How To Stay Happy

Yesterday, I was chatting with a friend of mine who was having a rough time and that person asked me why I am always so happy. It’s not the first time I’ve been asked that, but it was the first time I had ever given a coherent enough answer to use for a post. What follows is an edited transcript of our conversation.

Anon: I don’t know how you do it. How you kick yourself out of depression. How you don’t get depressed.

John Hawkins: What’s the point of being depressed? What does it do for you? It’s just a time waster…

Anon: I know.

John Hawkins: …And it’s all perspective anyway.

Anon: Right.

John Hawkins: One thing I don’t do is kick myself. That’s not to say that I don’t make mistakes. I do. But I acknowledge that I make mistakes, decide not to repeat them, see that I learned a lesson and move on.

I also dwell on how to move forward, not on the problems I have or how I screwed up. I only focus on what I did wrong long enough to learn how not to do it again — if possible.

John Hawkins: As long as you sit around going “I am so stupid! I feel so bad! This is such a horrible situation” — You are going to feel bad. When you stop focusing on that and focus on a great future and what you’ve learned, you will feel better.

It can take 10 minutes or five years. The process is the same either way.

PS: My friend is also a Christian, so I didn’t feel a need to discuss that. However, I can tell you that growing stronger in my Christianity made me a happier person.

PS #2: Yes, they did give me permission to post a transcript.

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