26 Mar How to Be Happy
If you’ve found me through any of my podcasts, then you probably know me as the “Be Happy” guy. I get asked a lot about that statement “Be Happy” in both positive and negative ways, so I thought I would write down my take on what it means to “Be Happy”.
First Things First
Happiness is not an emotion, it IS a state of being and a state of mind in balance. You can have everything in the world that “makes you happy” and still be miserable. You can seem happy on the outside like Robin Williams (RIP) and still be tormented on the inside. You can fill your life and your world with all the right stuff and not be happy. Have I proven yet that happiness is not an emotion?
Here are some happy emotions: Joy, Peace, Love, Satisfied, Relaxed, etc….
You can feel the emotion of being happy, and we call that joy but to live and operate from happiness you need to have your emotions and your physical responses in balance.
IF you get joy from the smell of coffee but you never drink it that will cause your body to fall out of a state of happiness. You actually will begin to grieve the loss of that part of your life that brings you joy. How many times have you stopped doing something that you enjoy because you were told it is bad for you only to go back to it again? I can tell you this…
IF you stop doing something that brings you happy emotions, you will begin to grieve the loss and start to slip into a place of depression. A great example is Postpartum Depression. I believe that women who experience this are grieved from the Loss of being pregnant. Not that the Joy of the baby is less or worse or any of that but there is a special bond that I’ve noticed with pregnant women that NOONE else can experience and it’s special and magical. I have 4 kids, and every time my wife is nearing the END of her pregnancy she tells me that she can’t wait to be pregnant again…. hm, I’m a guy and I don’t get it.. 🙂
What’s my point? The only way to stop doing something that “brings you joy”, Like eating ice cream at 11pm, is to get a proper mindset and understanding about why you do it and what are you GAINING from it. Only once you understand what you are getting from it, then will you understand WHY you do it.
IF your why is more powerful than the joy (emotion) you will gain from NOT doing it, then stopping will be a challenge and can cause depression.
Ok, the opposite can be true as well.
IF you are excited about something enough, you can easily let go of what you had to get that “something.” For example, you really want that car, you would be willing to let go of your MONEY and TIME to earn that money in order to get the car. Will you grieve the loss of your time and money… yes, it’s called buyers remorse.
IF you fill your life with exciting anticipations you can mimic the happiness state of being, but it’s not sustainable. You will be on vacation enjoying your hard earned epic adventure and be laying on the beach thinking….”I’m bored”. WHY? Because it’s not possible to sustain the happiness state of being if you aren’t DOING anything to propel you forward.
What does this all mean?
Well for me it’s a mantra… BE HAPPY! Life is worth living and it’s exciting and there are amazing things to do and see and stuff to get. Nature is amazing if you spend any time in it, and the world that God created is spectacular. People are truly remarkable and the MAJORITY of them want to be good and nice and helpful members of society.
Our BS (Belief System) is what keeps us from living life from a STATE OF HAPPINESS.
The How To
Your KEY to getting to the place of happiness is to FEEL emotions. It’s ok! When it’s time to grieve….grieve. When it’s time to laugh…laugh. When you are feeling anxious, go ahead and give your self permission to FEEL it. I mean really feel it.
EVERY DECISION YOU MAKE IS EMOTIONAL, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A RATIONAL DECISION!
Why am I so passionate about that? Because it’s true! Even if you are making a “rational decision” it’s still based on your emotions. It’s never purely numerical. Don’t believe me, lets look at sports. College football, got rid of the BCS system which is ALL based on numbers and computer analysis to decide rankings and quality of teams. It was eliminated because there are intangibles that a computer couldn’t quantify. For example….heart, or swagger, or pick your sporting terminology. Even our Law requires a Judge to interpret it and wether or not it applies to the situation. Including passing sentence which can be an arbitrary number allowing for human adjustment. NONE of that is rational.
SO WHY THE TANGENT – I want to make something very clear to you. If you are stuck somewhere it is because you are AFRAID to do something else.
FEAR is NOT an acronym for False Expectations Appearing Real (cute huh?) FEAR is real. When you feel fear your best course of action is to recognize that your body is creating a physical reaction to that emotion and you will make dumb decisions until you can come to terms with the emotion.
THE EXAMPLE – My oldest son and daughter had a fear of the dark that started around 3 years old. On separate occasions I was able to help them overcome that fear. With this story:
The dark is scary huh? (nods) Did you know that Daddy is afraid of the dark also? (shakes head) That’s right, I am afraid of the dark but you don’t see me acting that way do you? (shakes head) I’ll tell you a secret that I learned.
