I can remember the first time I heard this, I thought it was absolutely ridiculous. I thought, “How can I choose to be happy when strangers say horrible things to me about my appearance? How can I be happy when it feels like there are so many things wrong in my life?” But when I finally started a consistent meditation practice, things truly did seem clearer. And I realized that people who judged me by my appearance did not do so because of me; they did so because of their own issues. Instead of looking at everything “wrong” in my life, I started looking at even the small things I had to be grateful for. Now, when I start to slip and go back to old ways of thinking, I meditate on what I am grateful for, or read some inspiring quotes that put things back into perspective, or I do a compassion meditation. And remember: if you don’t know how to be happy when things are going “wrong,” you won’t know how to be happy when things are going the way you want them to. Life stops for no one and when you make a choice to be happy regardless of the circumstances in your life, you empower yourself to decide your own happiness, instead of allowing external forces to dictate it for you.