It’s Up to You…Your Happiness, That Is!

The phrase “happiness is a choice” is something we’ve all heard before. But have you ever really stopped to think about what it means? If you’re like me, your first reaction was probably something like, Yeah, right. If it were that easy we’d all be ecstatic all the time. Nobody feels stress or pain or worry because they want to. Those things are a part of life that we can’t do anything about.

Well, that line of thinking is actually correct…to an extent. You can’t magically rid yourself of bills or responsibilities or unforeseen accidents, or a million other things. But you can control how you respond and react to those negative circumstances.

If you know much about me or my story, then you’re probably aware that I struggled with feelings of anxiety, perfectionism, low self-esteem, and even depression for a lot of my life, before I finally suffered a breakdown at age thirty-six. So I know what I’m talking about when I say that no matter how out of control you think your life is, you really can change how happy and fulfilled you feel on a day-to-day basis.

It all comes down to figuring out a more positive way to react to the negative things that happen to you, as well as consciously infusing your life with more positive thoughts, people, and habits. For instance:

  • If you find that you’ve accidentally overdrawn your checking account, you could beat yourself up over this slip-up all day, then also complain to your spouse (or whoever will listen) about how stupid you are and how you wish your family wasn’t so financially strapped. OR, you could figure out why the mistake was made so you can prevent it from happening in the future, as well as begin thinking of some new ways to earn more income (or conversely, about some new ideas to cut your expenses)…and then focus on how to make the most of your evening.
  • Your coworkers are starting up the daily gripe-fest around the water cooler. You could join in by describing the latest condescending phone call you received from your mother-in-law. OR, you could turn the tide by congratulating everyone on the new client your company just signed.
  • Once again, the nightly news is describing mishap after calamity after setback, and as usual, your thoughts are starting to swirl into a vortex of doom and gloom. You could continue watching and let yourself become more discouraged. OR, you could turn the TV off and read a chapter of a motivational book, or go for a walk or a jog.

Now, you’ve got to realize that you’ll never wake up and have a perfect day, and that building a happier life for yourself won’t happen overnight. But I promise, when you decide to focus on the people, things, and behaviors that enrich and fulfill you, and that inspire your positive mental, physical, and spiritual growth, you will notice a big difference in your mindset and emotional state. Once you understand the concept of choosing to be happy, your life will begin to change for the better.

8 thoughts on “It’s Up to You…Your Happiness, That Is!

  1. Todd, very insightful, and i can say from experience 100% accurate. I learned years ago from some “self help” books like Anthony Robbins, that “you are basically as happy as you think you are”. meaning, your mind is EXTREMELY powerful. and many things in life are how you perceive them. I am not sure if you heard the old Chinese proverb about “good luck and bad luck”. A farmer had a wild horse come on to his land, and his son said “wow, what good fortune we have”. but the father said, “good luck, bad luck who is to know”. Then his son while riding the horse and broke his, leg and said to the father, “what bad luck we have” and the father replied “good luck, bad luck who is to know”. then them army came to town and took every able boy to fight in the war, but the son having a broken leg could not go of to battle, and the son said “what good luck” and father replied…..
    Point is in life all is preception, and that is controlled by us.
    all that said, this is not switch you turn on. it is more like hitting a baseball. easy to swing the bat, but practice day in and out strengthen on ability to it becomes second nature. but your words are 100% TRUE!! nice BLOG!

    • Holy cow, Jeff! The next time I speak you should join me! You’re on fire, brother! Please check out my website. I think you’ll really love the 12 weeks! Much Love, Todd

  2. Hello Todd great blog it’s nice to hear someone else talk about how you can help your feelings and your attitude by having positive things around you. I still get the looks from people when i see a dark gloom around them and tell them i can see it. At work i have sent people home with a personal day because gloom is very contagious.
    On another note my driver that lost his foot is doing very well read your book twice and he wrote you a letter. Where can i send it so you will receive it.

    Thanks Ed

    • Ed, Really love you, my friend. Please keep me posted on Jimmy. You can send the letter to my office. Let me know if you need that address. Much love, Todd

  3. Todd,I have learnt so much from your book,your presentations and now your blog.I learnt how to forgive myself when I make a mistake.This is something you taught me.Whenever I tend to be hard on myself I think of your book and I try to find happiness.I am so grateful to you for your advice and encouragement.
    Rachel Tal

    • Rachel, I love you very much! The work you do in Israel for our more impoverished schools and their students is incredible. Always remember to be your own best cheerleader. Love, Todd

  4. Great advice Todd!!!! Learning to focus on the positive and understanding that we, as individuals, have the ability to choose where we ultimately decide to channel our emotional energy does not come easily. But reading your book and blogs, are great tools to learn how.

    Thanks
    Russ

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