Happiness is a choice.  I truly believe that.  Why?  Because I’ve been able to find the joy in so many small things in life.

Let me tell you, my life is not perfect.  I have my days that I get down or there are issues that arise.  I have bills and family and work just like you.  But it’s how I choose to see those issues that makes a difference.

Have you ever found gratitude in a challenging moment?  For example, I have had many days that I’ve needed customer service help from someone.  Sometimes it feels like no matter what you are asking for the answer is just no – or they don’t really seem like they are willing to help you.  In my younger years I would have gotten mad, yelled and demanded they take care of me.  Did this work? Sometimes – but I didn’t always feel good about it after.  There is so much negativity in this world why add more?

The Power of a Smile

What I do now is smile and ask for what I want.  When the answer is no or they seem unwilling to help I then say “well, tell me what I can have happen here.”  And then usually they lighten up and start to share with me choices.  Lots of times one of those choices is so close to what I wanted anyway I feel like I ended up “winning” and getting what I wanted.  At the same time that customer service person feels like they did their job and didn’t have to “fight” with someone as to why they couldn’t have what they wanted.

But here’s the most important part.  Smile!  no matter what the circumstance.  Just smile!  Think about it – when someone approaches you with a scowl on their face how do you feel?  When they smile how do you feel?  In fact – I want you to try an experiment today.  The first two people you encounter – scowl when you walk by.  See what their reaction is.  Then, the next two people you encounter smile and say hi.  What’s the difference?

How To Find Your Smile

I’ve had many friends and colleagues say – “you’re always so happy and smiling you must have a great life.”  I do have a great life – but it’s not without worries and challenges.  It’s how I choose to work through them.  It’s how I want to be seen in the world that matters.

My mom told me when I was young “get up, shower and show up”.  In reality that’s all it takes to get started.  I get up and shower every day.  I then put on something I feel good wearing.  Even on the days I stay home I put on something that makes me feel good.  I then put on a smile – look at my day – and find ways to be grateful for what it will be.  Even if I have meetings or situations that I know will not be fun – I find a way to be grateful for those lessons in life.

Once you start seeing life as a series of lessons and choices – and stop seeing it as things that “happen” to you – it makes all the difference in the world.

So – I challenge you to find ways today to be grateful for what you have…and smile.  Find ways every day to see the good in what you do have.  Find ways to realize that life is good and you have all you need right in front of you to be happy.

If you’re waiting for others to make you happy you’ve got it all wrong.  Make yourself happy and then others will go out of their way to do things to please you.  Everyone wants to be part of something happy and fun.

Go out today and choose to make yourself happy.

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