice, which should make us all feel much more empowered!

Anonymous said...

Aisha, good memory! I too remember asking you questions during my 1L year. Yes, this helps. I will be focusing on the MBE. However, I do plan on studying for the essays. The only problem is that the Bar-Bri book outlining the state topics is very long (covers 22 topics) and I don't have the benefit of lectures or handouts (which would summarize the information). And there are no short outlines for the state topics (for the MBE topics, I've been using the Conviser Mini Review a lot). Hopefully I'll be able to strike the right balance!

Rasha

Anonymous said...

Aisha, good memory! I too remember asking you questions during my 1L year. Yes, this helps. I will be focusing on the MBE. However, I do plan on studying for the essays. The only problem is that the Bar-Bri book outlining the state topics is very long (covers 22 topics) and I don't have the benefit of lectures or handouts (which would summarize the information). And there are no short outlines for the state topics (for the MBE topics, I've been using the Conviser Mini Review a lot). Hopefully I'll be able to strike the right balance!

Rasha

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the double post.

rickshawdiaries said...

Subhan'Allah - a wonderful reminder that we see life not how it is, but how we are.

Wil Smith said...

Thanks for reminding me, I needed it!

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