I have long believed happiness to be something that we have to earn. Something that comes to us when we succeed, either succeeding through financial growth, earning that big job promotion, winning over that special person or having the house paid off.

I have long thought happiness is something that we obtain from outside of us, however, the more we ‘get’ the more we want. Once I got the promotion, I wanted something more. Once I increased my income, I wanted to double it. It was never ending for me and I know I am not alone.

Happiness is not something to reach for, it is a choice! Happiness is within us.

I once read the definition of happiness to be,

‘A state of mind in which our thinking is pleasant a good share of the time.’

When I truly think about it, I cannot think of a better definition for happiness. I truly believe happiness is a choice that we can make through intentionality of thought: through daily and consistent habits of ‘right’ thinking.

Choosing to think on such things as love, gratitude, kindness and not worrying about the problems we face in our world.

The world we live in today has everything backwards. Society tells us:

If we are kind to others, we will be happy.

If we are good unto others, we will be happy.

If we eat healthy foods and work out, we will be happy.

Whereas an accurate way of describing this would be:

Be happy and you will be good, kind, more successful and healthier.

Most of us wait for the circumstances outside of us to change for the circumstances inside of us to improve but this is wrong! If we wait until we think we earn or deserve our happiness, we will most likely be waiting a very long time.

We can literally choose how we feel. How?

By realising that it starts within us, not outside of us.

Choose happiness as a daily habit, meditate and start your morning off by thinking on good things. Start meals off with your family by communicating what you are grateful for. Happiness needs to be learned and practiced in the present, not sought after in future conquests.

Abraham Lincoln knew this when he said,

‘Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.’


My challenge for you? Choose your thoughts. Choose your happiness.

Let’s get practical:

  • Start every day off by writing down 3 things you are grateful for.
  • Every day, try to catch yourself when negative thoughts creep in. Stop, pause and redirect your thoughts to the positive.

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James Correy, Leadership Coach, Trainer & Speaker