Happiness is a Choice

Most people say that they want to be happy, but they have no idea how to achieve it. Stress from work, family, the news media, and many other sources make happiness seem impossible for many. But happiness is indeed a worthwhile objective, especially since science tells us that happy people are more effective than unhappy people.

So how can you achieve happiness on a daily basis? There is no magic secret to happiness. In reality, happiness is the result of a myriad of little decisions made every day. To be happy, simply REFLECT BEFORE you make those little decisions. Two questions to ask yourself are, “What’s my goal in doing this?” and “How will I feel if I achieve it?”

For example, if our daughter did something that was irresponsible, I could ask myself, “Is my goal to punish her?” “And, if I do, how will I feel?” (And how would she feel?)

Or, I could ask myself, “Is my goal is to help her make more responsible decisions?” “And if I achieve this goal, how will I feel?” (And how would she feel?)

It’s decisions like these that so impact our lives. They can bring us frustration and grief—or satisfaction and joy. The latter brings happiness, which makes us more effective.

Try this approach today with any little decision you have to make, whether it involves disciplining a student or interacting with a co-worker. What was your result? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.