The Happiness Code

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Surprise! There isn’t one—a code I mean.

Certainly, happiness exists. It’s a real emotion, and many of us believe it’s what we experience when we achieve a milestone, accomplish a goal, or acquire something we’ve had our heart set on for a long time.

That’s one kind of happiness—the transitory, fleeting kind. It lasts for a few hours, or days, or even weeks.

But that’s not what I’m talking about.

The feeling that has us temporarily floating on air—that emotion we often mistake for happiness—doesn’t stay with us. And after a few weeks of driving a new car, or receiving a promotion at work, we become accustomed to the new ride, the new title, the new home. And then it’s back to life as usual, and we begin looking for the next new thing we need to make us “happy.”

So how do we find true happiness—the kind that stays with us and keeps us motivated regardless of what life throws our way?

We first have to realize that happiness—the real kind—isn’t dependent upon outside influences.

Happiness is an inside job.

And for many folks, it remains buried under a pile of excuses and rationalizations preventing them from setting it free.

What if you merely decided to be happy? What if your mindset, attitude, and outlook emphasized the positive—being grateful for your life, and for those with whom you share it?

Everyone wants to be around people who are happy, successful, and inspiring. However, we seldom realize these folks didn’t just wake up one day and begin living their lives in a state of bliss and gratitude. Their positive attitude typically involved a journey, one influenced by being in the presence of and learning from others who were not so fortunate.

Perspective is a powerful teacher. And oftentimes, the pain and experiences of others can teach us more than the platitudes of the rich and famous (who, curiously, are some of the most miserable people around).

I’m sure you’ve met someone who approaches life with a sense of joy and appreciation. They may have even achieved a level of success you wish to emulate. If you haven’t already done so, ask them to tell you their story. Listen carefully and without interruption, and you’ll likely discover that their choice to be happy evolved from the struggles they personally endured, and the hurdles they overcame to make the necessary changes in their life that brought them success.

Fortunately, opportunities are all around us. And along with every decision we make, every road we travel, we can also choose how we feel about the journey.

Poor me or happy me. The choice is always ours to make.

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Hi Jill,  REALLY loved this article on choosing happiness and being positive. Love that you share these thoughts with others in the hope that it will improve their lives. Keep up the GREAT work! –  Phil B.