A very good friend of mine, Bob Proctor, always says “Happiness is a decision.” When I first heard that, I was going through one heck of a divorce. I mean, it was awful—awful on every incredible level you could ever think of, and yet this man was standing on stage telling me to be happy. That it’s my decision?! I really had to think about that. In fact, I decided to go out and get a soda, sit down on the sofa outside the room, and think about it. And I did. And as I sat there sipping on my soda I thought, “Maybe he has a point…”
There are always more ways to skin an onion, isn’t there? What if I decided in all this chaos, and awfulness, and true cruelness, to just be happy? How can I create happiness? What if decided today to just be happy?
What does one do when you decide to be happy? Well, you do two things.
1. You create happiness in the day. You feed yourself good things, good thoughts, good food…especially when you’re going through something— that’s extremely important.
2. You build a different perception. That doesn’t mean you don’t see what’s really going on, but you don’t have to live in it. There’s a difference.
So what did I do? I decided to build my happiness. I started right then and there. I turned back onto the music that I really loved. I started playing the piano again, which I hadn’t done in years and years. And no, I’m not wonderful, but I do love the piano. I also started to read things that just uplifted me. I started to talk with friends, and laugh, and just enjoy the present moment, and not think about all the stuff that was— you know, the stuff I didn’t want to think about!
I started just being really present in the moment, smelling the flowers, and just being a part of life. And then when I went home, I decided that I felt lighter. I feel good. I’m going to keep this going. So I sat down, and I made a list. I said, “Alright if I know that I’m a single mom, what do I want my kids to think about family?” And I wrote down three or four things that I wanted them to think about when they’re 35 about family. You know, things like families are here to support us and help us get through the tough times. Families are always there for each other. All disagreements always end in love…Just things like that, and I guided my home life from that list. I made it my mission to show the boys that we were secure, that we could survive. And that they could always rely on me to be a mom. And to have happy times. We would build a tent downstairs on Fridays and eat pizza in the tent watching, and watch a movie. I began putting a little snack in their backpack with a note saying do well on your test, or stuff like that. Everything I could think of to build that happiness and support in the family. I decided to change my perception. That’s what I was doing. I focused on the family and I focused on us building a new life with happiness in it.
Meanwhile, for myself, I was taking yoga, I was doing the piano, starting to talk to friends…I was building happiness in my life. Now, when that divorce, or that crisis, or whatever was going on that would come and impede on my perception, all of a sudden, it didn’t seem so traumatic. It was like, “Oh, it’s just something I have to take care of right now.” But then it’s gone. Because this is where I want to be, this is my world. That unpleasantness is just something I have to deal with when I have to deal with it, and then I can get right back to building my happiness. And it was because I had decided to be happy and to build a perception.
Because our perception becomes our reality, it becomes our world. And my new perception was causing my world to change. I wanted a happy and secure family. And I was going to build it. And that’s it. And because I was building it well, it was just so natural. I could start forgiving easier, because who wants to be weighted down with that? And it was just natural for me to say as this whole thing proceeded, that I just wanted the best for all including that other side. Because that would cause happiness everywhere. Do you see? So I allowed happiness, after deciding to be happy to create that happiness in my life by feeling it and feeling that perception and just building it.
The happier I became the happier my kids became. The happier we all were, the more secure we felt. We could see a future. The happier we were, we were above the trees and could look down and see our way out of the forest. Happiness is a decision. You just have to take a baby step, a baby step, a baby step…feed it into your day, decide to live in the now, and create what you want to create. You are the designer of your life. No matter what your life is like, you can build happiness in it. Happiness is most definitely a decision. And it’s as Bob also used to say…” make happiness a-no-going-back decision. Make them quick, make them fast.
So now it’s up to you. It’s up to you to make your happiness. Start by building happiness into the day; adding things in your day that make you happy, and allowing yourself to let go of things that bring you sorrow. You will still deal with them, they’re not going to disappear. But you don’t have to brood on it. It’s not doing you any good to just hold it in your head. Really it doesn’t! Obsessing doesn’t help anybody, so let it go.
Start building your happiness. Start building that togetherness, if that’s what you want. Build security if that’s what you want. You are the creator. You are the designer of your life. How do you want to live it? Me? I want to be happy. I want you to be happy too.