Loretta Swit: ''You have to want to be happy.''

The M*A*S*H star provides you with a moment of zen.

Funny thing, this whole "life" concept... It doesn't exactly come with an owner's manual. Sure, science tells us this and that, but those suggestions change every few years, and things we thought were good for us are suddenly poison. Beyond physical well-being, there's the matter of "Well, how do I enjoy all this anyway?" There's no one-size-fits-all approach to living, and it can feel really confusing. Sometimes we feel like we're doing all the right things, and yet, we're not where we want to be. 

Luckily, though, there are the people who came before us. There are wise folks who have walked this path as well. Sure, nobody's perfect, and no advice is either. But, really, what have we got to lose? Why not take a piece of advice from someone as admirable as Loretta Swit?

Swit, A.K.A M*A*S*H's "Hot Lips" Houlihan, is our idea of success. Forget that she was one of the most important cast members in one of the most important shows in television history. Forget her two Emmy Awards. Forget every theatrical production that was made better by her presence. Instead, focus on the life she lived and the difference she made along the way. That's what makes Loretta Swit worth listening to. She's a strong, independent woman who never lets anyone else control her happiness.

So, speaking of happiness, how did Loretta Swit lasso that elusive feeling? How did she manage to maintain happiness throughout her life, and what guidance did she provide to those around her? Fortunately for us, Swit spoke in 1975 with Holly Hill of the White Plains, New York Reporter Dispatch about that very topic.

"You have to want to be happy," Loretta mused. "Desire is three-quarters of the battle. People don't realize that. It's truly what you choose to make it — that's an oversimplification, but I'm saying that you can regulate it more than you give yourself credit for. Some people are afraid to be happy because they may get kicked in the teeth, or afraid of success because of the responsibility, so they stay at a certain failure line — not total failure, but never real success and joy.

"You have to be willing to want something very strongly, and if you do you can bring it about. I fully believe that. The moment you believe that you're not the victim of outside forces, you're not."

Do us a favor, dear reader, and let us know if these words resonated with you. Comment below to share whether you were moved by these words and whether they ring true for you.

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