Challenge #7: Choosing happiness
Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be so.
No person will make you happy until you decide to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you, it can only come from you
Happiness is a choice. It’s up to you to make the daily decision to choose to be happy each day.
There is no way to sugarcoat it- life sometimes sucks. Furthermore, looking to possessions and other people to make you happy is a sure-fire way to make sure you won’t be happy.
The key to happiness is to make a conscious decision to be happy. Let me put it this way- circumstances are not always going to go your
For example. If you are in your car, stuck at a train crossing, waiting for a 100-car freight train to pass, there are a couple of reactions you might experience.
- You could
fume,because you’ll be late to your destination.
- You could accept the fact that the train is there, that you’ll be late and
thereisn’t much you can do about it. You could then decide that the extra minute or two can be put to good use by listening to – and singing – your favorite song on the radio or your smartphone, or taking down important notes on a nearby piece of paper.
Making these decisions requires awareness. When you choose not to be held hostage by your circumstances or emotions, the bad things that occur won’t seem quite so bad. Getting to this place requires a decision, on your part, to be happy each day.
Every day, for the next seven days, deliberately choose to be happy. Here’s how this works:
- When you wake up in the morning, make it your intention to be happy for the day.
- When you meet people, loved ones, friends or even total strangers, make the choice to smile at them.
- Whenever you feel a negative emotion – worry, anger, frustration- stop for a moment, and remind yourself
aboutthe good things going on in your life.
Before you go to sleep, write down in your book how you chose happiness and the impact of that decision.
The whole point of this exercise is that it forces you to live in the moment, to stay present.
Take the example of the train. The reason why I would be so pissed off is not
Start this exercise with becoming aware of your usual pattern.
Did you experience a negative emotion yesterday, or today? What was your reaction? And how would you have reacted, when you took the time to consciously decide how to react instead of, well, following your instincts? 🙂
When I sent the first mail coming from me, first of January, I got a lot of reactions. Most of them were positive, but some of them were blunt and sometimes even mean…
My first reaction is to shrink, crawl under a stone and wait until everyone forgot. I used to do that already as a little kid…. When someone asked me a question that came too close, I had a headache and refused to answer the question. And later on, I made up the most brilliant answers in my mind, of what I SHOULD have said.
Back to the mean reactions. Luckily, I got them by email. Then it’s so much easier to practice this exercise. Instead of getting mad and hit back, or delete the mail and pretend it didn’t exist, I wrote back a very friendly mail, thanking the writer for his or her support in all those years and that I would remove him off the mailing list.
Reacting like this feels powerful and peaceful. Because I didn’t make his problem my problem. And the coolest part was that in some cases I got an apology back:)
Becoming mad or shrinking would both be because of a deeper feeling behind it: feeling guilty, or not good enough (living in the past), or scared that I can’t meet expectations (worrying about the future). For me, reactions of other people are the hardest situations to deal with.
I invite you to share one of the moments you had a negative emotion, how you handled it and then how you would handle it with this exercise in mind…
Live fully and be awesome…