For National Happiness Happens Day

Happiness happens…when you make the effort. We’ve all heard the well-meaning advice, “Just decide to be happy.”

Easier said than done.

I can decide to be (or act) happy today, but tomorrow when I have to show up to the same crappy, underpaying job or deal with an irrational client, holding on to that happiness or being authentically joyful is tough. Good news! There is a way to hack happiness. Better news! You have complete control.

The best way out is always through.” – Robert Frost

A former colleague of mine was a high-level executive at a large multinational firm. She was the consummate professional, extremely competent and well liked, and her career at the company was on a steep upward trajectory. On a joint trip to review some of the company’s European operations, she shocked me when she revealed that she was interviewing for a position with another company.

I asked her why she was unhappy in her current job. She said she wasn’t unhappy. She really liked her current job and position with the company, but she needed to “make sure.” I was intrigued and impressed that someone in her position, who was juggling many large responsibilities and seemingly always busy, would take the time to reevaluate her past decisions.

She confided that every few years she interviewed for positions at other companies. She did not feel that she was being disloyal or unappreciative of her current job, but that interviewing with other companies gave her perspective.

She wanted to work wherever she could best apply her capabilities. Finding out where that was meant comparing her current position with other opportunities. She continued to find that potential jobs were less desirable than her current position. Interviewing with other companies made her come back to her current job with renewed enthusiasm and energy. My colleague had found the happiness hack for her career.

You see, the happiness hack isn’t just deciding to be happy, but it’s almost as simple: Make new decisions about old (but still relevant) situations. Reevaluating long-standing decisions will lead to greater happiness, one way or the other…

By reaffirming that the decision made long ago is still the best decision, you infuse your long-standing situation with new energy. This will lead to feeling happy and empowered.

If instead, the long-standing decision no longer serves you, you will make a new decision, which will also infuse fresh energy into your situation. And guess what will this lead to feeling... Yep, happy and empowered.

“The decisions you make today create your future.”