I know that there is nothing in the dark different from when the light is on. I know that because we can check. See the light is on, and there is nothing there. The light is off, and we are afraid of it again. Why? I don’t know. But, what I was able to do was to understand that I am having some fear about it and make the decision that FEAR WILL NOT BEAT ME!
You are so strong son, and brave. And I KNOW that you have enough courage to say to the dark that it will not beat you either. You are powerful enough and brave enough that even though you are afraid, you will NOT let that fear beat you. We know there is nothing there but it still is scary, so the only way to not be trapped in our bed when we’re scared is to be braver ( I know, not a word but the kids like it) than the fear. Do you think you can do that? (nods)
It only took 1 of these conversations to get rid of the nightlight forever. It has worked on both my son and my daughter now. Does that mean they aren’t scared? NOPE. They still have a fear of the dark, just like I do (yes to this day I am still afraid of the dark, and NO nothing ever happened to me in the dark). But, we are courageous and cary on into the night anyway.
SO, feel your emotions! When you are happy, really feel it. When you are excited, really feel it. When you are sad, angry, etc… really feel them. This is a huge part of enjoying life, knowing that all of the parts of life add to our own story.
Allow your self to have your moment and take the time to process the who, why, where, what, how’s of it all. You will be amazed at the results of this.
Happiness is a choice. We can choose happiness over any other state of being. When you are down and beat up and not in a good place, that can be a difficult choice but it’s still a choice.
DO something about the emotion you just felt. Typically REACTING to a situation is a bad thing, but as you begin to take action and respond to the emotions with intention your whole world will start to open up. Even babies smile…why? Did they see us smile enough to start learning that behavior. In my experience…nope. They were born with the ability to smile in response to joyful emotions. Heck, even animals smile… So that type of reacting is great! It’s a natural response. So ALL the natural reaction responses are more healthy than than the planned action responses. HOWEVER, you can train yourself to react differently than our natural responses as humans. OK, that’s enough of that, on to action.
If we take the scary darkness story from above, where is the action in that story? It’s in deciding to be courageous. The action of courage is what overcomes the emotion of fear. In fact every time my kids go to bed and conquer their fear with courage it actually makes them more courageous in other areas of their life.
What Does That Have To Do With Being Happy?
Typically we will react to a situation based upon the paradigm that we have created for our selves. People who were abused tend to get into a defensive position when there is yelling or tense situations. These folks have a reason to act that way, and are right to do so because of the life that they have been dealt to that point. The issue is that once you are past that part of your life it can still control your happiness factor. Our lives and life experiences really do create the people we are today. SO the only way to get past negative habits is to create a new paradigm.
I created a program I call #30DaysOfHappy designed to break these patterns and create new ones so that you can really get to the place of enjoying your life regardless of good/bad circumstances. It’s free for you!
Get 30 Days of Happy
Today I choose to be Happy. I realize that Happiness is a choice and even if I don’t always feel happy, I will always choose Happy. I give myself permission to have bad days and I give myself permission to have good days. I choose to be Happy. #30daysOfHappy
IF you want to go at it on your own, go for it! I believe that all of us have what it takes in us to overcome any obstacle on our own. BUT, I also believe that it’s easier to follow someone who has already created a path for us. 🙂
NOW WE PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
So what’s the secret? There really isn’s a secret or key that will be universal for all of us, but I have found some commonalities that we can learn from.
Life is meant to be enjoyed. All of life. From the amazing highs of your child being born, to the lows of loosing a loved one, it’s all part of the same life. We are here on this earth for a certain period of time and regardless of your belief system I can guarantee 1 thing… Today Will End… and what you did today will be in the past.
You get 1 shot at life. Your kids are only little once. You only get to be 25 once. You only have that great moment of your life once. You may have more kids, and more moments…. or no kids and sad moments, but it will ALL only happen once.
What are you doing today that will echo into your tomorrow? When the final curtain closes will you look back on your life in wonder and amazement of the greatness of it, or will you look back and think, “I made it.”
The reason I bring this up as part of the how to be Happy is because life is a gift that we GET to live. We don’t HAVE to do or be anything. There is no greater purpose for our lives than to be ourselves and enjoy every second of it. The purposes and destinies that we gain along the way are part of us creating our own personal legend. We have a choice about what life we want and which way to go, almost every day.
I chose to be happy…I choose to live fulfilled….I chose to enjoy my life.
I will not allow my past, present or future be dictated to me. I will live a life worth living, and I will choose the path that works for me.
Now is your time, and now is your turn! GO GET IT!