How To Be Happy: Is it Really This Simple?

23 Jul 2015

How To Be Happy: Is it Really This Simple?

Decide To Be A Happy Person

How To Be Happy: Is it Really This Simple?

It may seem too simple – and in a way it is. But just deciding that you are a happy person can change things on so many levels.


If you believe you are a happy person, this becomes your new sense of identity. Your sense of identity; the very core of who you are, will be reflected in your behaviour, the way you think, what you believe, what you value and how you relate to others.

Deciding to be a happy person is different from feeling happy about something

When you feel happy about something, that something is the trigger for your happiness. When you are a happy person, your happiness doesn’t depend on your outward circumstances or situation. I’ve seen some of the happiest people in the most unfortunate situations and in circumstances that would challenge many of us just to cope. Often they have little, if anything in terms of material possessions. Yet they exude happiness.

“When I” Happiness

In my coaching and training work I often come across people with a, ‘when I’ mentality to happiness.

“I’ll be happy ‘when I’, leave school/pass exams/finish university/start work/finish work/get married/get divorced/have children/children leave home/retire/etc.”

It’s easy to see that these people are making their happiness dependent on an event.

Sometimes ‘when I’ happiness is dependant upon some ‘thing’ or new possession. For instance, ‘when I buy a new car/new house/new mobile phone etc’.

‘When I’ happiness is always somewhere out there – in the future

And when the event arrives or the purchase is made, the person is happy. Unfortunately their happiness often only lasts as long as the event or a little longer than it takes to make the purchase. Then they’re back to wanting something else that they can be happy ‘about’.

Don’t get me wrong!

It’s perfectly OK to want things. We are human after all. It’s when we make our happiness conditional upon having something, or dependent upon a specific event that we put happiness on hold. The result is a fleeting kind of happiness at best. And the rest of the time we spend striving and stressing towards the next, ‘when I’ as fast as we possibly can.

True happiness comes from the inside

For me happiness is a sense of gratitude, contentment, cheerfulness, joy, joviality, well being and playfulness. It doesn’t depend upon anything outside of me but it can definitely affect people (and pets) around me. Achieving goals or buying something I’ve saved for, certainly give me an extra buzz, but I so enjoy the journey that I want to savour every minute.

Happiness is a work in progress

I have ‘down’ days like many others. Nowadays I seem to be able to get back to that general sense of happiness more quickly and easily than I have in the past.

Reminding myself (and re-deciding) that I am a happy person, unquestionably puts me back in a happiness equilibrium.

Here are some questions to help you think about and commit to your own happiness

If you decide that, at the core of your identity, you are a happy person, how would that decision influence these things:

  • Your sense of self?
  • Your relationship to your nearest and dearest as well as your colleagues and friends?
  • Your circumstances?
  • Your beliefs?
  • Your values?
  • How you behave in all the different areas that constitute your life?
  • Your productivity?
  • Your stress levels?
  • What you focus on?
There are other things you can do

There are certainly many avenues you can take to become a happy person. But unless you make the fundamental decision to be happy, any other activities or habits of mind would seem to be a waste of time. So, what decisions have you made about how to be happy?