Self improvement guru, lecturer, and author of How to Win Friends and Influence People Dale Brekenridge Carnegi once said, “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” and today, on International Happiness Day, I could not agree more.
Once devastated to the point of ill health I am relieved to say I am no longer the woman who could once be found underweight, completely bald from stress and cowering in her soon to be repossessed home. Police officers from the Armed Response Unit do not now frequent my drive to discourage angry tradesmen from laying siege and the threat of a claw hammer to my husband’s head is not what I think of when I hear a knock at my door. No more do I endure the involuntary stomach flips which used to go hand in hand with a glimpse of the postman approaching my house and neither do I answer each and every phone call with the trepidation of a woman braced for the onslaught of hard line debt collectors and their verbal abuse.
It has taken almost five years, upwards of three hundred and fifty letters, forty or more debt counselling consultations, three full blown Financial Ombudsman Service investigations, one hundred and fifty five blog posts, twenty thousand two hundred and ninety four page views, one thousand nine hundred and ninety six tweets, an inordinate amount of political and economic reading, numerous phone calls, countless comments on facebook together with thousands and thousands of man hours to discover that although happiness is not dependent on what I have, where I am or what I am doing, happiness is definitely about having something to hope for.
American author and essayist Elizabeth Gilbert once said, “Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it” and although financially our circumstances have remained unchanged, I am very pleased to report that by fighting, striving and insisting I have not only discovered that I have been a victim of mortgage fraud but I have also found someone who investigates financial fraud on behalf of clients trapped by the wrongdoing of lenders and their associates who is prepared to take my case.
Because of this I now most definitely have hope and it is for this reason, today on International Happiness Day, I feel truly happy!