Recently a friend inquired about my “search for happiness”. I calmly looked him in the eye and told him that I am no longer searching for happiness, that I had found it. Sensing there was something to my response he inquired as to where I had found my source of joy. Here is where my real answer came. “It is not actually anywhere, but everywhere” I always tell people at my live seminars that happiness is not a goal or destination to be chased after or arrived at, but a decision and a lifestyle to commit to.
I can hear a lot of you right now. “I am committed to being happy, but then my boss yells at me, or my spouse is upset with me. In fact, I was really happy yesterday but then my tire went flat on my car”. Life will have it’s ups and downs, there is no preventing that. The goal is to do our best to remain happy in the face of life as best we can. I say ‘the best we can’ because happiness is not about perfection. Most people on their quest for a more positive rewarding life feel like they have failed if they become sad or depressed. Nothing could be further from the truth.
When you make a commitment to live a happier life you are working to overcome years of mental and social conditioning. It will be a struggle to say the least, especially to begin with. After you decide to be happy if you find yourself in one of many of the less than pleasing emotions, find a way to be happy about that. Perhaps you can learn something about yourself? Perhaps you can notice those moments are starting to be farther apart? Perhaps you can just find joy in the fact that nothing lasts forever. There is always some good to be found in every situation. That is one of the fun challenges of a positive life, finding the good in every situation you find yourself in. Trust me it is there, so is the bad. It is choosing to acknowledge the things that are not working while focusing on the things that are working. Not only are both always available, but so is the decision on which to focus. If you find yourself focusing on the negative, just stop, take a breath, and laugh and remind yourself happiness is not about perfection, it is about perspective. From there you can refocus and begin to regain your smile.
After telling my friend exactly what I have just shared with you above he informed me I was living in some sort of “fantasy world”. I hear this all to often. After informing him I do not ignore the challenges in my life, I do what I can to fix them and focus on joy. In fact, recently I have discovered ways to even find joy in some of my challenges. “So I guess that is why you are happier more often than I am?” he asked. I thought to myself, yes I guess it is. That is my choice, and the same choice is available to all of you.