16 May Are You WILLING To Be Happy?
Are You WILLING To Be Happy?
- Me: Are you willing to be happy?
- You: Of course. What kind of stupid question is that?
- Me: Are you happy?
- You: Sure
- Me: Are you ALWAYS happy?
- You: ____________________
If you’ve been in our High5 space at all, you’ve heard us say that “Happiness is an inside job”, and while you may understand the concept, the REAL question is, are you ACTUALLY living it?
The first step to experiencing happiness is being willing to be happy. Although it may seem like a no-brainer that you are willing to be happy, I’d ask you to take a closer look. There are A LOT of people in the world who are more committed to suffering than they are to being happy. You experience that daily in the interactions with some of the people in your world.
What about you? When you are truly willing to be happy, to be joyful, you will start making different choices. You are 100% in control of those choices – nothing outside of you has any control over your happiness unless you give it that control. What you are actually choosing is how you are thinking.
Let’s prove it. In a moment, I want you to close your eyes and think about something that stresses you out, someone you don’t like, a situation that isn’t pleasant. etc. Close your eyes and think only about that for 10 seconds. How did that feel? Is HAPPY what you’re experiencing right now? Probably not.
Now, in a moment, we will take another 10 seconds, and this time I want you to think only about all of the things you love and are grateful for. Go. How do you feel now? My guess is a whole lot better. Gratitude is the express elevator to joy.
OK – so what does this all mean? When we say “Happiness is an inside job”, what we mean is that your job is to CHOOSE to think better feeling thoughts, which leads to your happiness. It really is that simple … AND it takes a lot of practice because we’ve all been practicing suffering for a long time.
- You: Barb, you don’t understand. There is so much crap going on in my world. There is no way for me to be happy ALL of the time (i.e. I hate my job, my relationship is crumbling, my kids are out of control, and so on.,)
- Me: I totally get that. Do you like feeling stressed out, scared, annoyed, frustrated?
- You: No.
- Me: Then stop it.
- You: But it’s all I can think about.
- Me: Just a couple minutes ago you thought about things that made you feel better didn’t you?
- You: Yes, but I can’t just pretend all of this stuff in my life doesn’t exist.
- Me: Why not? Aren’t you the one that chose to have the thought that made it exist in the first place?
- You: No, it happened to me.
And THERE, my friends, is the answer. It DID NOT HAPPEN to you. Yes, the circumstance happened. However, you 100% created your own unhappiness by how you chose to respond to that circumstance. Things are going to happen that are out of our control all of the time. That doesn’t mean you don’t have control. You have the ULTIMATE control over what YOU think and what YOU feel.
So how do we get to true happiness? We recognize when things don’t feel good, and we think something that feels better. It’s absolutely right to recognize when something doesn’t make you feel good or makes you angry. Now that you’ve recognized that thought, you can choose not to stay there and you can think a new thought such as“I’m grateful for this job because of the flexibility it offers” or “I’m going to ask my spouse on a date night tonight” or “My kids are so creative. I wonder how we can tap even more into that super power of theirs”. If you are WILLING to be happy, then do the work, and happy you shall be. It does take work, and that’s why we say “happiness is an inside JOB”.
Today’s challenge? Deliberately choose to make today happier than yesterday. Then do it again tomorrow. The next day. You get the idea. Choose JOY!