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How to Choose to Make Yourself Happy

Dan Goodwin

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I wish I could be happy, is that too much too ask. . ?

Ever find yourself asking this question, combined with a feeling of helplessness and as though the whole universe is conspiring against you to make sure you're UNhappy?

Well, the truth is, you can be as happy as you choose to be. Here's 5 key steps to how:

1. Define what happiness means to you. Most of the reasons you feel you're not happy are because you're actually chasing a false ideal of happiness, one defined by someone else's criteria. Does happiness for you REALLY mean a yacht in the Mediterranean, houses on every continent and a walk in wardrobe of 500 different outfits? Look at the times when you've been happy, the moments you remember most fondly. It's likely that the simplest things brought you happiness. The simple the things that you can rediscover. Write a description of your typical day of being happy, in as much detail as possible. Also, write in the present tense, as if you're describing it as you're doing it now. Connect with what REALLY makes you happy.

2. Accept that happiness is a choice. We can't control every event that occurs, and every situation that we find ourselves in. But we can control how we conduct ourselves and how we react and behave in any given scenario. Happiness is a way of thinking, a way of begin open to the positive elements that already exist in your life. What you focus on will grow, so if you focus on what you feel is lacking, then that perceived lack and feeling of discontent will grow. Focus on the good in your life, and that will grow, you'll begin seeing appreciating things you completely took for granted before. Choose to amplify the happiness and the positive, and it will expand.

3. Give up trying to control what you can never control. In the UK we tend to have an obsession about the weather. It's as if some people's whole mental state is intertwined with the amount of cloud cover or rainfall each day. Yes, there are medical conditions such as Seasonal Affective Disorder. You can take action to help yourself with these. What you CAN'T do it control the number of clouds in the sky, or when it rains and when it's sunny. Be smart and give up trying to control what you can't ever possibly control. Redirect that energy and focus on helping yourself find ways to enjoy life more, changing the things you CAN change, like your outlook and attitude.

4. Realise that happiness does not mean selfishness. There's a common guilt that many of us carry around that says we can't be happy because it's selfish, or self indulgent, and what right do WE have to be happy when there's so much suffering in the world? Here's the thing: When YOU'RE happy, it naturally radiates to those who lives you come into. By being happy, you're actually increasing the good feeling in others, you bring extra warmth, encouragement and joy to your little corner of the world. How can making other people feel better about their lives possibly be selfish? It's selfish NOT to live up to your potential to do good and bring a positive energy to others.

5. Create some Happiness Habits. Habits are one of the most powerful techniques we can use as human beings, and allow us to do all kind of things without even thinking about them. We often associate the word “habit" with “bad" things like smoking or biting our nails. Instead look at how you can create Happiness Habits. What small things can you do every day to bring a little happiness? It might be spend 15 minutes writing in a journal each morning, or taking a walk, or talking with a friend. You already KNOW the kind of things you can do to make yourself happy. Start doing them each and every day, and you'll soon develop powerful Happiness Habits that'll raise your whole energy, creativity and enthusiasm for life.

Happiness is a choice.

You can choose, right now, to follow the tips outlined above and increase your happiness. Or you can choose not to. Which will it be?

Creativity Coach Dan Goodwin is the author of “Create Create!", a free twice monthly ezine for people who want simple and powerful articles, tips and exercises to help them unleash their creative talents. Sign up right now and get your free “Explode Your Creativity!" Action Workbook, at


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