Evan McKeel

Set your mind on happiness

Evan McKeel
Set your mind on happiness

The Grumps

I see so many people around me who are just simply unhappy. When they are working they are unhappy. When they are at home they are unhappy. They are always unhappy about something. They are unhappy about legitimate concerns, but also unhappy about very trivial things.

I call these people “The Grumps.” You can see them in traffic honking at everyone, even at a stand-still when there is nothing to be done. You can see them at a restaurant demanding their money back because the steak was cooked medium-well instead of medium. You can see them very clearly whenever something very small and insignificant happens. They have the mindset of a grump. 

Mindset Matters

A mindset is "the established set of attitudes held by someone". Your mindset is established, which means that before something happens to you, you already have a preset way of reacting to it. Is your mindset to be agitated easily? Is it to get frustrated quickly? Do you have the mindset of a grump? Do you want to change that?

It seems that Grumps have decided ahead of time, that no matter what happens, they will be unsatisfied and angry.  If they have decided to be unhappy no matter the situation, then think about this: Couldn’t you also choose to be happy no matter the situation?

Happiness is truly a choice you can make. Choose to be happy.

You might say “Well, it’s hard for me to be happy. Look at everything wrong with my life”. To which I would argue “Are you sure you aren’t a grump and don’t know it yet?”

Don’t complain about being unhappy, instead pursue happiness.

There are things you can do to be happy, and you know them better than I do, because they are your happy things and not mine. What makes you happy? Do it more. Which song makes you feel alive? Listen to it more! You can waste a lot of time being unhappy, or you can chase after the things that bring you joy. 

If you're a grump, you may also have neglected to realize that you have reasons to be happy already. I want to challenge you to make a list of everything in your life that is great. Every little thing, and no thing is too small. Coffee, dogs, friends, music, video games, nail polish, curtains, the ocean, the mountains, cartoons, grass, warm blankets. Once you write your happy list, I think you’ll be surprised at how many things you can list.

You’re either grateful or hateful.

If you aren’t feeling happy, maybe you aren’t taking a good look at what you have to be happy about. Gratefulness is crucial to happiness and recognizing what you have puts things into perspective. If you aren’t thankful for what you already have, you will become a grump who is never satisfied with everything. You may still argue with me that you just have it bad, things aren’t going your way, and it’s not possible to choose to be happy, so I want you to think about this truth:

There is always someone who has it worse than you who is happier than you. There is always someone who has it better than you who is miserable.

You can truly choose to be happy; it’s a mindset, and the happiest person has chosen to have it. So set your mind on happiness, and let little things be little things. Something becomes a big deal as soon as you decide it is. So try deciding instead that it is not a big deal, and keep walking.

And also accept this reality: 

There are grumps everywhere. Expect people to be grumps, and don’t be surprised when you meet one. Some people have just decided to be grumps. Don’t let them steal your joy. 

Don’t let a grump get under your skin and make you lose your joy and happiness. Don’t let someone who wants to argue something get you agitated. Grumps have a way of converting other people around them into grumps. Develop a tough armor against them!

Learn to laugh at the grumps; make it a game! 

The next time the man flips you off on the road or cuts you off, just put a smile on your face, laugh and say “That’s a grump!” And keep on being happy anyway. The next time the woman at the grocery store snaps at you that you are in the way, you can laugh to yourself “There’s a grump!”, smile and be on your way. The next time your grump family member tries to tell you that you are wasting your life doing what you’re doing, just laugh to yourself “He’s a grump, I’ll be happy anyway.”

Develop a happy mindset; set your mind ahead of time to be happy. 

-E