I have experienced a lot of death over the last couple of years. So much that I barely even mention when someone passes away. That may be my way of compartmentalizing my feelings, but losing loved ones has made me consider my own life and mortality in a way that I haven’t before.Death has caused me to want to live life more than ever. For a long time I was simply existing …you know, going through the motions of life in hopes of experiencing pockets of joy. But now it’s like, “Yo Shantell. It’s time for you to be happy.” So, I decided to commit my entire life to living in a consistent state of experiencing joy.

Yesterday, I decided to take a poll on happiness. I took to Facebook and Instagram to ask my friends one simple question, “Are you happy?”


I would say that I was surprised at the responses, but I’m not. We live in a world that pretty much tells us to never become too content. Everyone is moving at warped speed, and it is very easy to fall into the realm of comparing yourself to others. We are always being force-fed the ideology of planning ahead …so much to the point where we are unable to be present in the moment. I am actually surprised that the percentage of unhappy people isn’t higher.

While happiness may seem challenging due to how the world is set up, attaining joy is a bit easier than you may think. Like everything in life, happiness is a choice. It is a mindset that must constantly be sharpened. And it begins, and ends with you.

A long time ago, I realized that happiness is more attainable (and more sustainable) than we think. It isn’t this feeling or state of mind that only a few people will have the privilege of experiencing in the long term. It isn’t draped in money or fame or anything else that’s rooted in materialism either.

In my book, God Help Me! A Personal Guide to Freedom While Here on Earth, I discuss how challenging the constraints of society can lead to true joy. Once you take the step to only subscribe to what you genuinely believe in, you’ll feel more complete, and most importantly, more happy. We are more powerful than we think; we simply have to choose to be.

Abraham Lincoln said it best, “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” Happiness is choosing to only subscribe to what authentically speaks to your soul. It is choosing to live and operate in your truth. So once again, why aren’t you happy?


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