Happiness is a Personal Choice

“I believe the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. That is clear. Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in this religion or that religion, we are all seeking something better in life. So I think the very motion of our life is towards happiness.” The Dalai Lama

When we want something like a better body or to be happy we want it fast, but we tend to forget that the condition we are in right now took time to reach. So here we’ll try to teach ourselves how to treasure the time to be happy again and in the condition we can appreciate.

There is a subtlety, a secret. We think that if everything is fine, then we will be happy. Nope … this is not how it works. First, we became happy and that’s when everything becomes lovely!

The truth is that happiness is not in the absence of problems it’s in the ability to deal with them.

Happiness is an art that one has to learn. It has nothing to do with your doing or not doing.

Authentic Happiness

In the last few years, psychologists and researchers have been digging up hard data on a question previously left to philosophers: What makes us happy? Stanford psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, and ethicist Stephen Post have studied people all over the world to find out how things like money, attitude, culture, memory, health, altruism, and our day-to-day habits affect our well-being. The emerging field of positive psychology is bursting with new findings that suggest your actions can have a significant effect on your happiness and satisfaction with life. Harvard’s resident happiness professor, Tal Ben-Shahar, agrees, “Happiness lies at the intersection between pleasure and meaning. Whether at work or at home, the goal is to engage in activities that are both personally significant and enjoyable.”

Most people have no idea what actually makes them happy. We assume that external things can make us happy such as a promotion at work, a new IPhone or a new relationship. The fact is, we are much more likely to get pleasure from the things we do as well as what and how we think, rather than from circumstances or material things. We need to learn to teach ourselves how to be happy.

In her article “What Is Happiness?” Robin Miller, MD MHS wrote the following:

“What is happiness all about?

Many scientists have tried to answer that question. One of the major studies was the Harvard Grant Study. In this study the researchers followed 268 male Harvard undergraduates from the classes of 1938-1940 for 75 years. They collected data at regular intervals and found some very interesting information.

First and foremost love is the answer. Regardless of how much money, health and success the subjects had they were only happy if they had love and supportive relationships in their lives.

Having money and power did not correlate with happiness. Rather, contentment with work is what really mattered.
Even if you are unhappy in the early part of your life, you can find happiness later. One of the subjects had been sad and suicidal early in life but found happiness later by making connections with others.”

You Are in Control

Happiness is not a button on GPS that you can push to reach your destination. If you want to be happy there is a decision to make.

We are product of our thoughts, so we need to be prepared to be in control of them.

You can’t prevent thoughts appearing in your mind, but you can choose what thoughts will remain there.

Our beliefs create our reality.

Happiness takes effort. Misery is comfortable, it’s why so many people prefer misery. We have to kill those excuses that we create for not improving our life, or they will kill us.

In the pursuit of happiness sometimes you need to just stop and be happy.

Think Positive Thoughts

There are no unimportant moments. The quality of each moment depends on what we give to that moment and not on what we can get from it! Every moment is precious! While the past and future have their place, most of us can benefit from thinking less about them, and more about the present by putting in the effort to enjoy the smaller daily pleasures you experience, your well-being will improve and time will slow down. Instead of being lost in thought, you can appreciate every single moment and focus on the things that are most important to you.

“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.” – Eat.Pray.Love. Elizabeth Gilbert

14 Comments

  • Midlifetwisted

    Reply Reply January 14, 2018

    I think positivity plays a big part in how successful people are in whatever they truly “need” to be successful in. I am trying to practice less complaining and more active happiness every single day. I don’t always win but my intent is there. Interesting and thought provoking post. Thank you.

    • Tania Berlin

      Reply Reply January 23, 2018

      All the best to you, it is not easy to stay honest, not complain and not feel guilt …etc. It is not even about winning but more about understanding and learning for yourself and about yourself. We don’t make mistakes – mistakes make us, they make us stronger, smarter and in the end, they make us who we really are. Intentions are more important than wishes because intentions are the real drive of actions. Thank you.

  • Reblogging this to my sister site, Success Inspirers World

  • xaspierudegirlx

    Reply Reply January 17, 2018

    I really agree with you that having a positive attitude is important and everyone on this planet wants one thing, to seek happiness. Though many achieve it, I think in society now and our world I think it is a lot deeper and harder than just having a positive outlook or achieving your goals.

