Happiness is a Decision

"Let us read and let us dance; these two amusements that will never do any harm to the world." Voltaire said it well.

In a world that is full of conflict, it is good to think about things that are pure and lovely. Our thoughts control our world…both inside and out. When we have challenges in our lives, we have two choices. We can focus on the challenge or we can surrender. I choose peace and a merry heart. Proverbs 17:22 says, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." I am blessed to attend a relevant church. Dr. Stutzman's sermons are timely and alive. When asked how to be happy, he would say to 1. Laugh more, 2. Stress less, 3. Get some rest, 4. Find good friends, 5. Keep working, and 6. Stop worrying.

What makes you happy? Rick Hanson, PhD, author of Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence, says we can rewire our brains for happiness by focusing on positive experiences and memories. All it takes is a little practice. He explains that the brain is shaped by what we focus on. Think about one of your relationships. Even if five good things happened with that person in one day, it is shadowed by the one negative experience that may have occurred. That is why research shows that a good relationship needs a 5 to 1 ratio of positive to negative moments. When something positive happens, we need to slow down and feel it! Recently in one of my classes a student shared that he had terminal cancer and only months to live. He has two young children and a beloved wife. He told me a story about being in a restaurant and observing the family at the next table, a father and his two young children. They were not speaking to each other throughout the meal. The father was on his smart phone the entire time. My student said he wanted to go over to that table and tell the father, "Don't you know how lucky you are? You can talk to your children, watch their smiles and know their fears. I only have a few months left. What I would give to be you!"

Being happy is a discipline - it's about focusing on the small things that move us - and letting them sink in. Dr. Hanson says we need to savor the positive experience for at least 10 consecutive seconds. He also says we need to refuse to allow a negative experience to hijack the positive experience. It only takes three minutes a day to really take in the positive experiences. That's only half a dozen times a day for less than half a minute.

If you want to be happy, research tells us: 1. Notice when life is good, 2. Have an attitude of gratitude, 3. Look for happy friends, 4. Be a giver, not a taker, 5. Know your purpose, and 6. Decide to be happy now.




Happiness is a Decision

Why Change?

Secrets to a Long Life

Culture & Communication

Can You Improve Your Game with a Coach?

Managing the New Generation Y Workforce


Inspirational Message

Life Lessons from My Dad

Retention Injection

Most People Need More Than a "Pat-On-The-Back"

Playing Hunches for Better Business

What do Entrepreneurs Have in Common?

The Value of Performance Evaluations

The Generation Gap and Changing Workforce

Give Yourself Credit

Is Work Your Source of Identity?

Stop Complaining!

Keeping the Motivator Motivated

How to Manage Your Boss

Losing the Job You Love

The ABCs of Self-Management

Money Can't Always Buy Job Satisfaction

Chaotics: Managing Organizational Change and Stress in a Turbulent Environment


The Problem Employee

The Benefits of a High-Performance Work Team

The Power of Praise

Your Résumé and Beyond

Performance Appraisals
Creating the Right Tone for Communication

Give the Gift of Self-Esteem

Moving Forward After Losing a Job

Make Yourself Indispensable

Spoiled or Smart?

E Pluribus Unum
Out of Many, One

Domestic Violence is a Workplace Issue

Accentuate the Positive

Escaping Domestic Abuse…How Women Get Out and Stay Out

Answers to Major Decisions Happen When You Least Expect Them

Your Career Resolution for the New Year

Believe and Achieve

Listen to Your Inner Knower

The Eight Zelda Success Principles

Daily Rules

Is Your Stress Level Stressing You Out?

First Impressions Matter

The Six Top Tips of Good Management - Part 2

The Six Top Tips of Good Management - Part 1

Go With the Flow to Control Stress

It's No Rumor - Vicious Gossip is a Problem

Leadership Ability - Do You Have It?

Determine Your Personality Style

Tales from the Road

Are You in the Right Job?

"There Will Be a Meeting..."

Golden Rules for Good Customers

Manage Your Boss For a Change

How to Love the Boss You Hate

Your Wheel of Life: The Spokes Support the Rim
Part 2 - Balancing the Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Spokes

Your Wheel of Life: The Spokes Support the Rim
Part 1 - Balancing the Financial, Personal and Social Spokes

How to Positively Leave Your Job

First Aid for Self-esteem - Part 2

First Aid for Self-esteem - Part 1

Working With Your Employees

First Aid for Stress

Are You at Risk for Burnout or Depression?

Infuse a Strong Work Ethic Into Your Employees

Be the Kind of Leader You Would Follow

Work Ethic - Just a Memory?

Work/Life Balance Equals Productivity

Be A Synergetic Leader

How to Love the Co-Worker You Hate

Building a Good Relationship with Your Boss

Take Steps Toward Achieving Your Goals

Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion - Part II - Deflecting Someone Else's Anger

Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion

The Positive Give of Criticism

The Positive Take of Criticism