When we typically think of habits, we think of the negative ones like smoking, gambling, leaving underwear in the middle the floor or being late to work. We often hear the term “bad” habit, and it takes a little effort to associate something “good” with the word “habit”. But imagine if happiness was a habit. No, really, imagine that. Imagine waking up every day- happy, moving through your day excited about life- not because you hit the lottery, found twenty dollars in your coat pocket or your significant other finally changed their Facebook status to “in a relationship”, but you are happy simply because that is the conscious choice that you made. It is the kind of happy that oozes from every crevice of your body, the kind that can be felt in your smile and leaves something undeniably and incredibly energizing when you leave out of a room. It looks good, feels good, smells good and sounds good on YOU. Sit in that for a moment. Soak that up.
“No one else is in charge of your happiness. You are the CEO of your joy.” Regina Brett hit the nail on the head when she made that bold proclamation. YOU are in charge of your happiness. PERIOD. We give our power away to circumstances and other people when we believe that they hold the key to our happiness instead of realizing that the keys are in our hands and in our hands only. We cannot control circumstances, and we cannot control people, but we can control our reactions to them and perceptions about them and put ourselves back in control of our own happiness. Consider this: do you know what makes you happy? Before you answer the question think about it. I didn’t ask you what should make you happy. I didn’t ask you what you do to make others happy. I simply want to know if you had to stop right now and make a list of 15- just 15- things that made you happy, could you do it? I was recently at dinner with two of my girlfriends (being with these two is one thing that makes me extremely happy), and she commented that when she was asked to do the “happy” list, she could not get past number five. Her comment was, “How could I expect my husband or anyone else to make me happy if I didn’t even know what made me happy?”
Light bulb moment.
If we are not sure about what makes us happy then life becomes an incessant search for happiness in other people and things. We waste time accusing others and blaming our situations for our unhappiness when we are the problem all along. How can anyone make us happy if we are unable to make our own selves happy simply because we don’t know how? We don’t know what makes us smile on the inside or brings us joy and contentment yet we expect others to know and act accordingly- not realistic..AT ALL.
Let this be the moment that you commit to the idea that you will not search for happiness in anyone or anything else besides yourself. (Just typing that sentence makes me smile because it is powerful to know that nobody or nothing else is in control of my contentment but ME. Go ahead. Smile with me.).
Right here, right now– choose happiness and practice it. Make happiness a habit. Make that “happy” list, and make it long. Write the things that make you happy and have it accessible so that when life threatens your ability to feel in control of your happiness, you can pull out that list and do something on it. Be intentional about being happy! Put the same time and energy into being happy as you would complaining or pointing out all the things that are wrong in your life. Instead- point out all the things that are right then repeat. Accept and celebrate the fact that habitual happiness just doesn’t happen; it is a precious gift to those of us who are smart enough to know that happiness is right at our fingertips if we work at it.
Your happiness is solely up to you. NOW WHAT?