You may have heard people say that happiness is a choice.
But is it really that simple?
Can you simply make up your mind to be happy and that makes it so?
Yes, it really is that simple.
I’m a happy person and many members of my team are happy too. And it’s not because of the company we keep or the amount of money in our bank accounts.
It’s because we choose to be happy when we wake up each morning and when we go to sleep at night. And we are committed to making “happy” choices throughout the day—no matter what circumstances we may face.
When you think about it, tremendous power and freedom comes from realizing you’re in charge of your own happiness.
You get to call the shots
No matter how much you may want them to, no one else can make you happy.
If you want to be happy, you must be it.
While happiness is a choice you can decide on in a fraction of a second, you have to work on it for a lifetime.
For instance, sometimes life brings circumstances and obstacles that can challenge everything you’ve ever known about being happy. During those times, it might feel like everything has been turned upside-down, inside-out, and backwards.
Still, you can make a choice to find that spark, that one thing that allows you to see the good in that moment.
Then, you can continue to make choices that will make you feel good instead of sad, frustrated, fearful, or stuck.
Happiness is choosing to look for the good instead of allowing the current circumstances to dictate how you feel. Knowing that you can choose happiness can make all the difference in the world.
At the end of the day, it boils down to this…
You can choose to be a happy person who is inwardly directed and rises above outside limitations and circumstances.
Or you can live a relatively unhappy life that is at the mercy of your emotions, outside circumstances and what others say or do.
Which are you choosing?
Are you choosing to be gloomy or happy?
Really think about that for a moment.
What are your first thoughts each morning and your last thoughts before you drift off to sleep at night?
What’s your outlook on life?
Would your closest friends and family members describe you as happy?
How do you talk to yourself and others?
Do you scream (or at least want to scream) at kids to get off your lawn or do you get invited to lots of parties and outings?
Be happy where you are
I come across a lot of people who are so focused on where they want to go, they don’t allow themselves to be happy where they are now.
They are making an unfortunate choice.
I’ll be the first to tell you that you should never be satisfied with where you are. However, you should always be happy and grateful.
Instead of waiting until you achieve your goal, decide to be happy now.
You can start your journey right now by making a clear, conscious and committed decision to be happy. Declare it by writing this down:
“I choose to be happy. From now on, I am going to be a happy person, no matter what.”
Saying or writing down something like “I would like to be happy” or “I wish to be happy” won’t work. Those are just wishes, and they will not take you where you want to go.
Once you have made the decision to be a happy person, then you need to do whatever it takes to be happy. That should start with making sure you have a positive attitude towards your day the moment you wake up.
I suggest reflecting on your life and asking yourself this question: What things make me smile?
Then, give yourself a little time each morning to think about or do those things. Feel grateful for them. Be grateful for the progress you’re making on your goals. And look forward to all the wonderful things that are going to happen that day.
Don’t get this part twisted
If you spend time around enough successful people, you notice they are generally optimistic, curious, and they find a way to be grateful for everything life brings them. The good and bad, wins and losses, highs and lows.
They are happy first. Successful second.
That’s the opposite of what we’re taught. We believe that we must work hard to become successful, make lots of money, get a big title and then we will be happy.
But success doesn’t make you happy. I know plenty of divorced, sullen, grumpy, WEALTHY people.
Saying you need to be successful to be happy is like saying that you must win a gold medal before you can become a great athlete.
Just like winning at the Olympics, when it comes to being happy, the mindset, the training and the practice precedes the result.
So, again, make the choice to be happy now, work on it each day, and that will lead to a successful personal AND professional life.
To your success,
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