Happiness Is A Skill

Have you ever saw someone you perceived to be happy and thought ‘that’s just the way they are’ or ‘if I had their life I would be happy too’?

You probably wouldn’t. 

Every single person has their own story and their own struggles; happiness is a choice and not an easy one. If it was, wouldn’t the world be a better place! To become skilled at something you must practice, put in the work, and be willing to struggle to become better. Choosing happiness is no different.


1. A Positive Outlook

If you’re constantly coming up with reasons why something won’t happen for you, why something will go wrong, how something isn’t good enough, or how it won’t last long, then your perception is your reality. Day in and day out. You’ll never prove yourself wrong.

The only way to break free from this cycle is to deliberately deactivate a negative thought, and then deliberately activate another (positive) thought. That takes ongoing awareness of your thoughts and the effort to change them.

2. Gratefulness

You’ve got to be good with what you’ve got. Sure, having goals for bigger and better things is always good, but for right now in this moment, don’t let what you want take away from what you do have.

If you’re not grateful for what you have now it’s likely you’ll never catch up to that “place” you think exists. The place where if I just have X I’ll be happy. Nope, because then you’ll decide that the next level up is where true happiness lies. You’ll always believe your happiness sits just beyond where you are. Learn to be grateful and enjoy what you do have. Happiness stems from how you feel not what you have, feel grateful.

3. Mental Strength

Mental strength, what even is that? Is there a membership to that gym? Is there a class at 5:30 AM or 5:30 PM for approx 30 minutes that I can take before the kids wake or after work, but before dinner and practice? No? Then I don’t have time. Doesn’t sound important anyways. No ones even talking about that. Who is this lady anyways?

Just the way you workout at the gym you have to workout your brain. Somedays it’s going to feel just as hard as if you were physically working out, because your are. You’re building a muscle, your brain.

When everything seems like an uphill battle, or the negative self talk is so loud in your head that you can’t focus on anything else, creating a positive outlook or being grateful will seem like the last thing you want to do. You have to be strong enough to make the choice, sometimes against yourself, to choose happiness over that voice in your head. Practice.

4. Ability to Let it Be

Let things be what they are, not what you think they should be. Trying to control everything may be the #1 way to stay miserable. Any of us with a Type A personality know how HARD it is to let things be. It takes work to accept things as they are. It doesn’t just happen overnight and it takes a lot of pain and disappointment, but the more you work you’ll see that your resistance to how things are only makes yourself less happy and it rarely ever changes the outcome.

You ultimately have to decide if you can accept these things or if you need to change something. This could mean so many things: moving, leaving a relationship, choosing to spend your time with different people, choosing to spend your time doing different things, quitting a habit, quitting your job, anything to change a situation. You can choose, but if choose to stay where you are you have to accept the things you cannot change.


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