The successes of my life have all been the result of the choices I have made. I'm not referring to choices like getting into wrestling or sprinting, moving to America or becoming a Keynote Inspirational Speaker. I'm talking about much more important decisions, like the decision to work hard, like the decision to live my life enthusiastically, like the decision to be proud and independent, like the decision to be self reliant.
The most important decision I have made, and continue to make every day, is to be happy. Yes, being happy is a choice. Don't get me wrong. I am a realist. I'm not here to give you the goody, goody Pollyanna message that you can just smile and act like everything is great in your world all the time. That is a very false happiness.
No, happiness, once again, is about knowing yourself and making the conscious decision that you are going to cultivate and maintain a happy attitude in your life, regardless of the circumstances, conditions or people you are dealing with.
Happiness is, in my opinion and experience, the very essence of who you are. It is nourishment that is critical to your sole, critical to your psyche and your spirit. Without it, not only will you never truly appreciate the good times and good things in your life, but you will never be able to sustain yourself through challenging moments and harsh experiences, and they will happen.
So why not take charge of your happy attitude? Happiness, your happiness, is completely under your control. Just be aware that it takes some work, especially in the beginning. Like with so many other factors in your life, a successful decision to live happy is dependent on a true understanding ofyourself. You have to learn what triggers happiness in you. You have to learn what behaviors you demonstrate when you're happy.
You also have to develop the discipline to take charge of this knowledge and create these circumstances within yourself and the actions necessary to sustain them. You have to embody the mindset necessary to be happy.
Think about a time when you were truly happy, a year, a day, an evening, an event that brought that feeling. Spend a few minutes now in that memory. Visualize it, really feel it.
What made it that way? What triggered the emotion at that moment? Were you doubtful or optimistic? Were you in action or sitting passively? How did you behave? How did you stand? What was your posture? What expression was on your face? How did you talk to yourself? How did you move?
Why don't you choose to do those things that way all the time? Why don't you decide to stand that way right now? Why not adopt that posture as a matter of course? Why not make that expression the permanent look you present to the world?
You can choose to do that!
The next time you feel your mood slipping, be aware of it. Stop it. Take stock of your posture, your stance, your facial expression. Get up, or at least move, make a change in the moment. Take charge.
If you know the circumstances that are present when you are happy, you can bring them about instantly, at any time:
If you are slouching, pull your shoulders back and stand or sit up straight.
If you are frowning, then smile. (Even an insincere smile will make you feel happier than a sincere frown.)
If you are looking at your feet, lift your eyes
If you feel tired, get up and move
If you are sitting passively, get up and do something.
If you are putting something off, then go do it. (Interestingly, most people are happier actually doing a task, even an unpleasant one, than when they are avoiding it or doing nothing)
If you are melancholy, change your focus, change the subject
Change your physiology to get back control of your emotions
My point is, once you know the circumstances, your circumstances, in your mind and your body, that are present when you are happy, you can create them, and recreate them at a second’s notice. Eventually, it will become a habit to demonstrate these circumstances, this behavior, this physiology as a matter of course and the resulting happiness will become an ever-present attitude that you demonstrate all the time. As the attitude develops, you will experience good times that will become your personal reservoir of strength to draw on the next time your happiness is challenged. Have you ever noticed how happy people can draw on experience at will? Wouldn't you like to be one of those?
Choosing to be happy, choosing to sustain that attitude, regardless of the circumstances of your moment will make dealing with problems and difficult people easier and less stressful. It will also make the good times more enjoyable and special people and relationships positively awesome and inspiring. It will make your career more rewarding, your friendships more gratifying and your family life more satisfying and worthwhile.
I like being happy and choose to live my life that way. If I can, I know you can.
Why don't you start now?