What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life.

~ Leo Buscaglia ~

Beware of Unhappy Toads in the Road

January 2nd, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 8 secs

What makes you think you should be happy?

Happy or not, you could be forgiven for thinking you can’t succeed. With so many voices telling you why you won’t, it’s easier to fall flat. More than that, you can almost feel guilty for being happy. That’s what bloated toads like.

In case you’re thinking I’m picking on toads, I’m only singling out the denying type. Those people who keep criticizing you for your best efforts like blocking the road. They don’t want you to achieve anything because it only makes them look bad. So they try to cut you off at the pass to make you unhappy too.

“You must be kidding! How are you ever going to amount to anything?”, “Nobody does anything important round here. What makes you think you will?”, “Hey, admit it. You’re pathetic.”

They’re a charming lot, unhappy toads. You find them nearly everywhere too. Happy to crawl out and bar the way.

Find a few unhappy toads in the road and they can be awfully convincing. After all, who do you think you are daring to do better? They make it feel like it’s impossible for you to be anything but mediocre. Like them.

So here’s some “unhappy toad tips” for you to overcome their obstructiveness:

1. Know your toad. If someone is unhappy whenever anyone does anything worthwhile, or criticizes you for making an effort, they’re an unhappy toad.

Toads look happy when everyone else feels down, discouraged, or cynical.

2. Find an encourager or two, or three, or four. One of the best ways to counter the ill-effects of unhappy toads is get inspiration from someone who thinks bigger and dares to be more. Immediately, they show up the toads, breaking the spell of their destructive defeatism.

3. Step away from the toad, Ma’m. Being with people who decry your happiness is incredibly draining, isn’t it? So minimize unnecessary contact where you can.

4. Fill your time with effort that makes you happy. Forget those unhappy toads for a while and plough into work activity that helps you feel happy. Focus really does make a difference.

5. Love your unhappy toad. What? Why should you even bother to be nice to these creatures? Well, I see it like this. Anyone who has become so diminished that they have a reputation for being an unhappy toad deserves a bit of compassion. Yes, they are revolting, annoying, and probably cause warts. But repaying such unhappy toads with the same is to repay ugliness with ugliness. You and I will never break free from their sabotaging mindset until we make our own actions humane. If you can’t do it for them, then at least, do it for you.

Your future actually doesn’t depend on all the unhappy toads in the road blocking your way. It relies on you. You choose where your focus goes, and in doing so, you either prove them right, or you live your own life. So what are you going to do next?


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