Enthusiasm is a divine virtue in my book. The ability to face doubt and discouragement with a cheerful countenance is not ignorance, it's courage. There are those who would argue that slapping on a smile when the world is falling apart is foolish and unnecessary. I disagree. (I am not suggesting that "grin and bear it" is a cure for real mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. I am speaking only to regular grouches and grumps.) I think happiness is a choice. And a very smart choice at that.
1. Fake smiling can make you actually happy. Even a forced, fake smile tricks your brain into thinking you're happy!
2. Being happy makes you physically healthy. The truth is, happy people feel better and live longer. (It really should be no secret that psychological well-being and physical well-being are connected, but now there's hard science to back it up.)
3. Innovation is linked to happiness. Think about it. When was the last time you felt creative after a bad day? The happier we are, the more motivated we will be to find solutions to our problems. Happy people will create a better future for all of us.
4. Similarly, happy people tend to be smarter and more successful. Optimism helps us understand complex problems and see things from new angles.
5. Happy people are better looking! No hard evidence for this one, but smile lines are definitely preferable to a permanent furrowed brow.
6. Being happy makes you a better person. Happy people aren't so wrapped up in themselves that they can't help anyone else. They're responsible, compassionate, forgiving, and motivated.
Happiness is difficult. There is a strange tendency to assume that pessimistic people have a clearer mental vision than the rest of us or a greater conception of the consequence of living. I find that attitude keeps me from developing happy relationships, creative ideas, and a sense of spiritual well-being. So I have made the permanent choice to be happy. What will you choose?