I have been locked inside my home since March 1, 2020. If there is one thing that I have learned from this pandemic is that it has given me ample time to think about my life, reflect on my choices and come to conclusions. Imagine my amazement when I came to realize that most of the decisions I have made in my lifetime (especially in the last few years) have been good ones. Maybe it’s time for me to not be so hard on myself and reflect on the good points in life, rather than the bad.

There is no doubt that we have been going through a prolonged period of bad tidings and bad cheer. It would seem almost impossible to find anything lately to be happy about and yet, there it is. Little snippets of love and joy that if we blink our eyes we shall miss them. Happiness doesn’t come to us. We make it happen. Happiness is an art. We create it.

According to the Dalai Lama: Overall, happiness is reached by keeping peace with others and one’s self, which can be reached through meditation and community service. Therefore, the Dalai Lama concludes that the purpose isn’t to create tension but a positive atmosphere. This gives our life meaning, which leads to overall happiness.

The Dalia Lama has been giving live broadcasts lately on what is truly happiness. I missed them all.

If you have anger, envy or hatred inside your soul, you can never be happy. The relationship between events and emotions create happiness. Events can cause one to be positive and kind. Or, if we let them, events can cause us to be selfish and unhappy. It’s a daily chore to set our minds out to seek and accept happiness.

Suffering is a natural part of life and something that we share with all other living creatures. Humans can confront suffering and seek out solutions. Animals can not. If we overreact or take suffering too personally, we can create our own unhappiness.

All things change. If you resist change, this can create suffering. Our suffering has meaning but we have to seek it out.

All life is subject to pain. Pain is essential to life. When used correctly, we can turn our pain into an important learning tool. Without the pain, we can not learn.

You have to intentionally choose to be happy. It’s as simple as that. And during these difficult and somewhat painful times we all are currently living in, it may be difficult for most to choose to be happy. I’m having a rough time of trying to be happy. Too many negative things have been happening and that has been my inspiration lately to try and understand it all. One of the good things about getting older is that you can look back on your expanse of life and view it with a different set of objectives. It’s called retrospect.

Did I do the right thing? Did I make the right choices? If I had to do it all over again, would I still do it the same way I already did? Some of the answers are yes. Some of the answers are no. But in the end, my result has been very clear: I made the right choices at the right time and if presented with the same exact situations, I would make the same exact choices. That’s a very revealing discovery. To know that you actually and really did do your best. The resulted state of mind should be happiness. Yet for me to be happy, I would have to choose to be happy.

As of now, I choose nothing.