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Choosing Happiness


ork From Home, Day 18]

“Wow”, that’s the first thing I had in mind when reading the posting on my timeline about Venice during this pandemic, I saw dolphins are swimming in the canals. The empty canals with Venetian architecture buildings on its sides, with beautiful bridges across the canals, added with a group of fish swimming freely. Those canals came alive not because of human’s activities, but because nature becomes the king once again. The image of dolphins that came near the houses’ windows immediately imprinted in my mind and brought a smile on my face. Hey! Even the goose came back to swim freely. In the middle of this pandemic, where bad news become our morning greetings, this post is such a blessing. A glimmer of hope to keep being positive.

Well, as least that’s what I hope for. An in-depth article from National Geographic that I read three days later mentioned that all the news is fake, hoax, people call it nowadays. The dolphins’ video that became the stars is taken in Sardinia, hundreds of kilometers from Venice. There, fish are swimming freely in their habitat. Goose always become permanent guests in some canals because it’s their migration area.

The fact is, there is so much good news that is fake. Erin Vogel, psychology from Standford University, called this a social reward phenomenon. A phenomenon where one person is happy when he/she get appreciation from people for doing a good deed, even though, by deceiving people. Kaveri Ganapathy Ahuja, the person behind the ‘Venice news’, through his Twitter, admitted that he was intentionally compiled many photos to bring happiness to others, including himself. When he was asked whether he would delete his twit when people know that was fake, he said,” No way, because it was my record!” What’s wrong with spreading good things in the middle of this somber situation, his defense. That kind of thinking and perception that makes much fake good news gone viral.

Pew Research stated that half of Americans exposed to this kind of news and the saddest thing is, Vogel further explained that once people know they have been deceived, and all the happiness is fake, it will lower their morals more than don’t read the news at all. Distrust increasing, filters when reading news is getting bigger. It is really bad especially when people are very vulnerable during this crisis.

So, how to survive amid this situation, where trust becomes very rare?

Things we can do: stop looking, stop reading and stop thinking of bad things. Choose to not be easy to get influenced. Dale Carnegie once said our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration, and resentment. The bad news affects us if we choose to get affected. We need to be more firm in choosing not to be influenced. When one news becomes so viral, it could be a fake one.

And, how to seek happiness in this somber situation with so much bad news?

A quote from Dale Carnegie can answer it: “It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”

Let’s create our happiness, by starting to enjoy what we have, how we feel about today and the people around us. There is so many little happiness everywhere, and let’s make a list:

  • How often we are so busy working and longing to see our children’s laughter? Now, we can do it!

  • How often we want to talk heart to heart with someone we love lives apart from us? Now, we can do it!

  • How many of us think of little house projects like changing the décor and layout or maybe doing DIYs? Now, we can do it!

  • How many of us who have wishful thinking that we have more time for ourselves? Now, we have.

  • I want to learn new things. Yes, now, we can do it!

All channels give us band news? Ys, it can make our hope down. Well, we do need to be careful, but it doesn’t mean we have no reason to be happy. Why don’t we answer the bad news with,” Okay, so what’s next! Sorry for not sorry, but it doesn’t affect me that much, now.”

We are the creator of our happiness and we are also the first person who ignores our happiness. So when our distraction lessens (because we Work From Home now), it’s time for ourselves.

Choose to be happy. And create your happiness.

It doesn’t mean we ignore safety, because the safety arrangements are already detailed and specific, and we need to obey. We need to be prepared all the time, but we also have to be aware that life must go on. When we have a healthy mind, we also become healthy. Our happiness is so valuable if we replace it with fear. Choose to be not easy to get affected.

I have been working at home from early this week, and on the first day there were so many challenges, not only did I have to adjust the long-distance work rhythm, losing my interaction with other colleagues is the hardest part. Slow coordination, long decision making, bad connection, just some challenges I faced. Every time I watch TV or read on any apps, the world becomes gloomier than ever. My work quality? Big hobo.

On the second day, the miracle did happen. I saw many colleagues of mine brought their children while doing a virtual meeting. The formal meeting became informal. When we are in the office, we should work with laser-focused, but now, our children’s rambling and chattering became fresh air. Even their quarrel became a piece of music to my ear. There are so many things in my family that have grown so much without my notice. Well, this is my new happiness. Right here, right now. And I choose to be happy any minute to be able to capture it on my memories. I still read bad news, but now, I gladly say to myself,” Good to know.” That’s it! And I move on with my life.

Choose life. Choose to be happy. Choose now.


Senior Trainer, Dale Carnegie Indonesia

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