    There are many people who have achieved their goals and are still said to be depressed etc. Youth today are having a very difficult time with happiness. Depression is at it’s highest rates, as is suicide rates and so on. I think no matter how hard we fight sometimes, the way things are right now it is not easy as said to even achieve your dreams. Students graduating from University or college degrees or higher to be met with all this debt and not a job in their field is one example of many is why society is broken. Though we see short term goals changing in some ways, I wonder what long term effects will take to be changed or if it will get worse. Especially the western world. The western world has pretty much reached their peak and fallen. It has reached that breaking point, and how we go forward will determine the well being of our generation and the generations to come. I also believe a lot of people are brain washed. Some people truly believe the materialistic side of things is what brings happiness. The problem with that thought is it is very short lived. People are very brainwashed by society, or governments and so on. It’s why here in the USA politics and things are so broken. People are so divided. WIth the divided comes different opinions on what makes people happy. The government wants you to be happy by their way only, ‘pay your taxes, work a dead end job and buy all our products” the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. If you somehow find something else that makes you truly happy is against our way and too bad. People have different things that make them happy and the problem is we don;t have room to accomadate all different minds of people because well we don’t really care too.

    I hope I made sense, my main point is there is so many factors now, and it is not as easy as having a positive mind because even the happiest of people have a breaking point.

    • Tania Berlin

      Reply Reply January 23, 2018

      Agree with many points you made. You did make sense. Yes, quite often society tells us that their version of freedom means “you can think and do whatever you want and I will tell you what to think and do” :-(.
      Happiness doesn’t mean you walk with a constant smile on your face. You are right, if the goal of life and understanding of success is only on material aspects – it would give short term satisfaction and might lead to a material insanity. We are divorced from ourselves and married to the society requirements that was set by mass media brain entrapment. Happiness is not a goal, it’s a journey of life, it’s a state of your mind. This is why a lot of people may even have fear of being happy. Thank you.

  • Tarnya Coley

    Reply Reply January 21, 2018

    Great post- positive vibes only.It is about having a positive mental attitude.

  • Ajibola

    Reply Reply January 21, 2018

    This is an awesome post, thanks for sharing. Happiness is what we are living for. Stay blessed and keep up the good work.

  • coppertonedgoddess

    Reply Reply January 21, 2018

    Happiness is not a choice for everybody. What about those who have schizophrenia? Or major depression? What about people who cannot even fathom happiness as a choice? This is the problem with “positive psychology.” It assumes everyone can simply snap their fingers and become happy; or perhaps, through diligent effort become so. Yet some people never do no matter how hard they try.

    • Tania Berlin

      Reply Reply January 23, 2018

      You are right! If your belief is that happiness is not your choice – you are right, and if you believe that happiness IS your choice – you are right again. You will work towards your belief. And do we really understand a schizophrenic? They have great moments of happiness and they are truly happy in those moments, we are trying to apply our understanding of happy moments on them instead of understand their point of view. It is a different topic of clinical diagnosis we are not talking about here, and some of them are still choices. Thank you for your comment, appreciate your concerns.

  • Rita Kowats

    Reply Reply January 22, 2018

    I especially like this, “You can’t prevent thoughts appearing in your mind, but you can choose what thoughts will remain there.” Thank you, this is a very insightful post.

    I want to thank you for following Spirituality Without Borders. I will meet you there in the spaces between the words.

    • Tania Berlin

      Reply Reply January 23, 2018

      Thank you Rita! You have quite encouraging posts on your site also!
      Hugs

  • Joe Blake

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    Firstly, thank you for responding to my post with my “Elephant” cartoon. Secondly, how did you come across it? WordPress doesn’t send me emails recommending other blogs.
    And thirdly, I’m happy you are talking about the how-to’s of being happy – I am one of the blessed ones who has (at last!) discovered that it is up to me!…. Isn’t it our natural state, only obscured by us in our own minds?
    Anyway, my blog is devoted to happiness, laughter, love, truth with a capital “T”, and just life itself as it is lived by you, me and everyone else! I’ll be posting more cartoons – hope you enjoy them. Joe Blake

  • Rachael Drennan

    Reply Reply February 22, 2018

    I really enjoyed reading this. Happiness is something I am working on. There are some great quotes that you included that I want to save. Thanks again!

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