“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”
― Dale Carnegie,
We were about to go for lunch two Sundays back when we chanced upon a Ford Ecosport in the mall parking lot and I couldn’t help but have a close look at the SUV I consider to be my dream car.
“What a beauty!” I said.
My little girl Shae, who was holding my hand looked up to me and asked me.
“When you get to buy it, will it make you happy?” she asked.
I smiled back at her and her ridiculously though-provoking question and I answered:
“Sweetie, I got everything I need to be happy. As long as we’re all healthy and well, that’s enough to make me happy.” I said as she giggled teasingly.
It’s amazing what you can learn from kids and their innocent questions. It made me realize that for most of us, happiness seems to be this complicated, tough-to-achieve thing when in fact it’s much more simple than we consider it to be.
I have learned so much in the past two years and have made a lot of changes in my life especially when it comes to my thoughts and looking back, I would have given my daughter an entirely different answer if she asked me that question back then.
Back when we went broke, I had so many complaints about my life and career so if I was asked the same question, I would have answered a resounding “YES!”
My mindset back then was that I will only be happy when I find the right job. I will only be happy when we have so much money that I could pay my debt off and if that’s your idea of what happiness should be then you’re not going to be happy for a long time.
Happiness is not conditional
True happiness is something that comes from within you and not the product of a condition you have set for yourself because if you will only be happy once a self-imposed condition of your is met, what you are after is temporary pleasure.
Yes, you will be satisfied and you will be happy for a time but for how long?
If you told yourself that you will be happy once you get that brand new car you’ve salivated on or once you get promoted to VP in your company, chances are once you set your sights on another car or a higher position, that happiness will slowly disappear and once again, your “happiness” will depend on another set of conditions.
That’s not happiness dude. That is temporary pleasure. True happiness is that joy that you feel deep inside you that defies conditions and circumstances. True happiness is the kind of happiness that you feel regardless of your situation in life.
One of the things that makes us unhappy is our longing and regret for the things we don’t have. There’s nothing wrong with having a dream of getting something or being something one day but you can’t pin your happiness on these dreams’ fruition.
If you are not where you want to be at this moment, that shouldn’t make you any less happier than when you’ve actually made it. Learn to appreciate what you have. Be thankful because even if you think the world hasn’t been fair to you for the longest time, there are still a lot of things you are enjoying that other people can only dream of.
Be grateful with what you have but don’t become too complacent and drift through life. Continue to follow your dreams and aim for bigger goals because that’s what life is all about and that’s how you can achieve true happiness.
Decide to be happy
More than a feeling or an emotion, happiness is a decision.
When I started this blog, I was looking for a catchy but meaningful tag line that will go along with the name Life’s How You Live It and I decided to go with what I’m using now (Because happiness is a choice) because of what I went through.
When we went broke, I was miserable and frustrated. Debt was piling up one after another and I wasn’t happy at work because of the politics that’s going on and I just felt helpless. I felt like a victim and I was asking God why am I not getting the break I deserve? I mean, I’ve been a good person but I just can’t seem to get lucky.
This is where personal development helped because I learned to be grateful and I’ve learned that nothing and no one can make me happy if I decide not to be happy. I mean, hey, this all depends on me!
I told myself that I need to stop acting stupid and that I need to make a change so I started to get rid of all the negative thoughts and emotions. I read a lot of books and listed to a lot of self-help audio and in a matter of weeks, I was able to turn my life around.
Yes, we’re still in debt. Yes, I’m still in a job that I don’t like so much but I choose to be happy regardless. I used to ask myself if it was possible to be broke and happy at th same time and I can now say with conviction that YES, IT IS POSSIBLE!
Live by the Law of Attraction
The movie “The Secret” has made a huge impact in my life because it opened my eyes to the concept of the Law of Attraction. By focusing on what I have and not wasting my energy on the things I don’t have, I’ve been able to attract good things.
More blessings came when I decided to make a change in mindset which is why I do my best to stay positive so I can attract only positive things. The universe will indeed find a way to give back what you ask for.
Be in the moment
Forget the past and stop worrying about something that has yet to happen. Be in the moment. Enjoy and make the most of what you have now. Spend your weekends with the family, go to your kids’ school programs, go on vacation.
Life is short and time is too valuable to be wasted on things that will only keep you from being happy. Life life to the fullest because you’ll only get one shot at it.
Follow your passion
If you’re starting to lose interest in your job, it might as well be time to find your passion. What is that one thing that you can do non-stop without getting paid? What is that one thing that you have so much interest in that you are willing to spend time and money to learn how to do it and be good at it?
You cannot truly be happy if you’re always stressed out when you get home and always complain to your spouse how awful your situation is.
Over to You
What makes you happy? If you haven’t decided, then my question is, what will make you happy?
I would love to hear from you and I will really appreciate it if you can leave a comment or share your story below. Let’s talk about it!
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