Tanya Younce, M.Ed., LPCC


Wanna Be Happy? Then Work It!

I know it sounds oversimplified, but if you want to be happy and you’re not, then you need to make the effort to change.


No one’s going to do it for you and no one is going to come in with a magic wand and make things all better.  So, it’s up to YOU.  YOU are in the driver’s seat and are in charge.

But here’s the excuse I hear.  “It’s hard!”

Yes, it is!  But anything worth having is worth WORKING for, right?  To the same extent that you work hard at something,  you will receive the same amount of satisfaction.

Think about that.

When have you worked hard at anything?  What did it take?

A.  Learning something new
B.  Self-discipline
C.  Focusing on the goal
D.  Consistency
E.  Doing it when you didn’t want to
F.  Blood, sweat and tears
G. All of the above

I was 36 years old when I had a total hip replacement.  I vividly remember the months I spent in physical therapy afterwards — I started by walking on a treadmill in a pool, then I did light weight-bearing exercises, relearned how to go up and down stairs, then finally I was able to ride a stationary bike.  It hurt like hell sometimes, I hated going half the time, I was mad at myself for not progressing faster, it was frustrating, and I shed many, many tears.  But what I was doing was BUILDING MUSCLE around the hip to help support it and make it work better.  And it’s the regular breakdown and repair of muscle tissues that make them grow bigger and stronger.

Today, I can walk, run, do yoga, ride a bike, and pretty much do everything I used to do — only this time without any pain.  Are there days my hip hurts a little and I need to ease up?  Sure!  You have to be forgiving and patient with yourself during the process of change — even AFTER you’ve accomplished it, sometimes (let’s call those “emotional aftershocks”).

Working hard at something, in and of itself, is something to be proud of.  Anyone with a good work ethic is worth their weight in gold these days.  There are too many ways to take the easy way out:

The toaster’s broken?  Get a new one.
Hate cleaning your house?  Hire a maid service.
Don’t want to stand in line for tickets?  Print them out from your home computer.
Bored with your car?  Trade it in!

It’s easier.

Our human instinct is to resist that which is hard and doesn’t feel good. And our culture has expanded that to include a strong resistance to discomfort and inconvenience.

It’s time to Man Up!  If you want to be HAPPY, then really CHANGE something!

Yes, it will be difficult.  You’ll feel fake.  You’ll forget and screw up and fall down the same rabbit hole at times. People might mock you or try to put you “back in your place.”

But ya know what?

The payoff is that there will be a new path that is paved.  And this new habit, or belief, or any other paradigm that you’ve created — that you’ve given BIRTH to — will actually change your entire life.  And you will experience the exquisite feeling of accomplishment and freedom that comes from being in that driver’s seat.

They don’t call this therapy for nothing.  So put on your big-girl panties, pull up your boot straps and let’s get to work.

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