My mother used to say, “Happiness is a choice, it’s a state of mind.” I’m quite certain this wasn’t an original idea on her part; but nevertheless, it was truly her view and approach to life. In the last several days I have found Mom’s admonishment born out in the works and words of Gretchen Rubin. Ms. Rubin is the author of the Happiness Project and “test driver” of theories and studies on how to live a happier and more fulfilling life. I found her interview on The CBS television show “Sunday Morning” quite thought provoking and motivating. It was a simple and straight forward message that directly challenged the viewer to live a happier life. This is hard for many to accomplish. The show segment made me think of what my grandmother used to preach when I or siblings or parents complained about difficult people or situations. “Wish them well and far away and if you can’t accomplish that, kill them with kindness.” I would add–Do it with a smile. A smile is an overt sign of happiness that is both disarming and disabling when dealing with unhappy people and unhappy situations. You can’t smile, methinks and at the same time be unhappy. At the very least it makes being unhappy very, very difficult. Furthermore, I find that difficult people are disarmed and don’t know what to do when you smile at them. I find that the smile is a neutralizer. It is easier to refocus on positive versus potentially negative outcomes when you start with a smile on your face. Starting the day with a smile around others who do the same creates opportunity. A happy smile delimits those people who approach the world as a glass half full.
You may be asking yourself, “Is this guy delusional?” No I am not, I have just found that the state of happiness is integral to my attitude. Therefore it is the state of mind with which I take on the business of living life, taking on its challenges and achieving the full essence of the gifts and opportunities I have been blessed with either personally or professionally.
I encourage you to explore www.happiness-project.com and check out what Rubin has to offer. I trust you will be positively impacted as I was. One last thought, don’t read it and say to yourself, “Oh, this is another pile of happy horse manure.” I challenge you to ponder this question. Is there a better alternative to living life with an attitude of embracing happiness and approaching others, even in the toughest of situations, with a smile? If there is I would love to hear it! As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments.
Keep Smiling – “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”!