Why I Choose Happiness

I have often been told that I have an aura of true happiness around me; that I seem to always have a smile on my face, even during tough situations.  While I would not disagree, it’s not because I’m oblivious to the stress or the bad things in the world around me. I have a wife, three beautiful daughters, a large extended family and a job that can sometimes be stressful. So how do I stay positive and happy in a world full of these stressors?  It’s a conscious decision. I choose happiness because I’ve learned that when you send out happiness and give out vibes of positivity, it comes back to you in greater quantities.

Happiness via simplicity

One of the keys to happiness is learning to be happy with what you have.  If you’re someone who expects a lot out of life, maybe lower your expectations. This doesn’t mean you don’t strive for better or for the things you want in life. But maybe learn to be happy with less or be happy with the steps in between.  If you want that big luxury SUV, but you can only afford an economy SUV right now, be happy that you can at least buy that.  If you want a burger and fries but want your burger just a little pink, one tomato slice, three pickles, Swiss cheese not American, thousand island dressing and a red onion but you’re at McDonald’s, you’re going to be disappointed. So, while at McDonald’s order your cheeseburger and fries and save the customization for a different restaurant.

Happiness in relationships

Communication goes a long way to helping maintain happiness in relationships – both romantic and platonic.  If you don’t communicate, the relationship can’t grow. Talk about things that the other person does that might be bothering you to give the other person the chance to change. If your partner or friend does something that makes you happy, brings a smile to your face, tell them. They need to know what’s working as much as they need to know what isn’t.

Communication – both verbal and non-verbal – is a skill that needs nurturing. It’s not a one and done.  Work on communication in your relationships and manage expectations. With expectations managed better both sides of the relationship will be happier.

Your ego and happiness

A favorite quote of mine is “Comparison is the thief of joy.”  To mean this encapsulates what happens when you let your ego get in the way of your happiness. I often find myself comparing myself to others – my boss, a neighbor, the guy in the next lane with the yellow Lamborghini – and when I let my ego feel less than this other person, my happiness is similarly reduced. It’s human nature to compare ourselves negatively against others. So instead of comparing yourself to others, look to your accomplishment and be proud of it for yourself.

Social media is a prime culprit in the comparison game. So many people on social media are sharing false narratives. They aren’t showing the literal dirty laundry, the weeds in the backyard, their 3-year old’s temper tantrum because that would be too real.  I try to unplug from social media as much as possible and just be present in the moment whenever possible.

Happiness is a choice

If you’re finding yourself stuck in a negative thought pattern, change your situation. Go outside. Get some fresh air. Unplug from your electronics. Then recognize that while you can’t always choose your situation, you can choose how you respond to it.  Your car broke down and now you’re late for work.  Focus on the fact that you can get your car fixed and you can call work to let them know you’ll be late or need the day off.  Learn to embrace your situation for what it is and keep moving.  Don’t wallow.

We often are asked when we were happiest in life.  And the answer is almost always a time in the past, “when I was in college,” “when I bought my first brand new car,”  “when my babies were born.”  This is because we’re remembering the good parts of these memories and forgetting, or at least not focusing on, the bad. If you need help moving to a place of happiness, try thinking about something in the past that made you happy and use that to give yourself perspective on your current situation.

Gratitude amplifies happiness

Gratitude changes your mindset. The more grateful you are the happier you’ll feel.

Some people keep a gratitude journal to record three or five things a day that make them grateful – my kids, oxygen, air conditioning, chocolate, their faith. On difficult days it can be hard to find things to be grateful for, especially in the beginning.  You can say you’re grateful that today wasn’t worse, that you found a pen when you needed it.  Other days, the gratitude will be overflowing.  The point is looking back over time, you will see that there’s a lot of big and small things to be grateful for in your life.

Prayer is another way of expressing gratitude. Often our morning prayers ask for things. But some days you may want to focus on what you’re grateful for that day.

A smile can change your day

Try an experiment one day. Smile at five random people.  You’ll feel better and I bet you anything, they will too.  If you’re having a rough day and feeling down, this little exercise can change your whole day around.  It might be a struggle to smile at the first and maybe even the second person. But I bet by the time you’re on person number five, you’re going to want to keep going. 

I choose happiness

I choose happiness because I don’t know any other way to live. Happiness isn’t a constant. It’s fleeting but valuable and important.

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ThirtyFiveSixtyFour
Choose Happiness
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  • Kevin Headley

    With over two decades of experience in the Consumer Durable Goods Industry, Kevin has consistently proven himself as an exceptional Sales & Marketing Leader with iconic brands such was Whirlpool Corporation and Sub-Zero Group. Currently serving as the Vice President of Sales at Rinnai America, Kevin drives innovation, execution, and a wealth of expertise to his role.

    Throughout his career, Kevin has distinguished himself through his adept mentoring of colleagues and his ability to cultivate enduring relationships with clients and stakeholders. He firmly believes that a good sense of humor is essential in both professional and personal contexts, fostering a positive and collaborative environment wherever he goes.

    Through various relocations, Kevin and his family have been able to experience life in multiple states and regions in the US and are currently settled in Peachtree City, Georgia. Currently, Kevin's latest personal challenge is adjusting to the newfound tranquility of an empty nest.

    During his leisure hours, Kevin cherishes quality time as a true girl dad with his saintly wife, Megan, and his three daughters. He also indulges in his passion for music by jamming the guitar with his garage band, imparts valuable lessons about abundance mentality to his daughters, and hones his golf swing on the local links of Georgia.

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About the Author

With over two decades of experience in the Consumer Durable Goods Industry, Kevin has consistently proven himself as an exceptional Sales & Marketing Leader with iconic brands such was Whirlpool Corporation and Sub-Zero Group. Currently serving as the Vice President of Sales at Rinnai America, Kevin drives innovation, execution, and a wealth of expertise to his role.

Throughout his career, Kevin has distinguished himself through his adept mentoring of colleagues and his ability to cultivate enduring relationships with clients and stakeholders. He firmly believes that a good sense of humor is essential in both professional and personal contexts, fostering a positive and collaborative environment wherever he goes.

Through various relocations, Kevin and his family have been able to experience life in multiple states and regions in the US and are currently settled in Peachtree City, Georgia. Currently, Kevin's latest personal challenge is adjusting to the newfound tranquility of an empty nest.

During his leisure hours, Kevin cherishes quality time as a true girl dad with his saintly wife, Megan, and his three daughters. He also indulges in his passion for music by jamming the guitar with his garage band, imparts valuable lessons about abundance mentality to his daughters, and hones his golf swing on the local links of Georgia.