Happiness is not happenstance.
Life comes and goes, with its ups and downs, but happiness is a choice.
Glenn Van Ekeren discusses happiness, among other attitudes, in his book, “Love Is A Verb: 10 Ways to Make All Your Relationships Great.”
Van Ekeren uses the example of child star Shirley Temple Black’s husband, Charles, who asked his mother what the happiest moment of her life was. “This moment – right now,” she responded.
The happiest moments of her past were the happiest then. But today, she is living in the present. It’s great to have cherished memories of the past, but you need to be happy today. Happy people only have two things in common, Van Ekeren says. They knew exactly what they wanted, and felt they were moving toward getting it.
Circumstances will confront you, but not control you. Happiness is a choice. Others will have what you don’t have. It doesn’t matter. Happy people make the best of what THEY have.
Van Ekeren uses the term “inverse paranoid” to describe happy people. They are people who think everyone is out to make them happy. Happy people, therefore, devote their time to making others happy. Usually, the favor is returned many-fold.
Happiness is not a state of being. It’s a created attitude. When you ask someone as you greet them, “how are you,” do you get responses like, “I’m here, aren’t I?” Or, “I’m living to see another day,” these folks have not created happiness in their lives.
On the other hand, no matter what they are going through, happy people will respond, “I’m great,” or “life is wonderful.” They have worked on being happy. It doesn’t matter what their circumstances are. They are happy, and they want YOU to be happy.
We all experience anger, disappointment, resentment and other negative emotions. We might all occasionally ask, “why me?” But happy people never say, “woe is me.” Their inverse paranoia takes over. They want to make someone else happy today, and they probably – though it’s not an expectation – will be made happy by someone else today.
You see, happy people give without expecting a quid pro quo. They are happy because they believe they can offer someone value, and will gladly donate it to them. Now, people need to earn money, but even in business, the happy businessperson gives his clients more than they pay for.
Did you work on your happiness today? Have you been working on it for a while? Have you worked on it for so long that it just comes naturally to you? Are you paying it forward, by making someone else happy? Are you a person who knows what he wants, and is moving toward getting it?
If that is NOT you, stop. Don’t think about your circumstances, think about your relationships. Are you helping make other people happy? Are you doing that gladly? (In some jobs, your boss may be happy with you, but you are not happy about making him happy). Do you see where you want to be in life way in the distance or, in your mind, unachievable?
Regardless of how you see yourself, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. People who’ve worked on their happiness might see a vehicle with which they could make many more folks happy. People who haven’t may see a vehicle that could help them build their own happiness.
Bobby McFerrin’s song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” is a cute tune and a cute lyric that disguises his musical genius. Happy people may have worries, but they are short and temporary. You will never see it when you talk to them. Their attitude is on the big picture. They want to make YOU happy. Undoubtedly, you’ll want to do the same for them.