Are you happy? Why or why not? How much time do we spend in the pursuit of happiness?I spend almost zero time in the pursuit of happiness. I learned how to choose happiness and you can too.
I effectively spend almost zero time in the pursuit of happiness because I live a Minimalist lifestyle. As a Minimalist I actively remove all of the unnecessary from my life and choose happiness. If it does not serve a positive purpose or super positive feeling, I get rid of it.
As a result, I am almost always happy and the times I am not happy I learned to choose happiness and you can too.
The process of choosing to be happy is not that simple or straightforward, but it is not difficult either. I will show my process and hopefully, you find value and join me on the road to successfully choosing happiness.
What Is Happiness
Most of us believe happiness, pleasure, and joy are all the same. Deep down inside we know them to be different. I associate pleasure and joy with brief moments. I usually experience them in brief moments.
I associate happiness with longer, more sustained moments. Happiness is when the stars align for you. When you’re living your core beliefs and values 100 percent of the time.
At first glance pleasure and joy would seem more desirable, in certain situations I would agree, they would not sustain happiness.
Happiness is whatever you believe it to be. There were times in my life when happiness was as simple as a warm meal. The dictionary meaning of happiness is.
“the state of being happy”.– Dictionary.com
Yuck! How lame is that?
Happiness is whatever works for you at any given time. Is happiness a choice? Can you choose happiness? What is your definition of “Happiness” at this time?
The Benefits of Being Happy
I believe true happiness is experienced when you are truly grateful with what you already have. No comparing yourself to others or fantasizing about buying anything else.
Benefits Of Being Happy:
- Physically healthier
- More productive
- Attracts a strong network of family and friends.
- Positive influence on others.
- People love to be around you.
- Less stress.
- Finds value in the simple.
Always look for at least a little bit of happiness in every situation. Like they say, l ive like every day is your last. Because one day it will be.
Stop Begging For Happiness
I believe happiness is joy and pleasure experienced over a long and sustaining period of time. Don’t you deserve that?
We all deserve happiness but chasing it usually becomes problematic. It can lead to an obsession or even addiction. Seeking the pleasure of a dopamine rush from the love of money, risky sex, food, social status or even shopping can be problematic.
Even worse is seeking pleasure in the excitement can be the most pleasurable of all. It can be like CRACK. That sometimes drives crime, gambling, sex addiction.
No normal person is happy all of the time nor would any normal person want to be. For normal people seeking happiness will become a slippery slope. That is the beauty of true happiness. It would mean nothing or be enjoyable without bad times. The bad times make good times more enjoyable.
The secret is to learn to manage a wide variety of emotions positively. Hell, I feel depressed more times than I would like. I even may feel unhappy as much as I feel happy.
I believe they are one and the same. They are both temporary! Good times end and that is why I enjoy them as much as possible.
On the flipside bad times will also end, that is why I sometimes try to enjoy them also. I know they are temporary and will pass also. There is no better feeling than surviving a bad time while walking into a greater time.
Remember happiness does not mean the absence of negative feelings. Whenever possible choose happiness.
Decision fatigue will have a negative effect on happiness. People make over 35,000 unconscious decisions a day.
The brain has a limited number of high-quality decisions it can make in a day before the quality of decision-making begins to dip. From the tons of menial decisions like what to wear in the morning to complex decisions like whether or not to take a job offer.
They all require brain power and energy. The brain consumes massive amounts of energy. The many choices during the day can wear us down.
Zap our energy and drive us towards negative feelings. Design your life to where you don’t need to make so many small decisions a day. Eliminate them.
Successful people like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and others choose to wear the same wardrobe every day some others even eat the same breakfast day after day.
This cuts down on how many trivial decisions they have to make in the morning leaving the high-quality brain to live longer into the day.
They get up in the morninng and only have to make more important decisions because most of the mornings ritual decisions are taken care of by rutine. It also makes shopping for clothes easy. Five minuites five pair of the same pants and shirt and you are done for a month not more.
Reserving quality brain power to make better choices longer into the day. When you are dead tired and just want to get home and get into bed you are prone to make bad choices. Like eating that whole pint of Ice Cream and watching 3 episodes of a show on Netflix instead of getting some rest.
The high quality brain would avoid those choices and remind you to choose happiness.
Just Choose Happiness
Train yourself to choose happiness in all situations. I know it may be easier said than done but it can be done with a little time and practice.
“Most people overestimate what they can do in a day and they underestimate what they can do in a year.”-Unknown
It doesn’t matter how long it takes, the end result will be worth it. Think happy. Problems do not define you. You will have to do what you have to do anyway. Why not choose happiness? Simply refuse to live any other way.
