Happiness Is A Choice
Just Decide To Be Happy!
Happiness starts inside your head, not somewhere outside you. You’ve got to decide to have a positive attitude no matter what is happening all around you. You’ve got to decide that today and every day is going to be a good day. Otherwise it probably won’t be.1
Why are humans so often unhappy? The simple explanation is that the brain evolved to give priority to survival rather than happiness; i.e., we are genetically tuned in to negatives which tends to make us unhappy.
However, the good news is that we have a choice to be happy. See below for what the experts have concluded.
Viktor Frankl top
Viktor Frankl, famous holocaust survivor, neurologist, psychologist and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, says “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.2 Choosing what you think about is the one thing you can truly control even when everything else goes to hell.
William James top
William James, the Father of American psychology, concluded that ” happiness depends on a choice that we are able to make, regardless of our biological and social circumstances. ”
“While the contents of our consciousness are simply ‘there’ independently of our will, we have the freedom to select which bits of information to focus on, and which bits to reject. A person thus has the ability to direct the flow of the stream of consciousness. Those people who develop this ability are able to exercise more control over their minds, resulting in a deeper sense of empowerment.” 3
92 Year Old Man top
Here’s what a legally blind old man of 92 said after his wife of 70 years passed away and he had to move into a nursing home. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged … it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.”4
End of Life Care Nurse top
A nurse who spent years working with people on their deathbeds wrote in her book The Top Five Regrets Of Dying that one of the most common regrets was “I wish I had let myself be happier.” Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice.5
George Washington’s Wife top
Martha Washington said “I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”
- The Payoff Principle, location 1481
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
- William James History of Happiness
- 92 Yr Old Man Story
- Top 5 Regrets of Dying
- How To Handle Down Days –
Several good ideas.
- Use The Day – Use the day, don’t let it use you. Make the most of your problems.
- Happiness is a Choice – Good page on the subject.
- Why Happiness – Good website on happiness.
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