"Happiness is a choice." When I hear those words sometimes I imagine myself laying on a couch and some ancient and wise person is sitting there in the chair next to me tapping their pencil on a pad of paper and studying my reaction intently. I stare back at them, knowing it's a test, knowing that my reaction may very well define this next year or even years of my life. Slowly, in order to display confidence in my answer, I smile and open my mouth to speak . . .
Now put yourself on the couch. What is your reaction to that simple statement? Does it change every day? Does it change every moment as your circumstances change? More importantly, what reaction do you want to have to those words?
Well, in my case, in the not too distant past, my reaction was: "Bullshit!" And then at some point my years of life added just enough wisdom to enable me to still the reaction and think hard about my life, my thought processes and what had lead me to the anxiety-ridden, self-doubting human that I had become. And in that stillness, early in the morning before the world had woken from it's slumber, I whispered terribly frightening words, "I choose to be happy." And the couch faded away. The wise one with the tapping pencil stopped mid-tap, eyes opening a little wider in surprise or - possibly - pride. And he also faded away. And I was left laying there on my bed at around 4 in the morning with one goal and one goal only - I was going to find the path to happiness and I was going to do start finding it right then and there.
My name is Mark. I invite you to share my journey. I have gone through hell - and found heaven. That heaven that I've found is not circumstantial. It's not constructed from the things that make up my world. It's constructed from three very important pillars of strength. These pillars hold happiness up and show us the path:
Sounds simple, right? In a way the path to happiness is simple. Yet we are not born with a map that guides us to this path and there are many paths that connect and distract us from the main path. There's nothing wrong with taking a connecting path - the journey is just slower that way. And, in some cases, doesn't lead to happiness at all. The crazy thing is that some of the paths that don't lead to happiness have large signs with flashing neon letters that tell you, "Happiness is Here!" They have hawkers standing next to some paths extolling the virtues of the path - "New car smell. New car smell. You will not believe how you feel when you drive this car along this path!" Or, sultry voice, "Hello there! Do you want to walk down this path - we won't even see the world around us for months. The sex will be amazing. Come walk down this path with me." I don't know about you - but I love that path. It's a fun one. But ultimately all the outer paths lead you back to the inner path at exactly the same point you were when you left the path.
Don't get me wrong. I will never tell anyone not to have fun walking those outer paths. But if you are not also progressing along the inner path, you will eventually discover that none of the outer paths leading to good or not so good circumstances have the ability to give you the happiness you seek. You can only get there on one path.
Come and join me on that path and we will share in the beauty and joy that comes as a result.
See you there!