Did you know that you can DECIDE to be happy? I know it sounds crazy, but I did, and my life has never been better.
About 12 years ago, I found myself at a job I hated, with a boss who had some very serious mental issues, and who, together with the office manager – who happened to be his ex-wife – was embezzling serious money from clients and from the owners of our business. At the same time, this awful pair was doing everything in their power to blame the theft on the rest of the employees, myself included.
I reported them to the owner of the business, but the old man just couldn’t find the energy to chase the criminals out of his business. We found out later he was fighting late stage lymphoma, so that may have affected his judgment and his energy level. I got out of the business as soon as I could, but for the two and half years I was there, I struggled with serious anger and mild depression. Now, for a guy who’s normally irrationally optimistic, the bad feelings were very uncomfortable. So I started to read every book I could find on the subject of achieving a positive attitude.
Twelve years later, I think I may have read almost every word every written about happiness and person success. I’ve read Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, and hundreds of others. I’ve really studied the art of positive thinking. But, you know what? What’s important is not that I’ve read all those powerful writers. It’s not the number of books I’ve read that made the difference for me. It’s a decision I made at the beginning of my journey through the art of attitude change, and it’s a decision you can make, too. Here’s what I decided: I was going to do more than just read these writers.
I was going to try what they suggested, however crazy it seemed
I was going to actually, sincerely, genuinely TRY what they suggested. As long as what they told me didn’t seem acutely dangerous or absolutely insane, I was going to try it. In fact, I was even going to try the insane stuff! After all, I was unhappy with my mental state, and most of these writers were known for their expertise. So instead of being cynical and reluctant, I was going to really, really try to adopt the attitudes and behaviors that were supposed to lead to happiness.
And that may have been the most important decision of my life.
Because I discovered something that may be the most powerful personal development secret you’ll ever learn. I know it has been for me. That secret is this:
Action is the key to happiness
If you don’t like where you are, take action. If you don’t who you’re with, take action. If you don’t like what you have, take action. If you don’t like how you feel, take action. And, if you don’t like the way you think, take action. Fix your mind on the person, place, thing or feeling you desire, and take action in the direction of your goal.
The beauty of this secret is that you don’t have to know how to achieve your goal when you start out. You can be completely unaware of what it’s going to take to get to the place where you’re happy, successful, healthy, and making the big bucks. Doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter.
The only thing that matters in the beginning is that you take some action
Once you start yourself moving in the right direction, you’ll begin to get it. To move, get moving. Whatever you do, do something. Step out of your routine and into some action that takes you toward the person you want to be, and you’ll be on your way.
I’m out of time for today, so I’m just going to list the Seven Decisions. Next time, I’ll go into a bit of detail on each decision, and share with you some of the insights that help keep me feeling so optimistic about life! Here they are:
Decision Number 1 – Decide to be happy
Decision Number 2 – Decide to overwhelm negative thoughts
Decision Number 3 – Decide to practice
Decision Number 4 – Decide to get help
Decision Number 5 – Decide to replace your “friends”
Decision Number 6 – Decide to dwell on your successes
Decision Number 7 – Decide to enjoy the feeling of success!
And, by the way, have a GREAT day!