“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
As humans, we have one very great ability, which is the one thing that sets us apart from the rest of the animals in the animal kingdom: “free will” and the ability to make choices about everything we do.
We have the ability to makes choices every second of every day if our lives. That being said, if I am able to choose to get out of bed in the morning or choose what I would like to eat for lunch then I must also be able to “choose happiness” right?
Here is something that might sound absolutely absurd to some but is 100% true – humans have the choice to be happy or not. Choosing happiness will change everything in your life. You will be filled with joy by choosing to not let negative situations bring you down. If you choose happiness, it will change your relationships, life, health, work, financial, lovers, personal life, and anything else that is an important aspect in your life.
Here is an example:
Someone backed into my vehicle the other day. I could have been really upset, ruminated about it, been frustrated for days, and told other people how much of an idiot this guy was for hitting it.
I could choose to say, “Oh well, glad everything is okay. No one is hurt and it’s not really that bad anyway,” and not make a big deal of it. I chose happiness in that situation, and I am much better off for it. When we choose happiness, everything and anything bad in life seems to roll right off of you and you are completely unaffected by negative situations. This is a very powerful and useful tool.
Here is another example:
I had been dating a girl recently; a girl I really liked. It ended up not working out, for a whole host of reasons. Now, I could “choose” to be bummed out, sulk around, lock myself away at my home crawled up in the fetal position and not go out, OR I could “choose” to not let it bring me down. I “chose” to continue my life as usual, not worrying about it, knowing that everything will continue to be okay. Since I choose to not let it bum me out, I get over it much faster, start attracting other people into my life, have a much better overall experience, and life goes on in a much, much better way.
So why is all this “CHOOSING HAPPINESS” so important to our overall outlook and experience in life?
Have you ever met the person who is flat broke? The type of person that literally has everything going against them yet they are totally happy with life? They don’t have anything, really (in society’s eyes), but their “choice” to be happy affects all aspects of their life. People love to be around these types of people. They are not the energy suckers, but the energy givers. They are the people who have more abundance in their life than they know what to do with. They are the people that just seem to love life – and anything that it throws at them and they genuinely live a fantastic life!
A well-known talk radio show host, Dennis Prager, says that “happiness” is a moral obligation. I believe this to be true, and humans should be obligated to choose happiness. Why? Because happiness is a much better gift to give to yourself and to others rather than being a curmudgeon and/or Negative Nelly.
You cannot always choose what happens in life, but you do have the power to choose what you think about what’s happening. That way, no one or nothing has any power over you. That’s the magic. We choose what we make of any given situation.
So the million dollar question is “How do you choose happiness?”
1. Decide. AKA-choose.
2. Stick with your choice.
3. Watch the dramatic difference that choice will make.
Letting go of the past and living in the present moment while consciously choosing happiness will take deliberate practice, but the rewards will be worth it.
How do you apply “choosing happiness” in your life?
When you wake up in the morning, choose to be grateful for everything in your life. Choose to smile, choose to relax and take time, as you get ready for your day. When something “bad” arises – choose to not let it get to you because everything will always work out just the way that it was supposed to.
Remember that as with anything new in life, you must start with small steps. These incremental changes will turn into big changes over time. Getting up in the morning, having breakfast, and being thankful you have food. Getting to work and being thankful you have a job, and trying to smile at at least one person when you enter. Any small opportunity you have to choose happiness, no matter how trivial you may think it is, make the conscious decision in that moment to seize the opportunity.
My life changed dramatically when I decided to choose happiness, and I wish to pass this gift on to you.
Life really comes down to one simple thing: Choices.
|Written on 1/07/2010 by Matt Crowe. Matt is the Founder and Chairman of Huckleberry, a Minneapolis, MN venture capital firm with a unique focus on “building companies.” He writes regularly at matt’s blog – business and philosophy, is a columnist for Real Business Magazine, is the author of the book Winners Persevere, and hosts an online talk radio show called The Matt Crowe Show.||Photo Credit: pasotraspaso|