Jeffrey Gitomer on Choosing Happiness. What’s your choice?

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JG-Low-2Your life will always be filled with challenges, barriers, and disappointments. It’s best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. Alfred Souza said, “For a long, long time it had seemed to me that I was about to begin real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.”

There is no way to happiness.

Happiness is the way.

There is no after to happiness

Happiness is now.

Here’s the answer: It’s inside your head FIRST and everyplace else second. Happiness is a treasure. Your (missed) opportunity is to treasure every moment that you have.

Stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school, until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until after you quit smoking, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning, until you get your new car or home, until your car or home is paid off, until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter, until the first or the fifteenth, until your song comes on, until you’ve had a drink, until you’ve sobered up, until you win the lottery, or until the cows come home to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy.

And treasure the happiness of now more because you share it with someone special enough to invest your time in…

Happiness is:

Not a sale or a commission.

Not an economy or a budget.

Not a yes or a no.

Not a game winning hit or a last second touchdown.

Happiness is a way of life that is inside you at all times. It helps you get over the tough times, and helps you celebrate the special times.

Seems pretty simple to define on paper, but real difficult to manifest when the chips are down. My experience has taught me the difference between resign and resolve. You can resign yourself to what is, and hope or wait for a better day. Or you can resolve that you are a positive person who finds the good, the positive, the happiness, the smile, and especially the opportunity in everything.

Happiness is now, not a goal or a destination.

It’s not an after, it’s a before.

And it’s up to you. All you have to do is: decide.

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  1. Timothy Stewart says:

    Truly one of the most meaningful things I have consumed!

  2. Rod Bosco says:

    Jeffrey, you are a life saver! I came to work today feeling more than a bit sorry for myself and was drawn to the title of your column. It was like a loving kick in the pants. It got me thinking (which I do a lot). More important, it got me deciding (something I don’t do enough of). Thank you.

    I wanted to add some thoughts that came to me as I was reading your post. Think of it as Happiness, Step 2. I think it hits on a source of, and fuel for, your happiness – sharing with others.

    While happiness begins as a decision, it is sustained through openness and sharing. Happiness that is insular is merely fortitude. It is accomplishment, but it’s hollow and fleeting. It needs constant reinforcement to be maintained.

    To keep happiness alive within you, you must recognize it for what it is – a gift. There can’t be a gift without a giver and a receiver. So, to live the way of happiness you must be open to everyone, and everything, around you. Happiness is a team, a village, community, a brotherhood. It begins with a choice from within. But it is nurtured by others who share in your choice of happiness:

    It is nurtured by the love of those who stand by and with you through the trials and the celebrations.

    It is nurtured by those random collisions of life that result in gifts of wisdom, perspective, skill, and friendship.

    It is nurtured by life itself – that within our view and that which is waiting for us to experience and be a part of.

    And, it is nurtured by faith in the power which gave us life and sustains us.

    Life is a decision. And a gift. Decide. And share the gift.

  3. Rod Bosco says:

    Oops. I meant to say “Happiness” in the last line, not “Life”. Ok to edit.

  4. Janice Elaine Osburn says:

    That’s the best thing I have read in a long time. I know this, but I forget. I want to lock it into my brain. Life is grand when this is felt by all.

  5. There is a difference between joy and happiness.  Happiness is an emotion and temporary; joy is an attitude of the heart. Loved your post…..the only thing I would change would be the word happiness to joy. Joy is what you’re really talking about here.

    • Janice Elaine Osburn says:

      Yes, I think you are right, Rick. I think Joy is the Real word. We always look for happiness but Joy is what should be in our heart.

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