Happiness isn’t a reaction, it is a cause. People who wait for specific circumstances to materialize before they are happy are putting the cart before the horse. People who are happy attract positive situations. Those who walk around with a scowl are a magnet for the very things they are unhappy about.
You don’t need a reason to be happy. Being happy is a lot more enjoyable than being miserable. Since feeling crummy isn’t pleasant, and it doesn’t make your situation better, why not be happy instead?
Well, it’s a great concept, but it is not a natural reaction. We become conditioned from birth to consider our emotions to be a reaction to the events we experience.
For most people this ingrained cause and effect behavior continues throughout their lives. This leads us to believe we do need a reason to be happy. Therefore, many people wait, day after day, for the perfect combination of circumstances which will create the justification for happiness.
Since life is not perfect, there will be situations that are constantly below your expectations. If you are waiting for everything to be perfect before you can be happy, you will be waiting a very long time.
You can be happy just to be happy. You may think you have nothing to be happy about, but you are wrong. Everyone has much more to be happy for than they realize.
Regardless of how you feel, start out by smiling. When you smile you will feel better. Force yourself if you have to. A better approach is to think about anything that makes you happy. It can be something from your past or what you desire now or in the future.
Next, think about your own life. What do you have to be happy about? Just the fact that you woke up this morning means the day ahead of you is full of promise and potential. What else do you have that is good? Your health, family, friends, a place to live, food to eat, or that you live in our great country?
You will quickly realize that you do indeed have many things to be happy about. So even though you don’t need a reason to be happy, you have many reasons to feel that way. As you get into the habit of being happy, every aspect of your life will seem better.
Being happy will improve your attitude. As your attitude improves, you will start to attract the things into your life that you want and need. You will thus create a positive cycle where happiness attracts more happiness.
This is a gradual process. Many people are in the habit of living without happiness. This happens so gradually that they aren’t even aware of how unhappy they are. They have accepted unhappiness as a normal way of life. So reversing it takes time. One thing is certain. As you start to feel happier, you will wonder how you accepted feeling any other way for so long.
NOW AVAILABLE: “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or write him c/o this paper.
© Bryan Golden