Choosing to Do

I’m really digging the recent trend of blog posts we’ve put up. To continue the chain, I’m going to throw out a crazy idea: let’s choose to be happy.

Okay, maybe it’s not that crazy of an idea. I’m sure pretty much everyone, if given the choice, would rather choose to be happy. While we might not agree on what makes us happy, I think we can all agree what keeps us from it.

Spending every day mired in constancy is a sure way to create chronic unhappiness. And unfortunately, we’ve set up a modern society that adores monotony. We get older and we box ourselves in. Because it’s safe and comfortable. We defined what we are capable of and while we leave room for growth, we’re terrified of breaking our box. We’re not exactly happy, but hey, it could be a lot worse.

Basma and Frank bring up some terrific ways to break up that monotony, except let’s dig a little deeper. Why don’t we dust off some of our old dreams and aspirations?

What is necessary to be good at something? Talent, definitely. Yet as zombie Marie Curie once said, “But you don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process.” (

Natural talent is a great base to start with. It’s the dedication to pursue those gifts and persistence to keep trying that makes the actual difference. We see it especially with kids. We cheer on their t-ball games and breakfast-themed plays because the point is to have fun and enjoy the activity. The truly remarkable stand-outs, the star quarterbacks and the award-winning painters, they are the ones that put in all those hours of practice in between recitals and games.

But just because we’re putting more candles on our birthday cakes doesn’t mean we can’t pick up a paintbrush or relearn an instrument. Which brings me to the always fabulous Zen Pencils, a webcomic where Melbourne cartoonist Gavin Aung Than illustrates inspiring quotes. I recently ran across his fantastic illustration of a column written by pianist James Rhodes for The Guardian and I thought about this challenge of choosing to be happy. Is that not worth exploring?


Editorial Assistant
Full to the brim with ideas—some are actually half decent. Is totally going to save the world.


Jamila ogletree

Energy + Passion + Tenaciousness + a dash of lightheartedness = Jamila. I am an African Grey Parrot owner. Had an awesome dream once that it was raining cheese burgers. Will never stop laughing and learning.