“Boy, I’ll be happy when I get my house paid off.”
“Boy, I’ll be happy when I get a promotion.”
“Boy, I’ll be happy when I get to retire.”
“Boy, I’ll be happy when I quit hearing all of this ‘boy, I’ll be happy when’ crap.”
Dr. John Schindler defines happiness as, “A state of mind in which our thinking is pleasant a good share of the time.”
I don’t believe that material things or circumstances can make anyone happy. Happiness is a state of mind, a moment-by-moment thought-choice, which cannot be bought at Canadian Tire or Wal-Mart — it cannot be held in your hands. The thought-choice, conscious or unconscious, precedes every emotion.
And yet, I am amazed at how many of us fall into the trap (including me sometimes) of thinking that our health, our job, or our relationships cause the unhappiness. There is a mix-up of facts and opinions.
The facts may be that our health is not good, the conditions at our job are not pleasant, or our relationships are in a state of decay. These facts may be absolutely correct, and yet these facts cannot make us feel happy, crappy, or any other emotion.
Our opinions about these things are based upon similar past experiences — experiences in which we have chosen to have unhappy thoughts. When we multiply these experiences (we have all had many of them), we may develop a habit of unhappy thoughts. These unhappy thought-habits express themselves as unhappy feelings.
Habits can be darned tough to change. If you have changed a habit of smoking, drinking, eating, exercising, or any other behaviour, you know what I mean. Habits have been formed over a period of time, and our unconscious mind does not like to change them. Our unconscious mind resists change to the point where it may put us through physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering to keep us from changing these habits.
The new desired habits can only be accepted through continual and conscious thoughts about the new habit over a period of time.
I have read that it takes anywhere from 21 to 30 days to create a new habit.
I am not going to wait to be happy in 21 days. I choose to make this ‘happy-habit’ NOW! How?
– Set the alarm to wake-up 15 minutes earlier
– Lie for a few minutes and think about what I am grateful for
– Notice the beauty around me
– Stop my reactive words or actions and think of a new positive approach
– Smile and laugh more
– Read positive inspirational books
Does it take work? You bet.
Does it take continual, conscious evaluation, and choice of my thoughts? You bet.
Is it easy? Maybe not, but I know from experience that, long-term, the ‘happy-habit’ is a lot easier and pleasant than the ‘unhappy-habit’.
Because I choose the ‘happy-habit’, the everyday facts and problems are accepted as challenges that I can successfully deal with — one at a time.
Happy-habit or unhappy-habit? Seems like a no-brainer to me!
I choose the ‘happy-habit’. What is your choice?