Making Happiness a Habit

This post was originally published on 365 Days of Startups.

On the days when my business begins to feel a bit overwhelming, I carve out some quiet time to remember all the reasons I started this solo endeavor — the things that make the long days, sacrifice, and hard work all worthwhile.  I am re-energized by the realization that I am living my dream, by making a positive difference in the lives of those I serve, and that is my greatest happiness.

The movie, Pursuit of Happyness, resonates the importance taking personal responsibility for your happiness.  If you don’t like where your work is taking or not taking you, commit to changing your circumstances.  It’s not your friend’s job to make you smile; it’s not your spouse’s mission to bring you joy; it’s not your boss’s job to make you love your job.  You are in control of how much or how little happiness you experience in this lifetime through the decisions you make, and the way you react to the world around you when life happens.

Happiness is a choice

Happiness is about maintaining a mindset that never allows your life to run you over.  Happiness is an attitude.  Happiness is a way of life.  Happiness is a choice.  Happiness is a habit everyone needs to create on a daily basis to live with riches.

Happiness is not an elusive vapor that’s hard to catch.  Happiness does not occur regularly by happenstance — experiencing it takes deliberate action and a positive outlook.  I cannot claim to be ecstatically happy every moment of the day, but I choose to be happy no matter what my circumstances.

Finding your happy moments

There are so many little things in a day that bring a smile to your face, elicit a chuckle or release the stress in a moment like letting air out of a balloon.  If you attempt to disagree with my assertion, I challenge you to spend a day documenting the moments that caused even the smallest positive emotional response.  I think you might be surprised at how long your list is.  To get you thinking in the right direction, I have included some of my favorite quotes that put even the most challenging days into perspective:

The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness.  You have to catch it yourself. – Benjamin Franklin

No one’s happiness but my own is in my power to achieve or to destroy.  – Ayn Rand

The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions, and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds wherever we go. – Martha Washington

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.   – Abraham Lincoln

Happiness comes from spiritual wealth, not material wealth… Happiness comes from giving, not getting. If we try hard to bring happiness to others, we cannot stop it from coming to us also. To get joy, we must give it, and to keep joy, we must scatter it. - John Templeton

I hope this has inspired you to cherish the unexpected sprinkling of precious moments that occur serendipitously throughout each day.  You may find out that your life is so much better than you thought it was, simply by taking notice.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,

but by the moments that take our breath away.”

© 2010 Reece International LLC/Dr. Shannon Reece. All rights reserved.

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Dr. Shannon Reece – The One Trusted Woman in a Man’s Business World

Starting your own business can be tough, but having the right tools makes all the difference.  Dr. Reece provides the strategies and tactics women need to get their businesses from zero to launch and achieve real results.  For more information visit www.DrShannonReece.com.


2 Comments

  1. Posted January 11, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you for the reminder Dr. Shannon! In an overwhelming world, it’s so easy to get, as the older generation may say “down in the mouth.” What a pleasant reminder to take even the smallest of things that make us happy – and to dwell and think on these things when the going gets tough. Maybe that’s why one of the songs from the “Sound of Music” movie is so cherished. “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…”.
    Thank you for the reminder!

    • Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:03 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Kim! Thanks for sharing your comment. :) I love that song from the “Sound of Music” too. Always puts a smile on my face. You are correct that with an attitude of gratitude each day, appreciating every little blessing that life brings, you can’t help but find happiness. Have a wonderful day! Shannon

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