Why Should You Be Happy?

How Would You Answer?

These three incidents happened about 11 years ago, within a period of 12-18 months:

Scene 1: Monday morning in a corporate elevator
photo of elevator buttonsThe doors opened and I stepped inside to notice a woman whom I had never met before on the early morning coffee run. That's not uncommon when you work for a large company. I smiled hello and we exchanged "good morning." Then came her question. "You look so happy. Are you really?"

For a brief moment as if this scene were a movie you could put on pause, my mind deliberated. Am I happy? Sure, I'm happy. Though I do have this and this to deal with. And I suppose that and that could be better. Someone released the pause button and the words "yes, I'm happy" came out of my mouth.

Appearing sincerely impressed by my answer, the woman confessed, "I'm really an unpleasant person." I don't remember how I responded. Did I mention this was before my first cup of coffee?

Scene 2: Car ride home after a second (and final) date
As he drove me home, I tried to remember why I had agreed to a second date. He was quite pretentious and clearly we weren't a match. Nevertheless, I was committed to my dating philosophy of wishing only good things even to bad dates. After all, we were all in the same soup: putting ourselves out there and looking for love.

A few blocks away from my neighborhood, he delivered an unsolicited editorial: "I don't think you're really happy." He further explained that while I put up a good front, I couldn't possibly be truly happy because after all, I was single. Oh, brother. Talk about projection!

Scene 3: First date with future husband
In a pre-dinner conversation that covered a lot of ground, Jess and I both expressed that we had each come to a place in life where we were happy. Finding someone to share it with would add to that happiness vs. be the sole reason for it. How refreshing: someone who was happy.

As Abraham Lincoln noted, "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."

Whichever Word You Choose

Happiness, Joy, Bliss, Contentment. Many have attempted to draw distinctions between these words. Whichever word you choose, it's fair to say that in life, there are passing joys and lasting joys. There are situations and events that affect your happiness, and there is happiness that is sourced from within. Happiness can be a feeling, an attitude, an outlook, or a philosophy. I've come to believe that happiness is also a decision and something you have to own, whether it's your happiness for today or for a lifetime.

Own Your Happiness

I'll have more for you on this topic in the next issue. In the meantime, take a look at this week's call to action and consider what it means to own your happiness.

This Week's Call To Action:

  • Examine the source of your happiness. What makes you happy?

  • Notice where your happiness is reliant on situations or outcomes. Practice finding things to be happy about regardless of what's going on.

  • If something is fundamentally undermining your happiness, determine where you have choices. Make the changes within your control that will increase your happiness.

"Never ask, 'What reason do I have to be happy?'
Instead ask, 'To what purpose can I attach my happiness?'."
--Robert Brault

Here's to you,
Ginny Kravitz's signature