What comes to mind when you think of children? If you’re a parent, you will think of all the joy your child has brought to your life. For non-parents, you might think differently. For me, I think of the smiling faces of children.
Sure, children have their ups and downs. They may cry and throw tantrums. Their very nature though is to be happy.
Why aren’t adults the same? Adults feel like they need a reason to be happy. Something extraordinary has to happen. That’s unfortunate.
Happiness is a choice. You choose whether to live a happy life or a miserable life.
Bad things can happen to you and cause you all sorts of pain and anguish. Regardless, happiness is a choice.
In fact, we control what we think, say and do. We come up with reasons that “cause” us to say something or do something but it’s really our choice in how we react.
Earlier today, while helping my five-year old get ready to go to worship services, she started crying after I told her “no.” She said, “You made me cry, Daddy.”
She actually believes I made her cry but I didn’t. She chose to react in that manner to what I said.
Instead of making excuses and blaming others for your unhappy ways, you need to make something else. Make a habit of being happy.
You need to work at being happy. You need to create a habit of doing certain things that make you happy.
Below are five things you can do or shouldn’t do to make happiness a choice in your life.
Happiness Is a Choice
My wife and I exchange the saying, “Have a good day” quite often when I leave for work. I used to say, “I’ll try.” With that mindset, I would not have a good day. I needed to be positive about how my day would go.
You can make the choice of anything being good or bad. Sometimes, things may not go as planned but you can still have a positive outlook. Make your day start well or you will make it bad.
Be a Good Example
Even if you think no one sees what you do, someone will see it. If it is bad, someone will find out. It seems that everything becomes public these days, especially with the growing use of social media.
If you are late to a meeting, your co-workers will see it and either complain to someone or start talking about you. Neither is good. I’ve seen this happen several times. If you are a leader, it is even worse. Leaders should “lead by example.”
Notice how this heading is “be a good example.” It is very possible for you to be a bad example. All examples are one or the other. Choose to be a good example, even when no one is watching.
Have you noticed that doing good to someone will make you feel good too? Most volunteers involved in mission work say that they personally gained more from the experience than the persons they were there to help.
If you’re a good example, you’ll feel happier. That’s because happiness is a choice and you chose it.
You definitely choose what you say. No one else is putting words in your head. If you complain, you’re choosing to be a complainer. There are times when it’s necessary to vent. But venting often will start to look like complaining.
Not everything will go as you expect or desire. Don’t complain about it if that happens. Live with it; accept it. Choose to find the positive in it.
When you complain you naturally start to see the negative in life. When you choose to talk about good things, like giving praise to others, you’ll feel better about yourself and others. Good thoughts lead to even more good thoughts.
Turn your complaining into praise!
Do you love what you do? Do you get so into a project that you don’t know what time it is? Being passionate for your work will help you enjoy each day. You can choose to be passionate.
Be passionate about more though. Be passionate about your health. Choose to make healthy decisions with what you eat and how much you exercise.
Be passionate about your spouse. Most people would say they are passionate about their family. While this should be the case, are you most passionate for your spouse than your kids? I firmly believe (and practice) that my wife is the most important person in my life. I focus on her. Then, I focus on the kids.
Be passionate about something besides work and you’ll start being happier every day.
It’s Your Choice to be Happy
You make hundreds, if not thousands of choices each day. Look at everything you do as choices or decisions you can make. You will likely become more intentional about the outcomes of those choices and focus on your happiness as well as others’ happiness.
Don’t let someone else dictate your state of mind. Choose yourself to be happy.
Question for you: If you are a generally happy person, what are some habits that lead to your happiness?