Happiness is a Choice

Guest Blog from Wayne Irwin


There have been a lot of studies and focus on happiness lately.  While there are a number of factors that impact happiness, the one thing that all of the studies point to is the fact that happiness is within your control – it’s your choice.  That’s right, it is a choice and something that you can take control of immediately.


Many believe that happiness is governed by others and continues to elude them because something “negative” continues to get in their way.  Happiness is really a state of mind and largely about “learned optimism” – the ability to look at the bright side. Take control of your thoughts and make it happen.


There are literally hundreds of things that you can do on a daily basis that will help your happiness.  Here are 3 that you can start with immediately –


Choose your Attitude – Be Positive – choose to look at things from a positive perspective.  There are 2 sides to every issue and your perspective will color your happiness.  By looking at the positive or what good can come from the event, you will begin an upward spiral to being more & more happy more & more of the time.  The same is true on the opposite side.  If you look through a negative lens or worry about everything, then your focus will become jaded and it will be very difficult for you to see the positives.


Have you ever heard the saying – “it’s all in your head”?  There is truth in that saying – if what’s in your head is positive, it is more likely that positive things will happen and take you further down a path of happiness.


Choose your Friends – Happiness is truly contagious.  By spending time around happy people, you will see that they are generally optimistic, grateful for what life has provided, and look for ways to help others.  This in turn will help you visualize yourself with the same perspective.  Your thoughts and attitudes will veer towards being optimistic in different situations – looking curiously at the opportunities, and taking positive actions.


We all know people who live their lives “being” unhappy – maybe you are one of them.  Many times they create the unhappiness by complaining about everything, focusing on negative versus positive, and are generally comforted by being a victim.  You want to avoid these types of people.


Create a circle of friends that are positive and creating positive energy.  If you do this, negativity won’t be an option.


Choose Gratefulness – Being grateful truly allows you to enjoy life.  Gratitude plays such a large role in happiness because it eliminates so many things that can cause unhappiness.  Focus on the good things in your life – don’t compare your life to others – but truly focus on all of the things you can appreciate.  If you simply think of 3 things on a daily basis, you will feel your outlook on life becoming more positive and you will seek out positive things.  I have a “gratefulness jar” in my house.  Every night, we write down something we were grateful for that day and put it in the jar – it sounds simple, but it works.


Practicing gratitude on a daily basis will allow us to appreciate the things in our life – our happiness and our success – more.


Yes, that’s right, HAPPINESS is a choice.  Something we can work on nearly every minute of the day.  Take the three steps listed above and see what a great choice you have made.

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