Happy people tend to not allow themselves to be overwhelmed by their situation. Like Minimalists they do not look for happiness in possessions, people and things.
Don’t block or suppress negative feelings, that is not what I am saying, experience them. Feel them. Live them. Give them a few minutes and try to be done with them. Choose Happiness and work on that.
For stubborn negative feelings or even depression please seek professional help. There is no shame in needing help. No person can do everything to everyone. We all will benefit from help from time to time.
You only have 168 hours a week. I try to enjoy at least 160 of those hours by choosing happiness. Understanding happiness as a choice is simply not enough to fully experience and enjoy it. That requires an intentional decision to choose and live it.
If you would like to be one of those people who always seems to be happy regardless of their situation, embrace one or more of these traits.
- Earn as close to $75,000 a year as possible. Any more after that will not add to your happiness.
- Do absolutely everything you can do to maintain physical health.
- Enjoy what you do for a living, as you will spend at least one third of your life doing it.
- Be as positive a person as possible, spewing positive emotions.
- Develop strong social and community bonds.
- Develop strong family values but learn to keep yourself first.
- Live in a safe environment.
Here are a few of the things I do and believe helps me be forever happy and gives me the power to choose happiness even at the most trying times.
Accept Negative Feelings
It’s important because bad times will happen and you will need to overcome them. More importantly, good times cause negative feelings almost as much as bad times, believe it or not.
Almost every time you are experiencing good times they are later accompanied by negative feelings seeping in brought on by the thought of the great times ending.
Sometimes the ending is scheduled like in a party, a date, a vacation or an event. Other times the end of a good time is unexpected. Like a relationship ending, divorce, firing or a tragedy.
Learn to accept these negative feelings because they are as temporary as good feelings are. The longer you live the more these feelings will enter and leave your existence.
No one wants to hear “ it can always be worse” or “some people have it worse than you” when you are going through a bad time. I always knew those statements were true but did not know why it would help to rub it in.
That is where gratitude comes to play. There is always something to be grateful for. Happy people choose to focus on the positive aspects of life rather than the negative.
Be grateful for everything in your life. Most of our problems are “First World Problems”. I just watched a YouTube video of a new Electric Vehicle review.
They were complaining how many times they had to touch the display to adjust the steering wheel. I was screaming I would be happy just to own the car.
I am sure there are people in some remote part of the world wouldl see a modern Electric Vehicle as magic or a alien spaceship. Those people are probably happy living in conditions the average poor American would die if they had to live in.
No matter how bad life seems, there’s always something positive you can find to focus on. Even in those conditions. You have a place to live, friends and family that care about you, clothing to wear, eyes to see and legs to walk with.
Again be grateful for all you have, large and small, because EVERYTHING IS TEMPORARY.
Speak it into existence.
Affirm and belive positive thoughts. Choose happiness even when you probably should feel sad. Recite your positive thoughts in the first person as though you are forcing them to come true.
Try not to base your affirmations on miracles or fantasy as your subconscious will have a hard time believing in them. Base them on truth and your most current needs. Make them your mantra and recite them daily. If you are like me, you will slip a few miracles and fantasies in there from time to time.
Our lives are not entirely our own. We have obligations and some have bosses to answer to. Our schedules are filled with these obligations with not enough hours in the day to meet them.
Recite your mantras everyday. Speak those better times and happier times into existence. Even if they don’t come true right away, you can see and feel a little bit of them while you recite.
Healty is wealth. You can’t enjoy ANYTHING if your are not healthy. I remember reading a hospice Nures talking to her terminally ill patcient found people always wish they took better care of themselves.
I would take that as a given. It is simple but so how as human beings we find a way to screw things up. Our bodies are remarkable bags of water. We know how to care for them but almosr one hundred precent of us refuse to.
We if you would like to be happy now and especially later in life, you will have to eat healthy. It is one of the best ways to feed and maintain our physical, mental and spiritial wellbein.
Eating health one of the most POWERFUL ways to Choose Happiness.
Treat People Well
I teach my son the best way to get help from people when you need it is to help them before you need them. When you help people with nothing to gain for yourself they feel endebted to help you when you need it. Sometimes before you need it.
Helping people is just treating people well and it becomes infectious in the best way possible. Nothing can make me more happy than a community of people bending over backward to help each other.
When you choose to treat people well, treating people how you would like to be treated, you choose happiness.
Happiness is a choice that requires deep intention and daily practice. With a little practice you can learn to be happy in the most trying times and enjoy the great times even more.
Don’t compare your happiness and progress with others. Enjoy EVERYTHING you have. Choose happiness.