We all want to be happy. And yet polls after polls reveal that we live in a time when the population of people who classify themselves as “not happy” is at its very high.
If we all want happiness, why aren’t we in that state already?
A basic explanation is that happiness isn’t just about choice, as so many people underline.
You can’t tell yourself “I am going to be happy” right now and give your outlook a positive spin. It’s not that easy. And you know it too.
It All Begins With a Choice
Sure, every good (and bad) thing begins with a choice.
In fact, our life is a series of moments that are filled with choices; one choice leading to others; some are small, others are big that end up defining our lives.
So, if you want to be happy, it must begin with a decision to choose this emotion over everything else.
And then what must follow is your efforts to stay true to this decision with definite and deliberate actions.
Your actions define you. And it’s just as true to how you feel as it is to who you are.
Happiness is NOT an ‘Event’
You becoming happy is not an event. It won’t happen with a swoosh. There won’t be a eureka moment where you’ll know the “secret” or “hack” that will change everything for you.
To get into a desired frame of mind, you have to take a series of deliberate (and, often, tough) actions. You must commit to that journey of transition between who you are and what you want to be with relentless consistency.
This is why all those motivational videos and movies make you feel better only momentarily. Because to carry forward your “good feelings” to the next minute, and the next one, you must work (hard) on it.
And sadly, most of us don’t do it. Because we wait for one singular magical moment that we believe will change how we feel for forever.
It’s Not Easy
As depressing as this may come, being happy is not easy. The biggest reason behind that is our default emotions.
“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters,” said Epictetus. And so true!
Most of us have negativity as our ‘default’ emotion or reaction. And this is a result of repeated exposure to poor experiences, bad environment, downbeat peers, and discouraging media.
This is why being in a happy state for the most part of our days is so difficult for the majority. Because people let their default emotions dominate their thoughts and actions.
Take Actions. Every Day. Every Hour.
To become happy, you need to take well-defined actions every day and hour. With higher persistence, that would also lead to significant (and positive) changes in your overall lifestyle, you can disarm your ‘default emotions’ and replace it with optimism.
These actions include:
Having a goal or purpose in life
Staying away from negative friends
Talking to positive people
Eating healthy and staying hydrated
Being mindful of your thoughts
Listening to positive, upbeat music
Spending more time in nature
Do these on a very regular basis and soon enough you will notice a positive change in how you feel. You will radiate a positive energy that will attract good things in the world.
Indeed, sticking to these actions won’t be easy. But if being happy was as easy as making a choice, we would (wishfully) be a crowd of amazing people.