Happiness… You Can Choose That?!

So I find it interesting when I hear people say things like… “when I meet the right person I will be happier” or “when I get that new job I will be happier” or “when I pay off my bills I will be happier” or “when I blah blah blah I will be happier”.  This list is endless AND pointless.  These statements make no sense.  Nothing can make you happy unless you first choose to be happy.  It starts from within.  You have to live happiness.  Like success, it is not a destination but rather happiness is the journey itself.

I constantly find myself shaking my head when I hear people say this stuff.  The logic is so skewed that I can’t even wrap my head around it to understand how they can think this way.

I’m not sure when I began to realize that happiness (or success) is something that you have to live.  It was a while ago.  I think it was back when I first started getting into reading personal development books.  For the life of me I can’t remember what book I first read this idea but nevertheless it has come up time and time again over the years.

Below is one of those instances… so without further ado here is food for thought from Jeffrey Gitomer.


On Choosing Happiness. What’s Your Choice?
by Jeffrey Gitomer

After is a self-defeating word. It robs you of the present, and resigns you to wait without taking any action.

You convince yourself that life will be better after something: After you get a new job, after you get a better job, after you get more money, after you get out of debt, after the economy rebounds, after your stocks go back up, after you get that big order.

You convince yourself that life will be better after an event: After you get married, after you have a baby, after you get a new house, after you take a vacation, after you come back from vacation, after summer is over, or some other action-procrastinating “after.”

Are you frustrated that the kids aren’t old enough, and believe you’ll be more content after they’re in high school or out of high school? Are you frustrated that you have teenagers to deal with? You will certainly be happy after they’re out of that stage. Certainly you’ll be happier after they’re in college, or is it out of college?

You tell yourself that your life will be more complete when your spouse gets his or her act together, when you get a nicer car, a new house, a raise in pay, a new boss, or worse, after you retire.

The truth is, the fact is, the reality is, there’s no better time to be happy than right now.

If not now, when? After the economy gets better?

You may not be able to wait that long.

Your life will always be filled with challenges, barriers, and disappointments. It’s best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. Alfred Souza said, “For a long, long time it had seemed to me that I was about to begin real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.”

There is no way to happiness.

Happiness is the way.

There is no after to happiness

Happiness is now.

Here’s the answer: It’s inside your head FIRST and everyplace else second. Happiness is a treasure. Your (missed) opportunity is to treasure every moment that you have.

Stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school, until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until after you quit smoking, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning, until you get your new car or home, until your car or home is paid off, until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter, until the first or the fifteenth, until your song comes on, until you’ve had a drink, until you’ve sobered up, until you win the lottery, or until the cows come home to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy.

And treasure the happiness of now more because you share it with someone special enough to invest your time in…

Happiness is:

Not a sale or a commission.

Not an economy or a budget.

Not a yes or a no.

Not a game winning hit or a last second touchdown.

Happiness is a way of life that is inside you at all times. It helps you get over the tough times, and helps you celebrate the special times.

Seems pretty simple to define on paper, but real difficult to manifest when the chips are down. My experience has taught me the difference between resign and resolve. You can resign yourself to what is, and hope or wait for a better day. Or you can resolve that you are a positive person who finds the good, the positive, the happiness, the smile, and especially the opportunity in everything.

Happiness is now, not a goal or a destination.

It’s not an after, it’s a before.

And it’s up to you. All you have to do is: decide.

2 comments so far

  1. carrie on

    so true. my mom always said you have to make a conscious decision every morning that “today I will be happy. i choose to be happy.” great advice that i continue to follow. it sounds so simple but why be sad about things you have no control over, when you can be happy about the good stuff and change the things you can control?

  2. Nick on

    This is great advice. I find myself catching myself all the time when I start to think in this negative way. Every time I start to think “once this happens, I will be happy,” I have to stop and think, no! what can I be happy about right now?

    Most recently, I am living in a big empty apartment in Holland, waiting for over a month for all of my stuff to come from the US. Every time I walk into that apartment I get depressed that I have no stuff. I caught myself falling into this way of thinking just today. I said to myself, dude, your in Europe, stop working about your stupid apartment and go out and explore what all there is to see.

    Always try to make the best of things, it will really help and make things that you were previously worrying about seam insignificant.

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