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The secret to happiness is to understand that everything except our attitude is out of our control. We don’t have to be overly disappointed or angry when things don’t go our way or when people don’t live up to our expectations. Let’s face it, people rarely live up to our expectations anyway and hardly anything ever goes as planned. Happiness is found in letting go of the outcome and focusing on the present. Simple but not always easy because life can be awfully noisy and a bit distracting.

Happiness is simple but it’s not easy because we want things. We hope for things. We strive for things and sometimes we don’t get them. The answer to this problem is to focus on what we have instead of what we want. Having goals is important but we aren’t always able to reach our goals and this can be discouraging. Enjoying the journey toward meeting our goals is where we find happiness because this is what keeps us in the here and now.

If we put our happiness in the hands of others, we will must certainly be let down. We cannot hold other people accountable for our happiness, even the people we love most in the world, will let us down from time to time. We are all human, after all. When we expect happiness to come from external things, including other people, then we miss the point of it because happiness is inside each one of us and it is up to us to harness it.

Happiness is an action. It’s a daily, sometimes hourly, exercise. Happiness is a decision. It’s a choice. Happiness is something that we must take individual responsibility for. It takes practice and conscious effort and an inventory of our thinking. We won’t always be happy. There are things in life that cause us legitimate pain, things we must let go of, things we must grieve. Life can be difficult. In between these moments of true sorrow though, is where we get to choose because happiness is what we make it…most of the time.