The Happiness Decision

Dan Sullivan
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Happiness, I’ve realized, isn’t the result of anything a person is actually doing; it’s a choice. Every day, you make decisions about how to look at each thing that happens to you in life, whether it’s a very difficult situation or an easy situation, a negative experience or a positive experience.

I’ve made the decision to make happiness my choice, regardless of the situations I find myself in. I choose to be happy with whatever the outcome is.

A powerful new capability.

Understanding that happiness is a choice clarifies things enormously. Because it’s an internal decision, it’s one that can become more and more powerful the more that you choose to be happy.

Happiness, then, is a mindset.

My approach to happiness is sometimes seen by others as much too simple because, of course, life is complicated.” But I challenge you to try it out. You don’t have to commit to what I’m saying for the rest of your life, but just try it for 24 hours.

Before you go to bed at night, say, “Tomorrow, from the time I get up in the morning until I go back to bed tomorrow night, I’m going to approach everything, regardless of what happens, with a happiness mindset.”

A deep-seated notion that gets in the way.

The first day can be hard. The notion that outside factors are in control of our happiness is reinforced by the countless messages we get from newspapers, television, the movies, the internet, and so on, and becomes deeply engrained.

But if you stick it out, treating your happiness decision like any other habit you’ve decided to change or implement, after a month or so of consistently reinforcing your new mindset, you will do it without thinking.

But the unpredictability of life …

Now, of course, there are challenges. In the normal course of life, what happens to us is unpredictable. Things happen that we hadn’t anticipated. They catch us by surprise. But, if you make the decision to be happy no matter what the unpredictable factor is, your response is that the end result is going to make your life happier.

We all like being around happy people. But I’m going to suggest that instead of being on the lookout for happy people to be with, why not be the happy person that others want to be with?

Once I took responsibility for my own happiness, it didn’t matter what was going on in the world around me. And in fact, when I’m with other people, I take this a step further and ask myself if there’s a way we can collaborate with each other and create something together that both of us are increasingly happy about.

A game-changing habit for entrepreneurs.

I believe that taking ownership over your own happiness is tremendously important for any entrepreneur. You’ve chosen a life that can be exciting and highly rewarding, but where there will always be surprises, changes in direction, and upheavals. Why not prepare for that by deciding that regardless of the situation or experience, the end result is going to make you happy?

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