Choose Happiness Now: How and Why You Need to Choose to Feel Happy (Almost) 100% of the Time
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach | Life Strategies and Stress Management Coach
I have said it before, but it bears repeating: we all want to be happy.
Ironically, while this is true, and many of us acknowledge it, too many people fail to experience happiness as frequently as they want.
Why is that?
For one thing, a lot of people are "waiting" to feel happy. They think that their lives must be "perfect" first. They want to be their perfect weight first. They mistakenly believe that a mythical number on a scale can make them happy.
Some believe they must have the ideal relationship first. They don't believe they are complete all by themselves. They need someone else to make them feel whole.
Others think that they need the perfect job, the ideal house, or the ideal car--all before they can feel the satisfaction of true happiness.
But don't we all know that none of these things can make us happy?
Happiness is an inside job!
And because that is so, you may choose to be happy today. You may choose happiness in any given moment, even when outer appearances seem to contradict you.
Choosing to be happy regardless of what may be happening in your life means consciously recognizing that this moment--right now--is all you have for certain.
Waiting for some magical future time when you may or may not have all the outer trappings you think you need to be happy is quite simply a colossal waste of time.
Happiness is not circumstantial.
This is good news! It means you don’t have to wait for anything in your life to be perfect before you can experience a deep, satisfying feeling of happiness.
You choose how you feel when you choose the thoughts you think.
It's just that simple.
Another simple fact is that you don't have control over everything in life. Recognizing this fundamental truth can be a game-changer. It means you can choose to be happy for no reason right now.
Something significant happens when you choose to do this. When you choose to feel happy no matter what, your experience of the world changes in ways you could probably never imagine before.
Choosing happiness at this moment leads to more moments of feeling happy in the next moment and then the next.
Okay, so you can choose to be happy any time you want. But perhaps you feel that something is standing in the way of your feeling the happiness you want and your current experience.
It that is the case consider that the real starting point of happiness is self-love and self-acceptance.
Start living from a pure state of self-love, and you’ll be able to experience sustainable contentment.
It's hard for some people, I know. Some of you have been told you don't measure up. You had overly critical parents or teachers. And you internalized that criticism so that you criticize yourself now more than anyone else does.
If you want to feel happy, one of the first things you need to do is turn off the voice of self-loathing. Ease up on yourself. So you're not perfect. Who is?
Once you start to cut yourself some slack and love your flaws in spite of them while you give yourself credit for your strengths, your life experience can begin to change for the better.
And that inside job I referenced earlier has begun.
Once you have mastered your thoughts with healing and loving thoughts for yourself, you start to feel better about yourself and the world at large. You will begin to sense the abundance that is available to you.
Your feelings of abundance can lead to many wonderful things, including beautiful relationships, financial freedom, and purpose-driven work.
Loving yourself puts you on the fast track toward finding true happiness and healing. Your job is to release your fearful misperceptions. Develop a loving outlook on life.
There is one thing most people tend to overlook or ignore.
You are perfect just the way you are.
Nothing is "wrong" with you! You don't need to "fix" yourself in any way before you can be happy.
That belief is a tired old myth that you may have inherited from well-intentioned but mistaken adults in your life as you were growing up. It's not true! So, you can choose to let go of that belief whenever you are ready.
Here is what I want you to remember above all else.
Happiness is a conscious choice!
The less you choose it consciously or nonconsciously, the harder you make your life experience. Period. End. Of. Story.
So what do you want in life? You want to be happy, don't you? Then choose to be happy right now! It's that simple.
Jim Rohn once advised, “Learn how to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want.”
You make choices every day in pursuit of what you want or to avoid what you don't want, don't you?
You choose what to eat or drink, what clothes to wear, where to work, and whom to love. Some of your choices are good and work out well for you. Others may not be so good for you and may not work out so well.
BUT YOU STILL CHOOSE.
Now, I am not suggesting that your genetics, personality, and temperament don't play a role in how you experience life. They do.
And I am not suggesting that some people haven't had horrible experiences in life. Some experiences are so horrific that it is hard for many of us to imagine. Tragic, unimaginable atrocities happen every day all over the world. Even as I write this, I am aware that there have been not one but two mass murders in two American cities this weekend. That's tragic. I cannot even imagine how those families of the victims feel. I also cannot imagine how the parents of the perpetrators must feel. It is tragic for everyone involved for sure.
So, I am not suggesting that it is inappropriate for you to feel bad occasionally. It's normal.
And, of course, you will also feel sad on occasion. Because we are human beings, we experience a whole range of emotions that serve a purpose.
Negative emotions are every bit as real as the positive emotions we feel.
But at the end of the day, the most significant part of being happy over the long-term is a choice you make in spite of everything else that may be going on. You choose to be happy in spite of any genetics, tragic situations, or horrific circumstances you face.
Your happiness depends on the thoughts you choose to have and the conscious choices you make.
Happiness is a daily choice.
Happiness isn’t something you chase, nor is it something you attain at the end of a journey. If you're like most people, chances are, you have tried chasing happiness. You've worked to achieve specific goals, to improve your looks, or to have the ideal job.
You may have obsessed about something that turned out to be entirely wrong for you. Chasing these external things may have turned you into thinking you are a victim. Do you blame others or the world for your mistakes? This thought process is all wrong, but for many, it may seem "normal."
Many happy people around us are successful. They’re happy because they made a conscious choice to be happy and they make this choice every single day. When life gives them lemons, they choose to make the best of it. They decide to see the good in every situation.
Happiness ultimately leads to success.
Many people think success is the key to happiness, but in fact, the opposite is true. Happiness is the key to success.
When you’re happy, you feel more energetic, confident, and optimistic. You actively seek out new opportunities. You work harder to meet your goals. Your brain is better able to stay focused, and your motivation improves.
The hidden secret to people who are creative, productive, and successful is their ability to focus on experiencing happiness moment by moment.
Happiness is a combination of pleasure and purpose.
For you to be happy, you need to understand what happiness is. Happiness is both pleasure and purpose. Pleasure means feeling positive emotions, such as delight, joy, and surprise, in the present moment. And purpose is about living a life which feels meaningful to you.
When you are happy, you tend to savor the food you eat, for example. You are more mindful in each of your day-to-day experiences, no matter how mundane. In short, you appreciate all the beautiful things life has to offer.
When you are happy, you count your blessings, are kind to others, and focus on being and doing the best you can be.
If you can do that, the rest takes care of itself.
So, choose to be happy now.
Until next time.
Have you heard about my newest live presentation, "The Four Agreements of Authentic Leadership?"
I am offering the same presentation this coming Friday, August 9th at 11:00 AM EST.
I will be using the four agreements and explaining how I believe they are the key to establishing trust in any relationship and how an aspiring or experienced leader can use them in any situation, personal or professional.
Will you join me? If you aspire to be a better leader (and most people do) you may find this presentation helpful.