post written by: Marc Chernoff

10 Ways Happy People Choose Happiness

10 Ways Happy People Choose Happiness

All the happiness you ever find lies within you.

Happiness is a choice.  For every minute you are angry or irritated, you lose 60 seconds of happiness.  Be happy.  Be yourself.  If others don’t like it, then let them be.  Life isn’t about pleasing everybody.

If you have the courage to admit when you’re scared, the ability to laugh even as you cry, the nerve to speak up, even if your voice is shaking, the confidence to ask for help when you need it, and the wisdom to take it when it’s offered, then you have everything you need to get yourself to a happier state of mind.

Begin today by taking responsibility for your own contentment.  Here are ten ways to choose happiness:

  1. Choose to be the best YOU can be. – Give it your all in everything you do, commit to your goals, and don’t compare yourself to anyone else.  John Wooden once said, “Success and happiness is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”  Never try to be better than anyone else, but never stop trying to be the best you can be.  If you feel called to compare yourself to someone, compare yourself to an earlier version of yourself.
  2. Choose to be around the right people. – Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded.  Relationships should help you, not hurt you.  Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be.  Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it.  Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  When you free yourself from negative people, you free yourself to be YOU – and being YOU is the only way to truly live.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  3. Choose to focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t. – When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value.  Being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness.  And that’s without having to go out and buy or acquire anything new.  It makes sense.  You will have a hard time ever being happy if you aren’t thankful for what you already have.
  4. Choose a good attitude. – What often screws us up the most in life is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be.  And the reason so many of us give up is because we tend to look at how far we still have to go, instead of how far we have come.  Remember, life is a journey, not a destination.  This moment, like every moment, is a priceless gift and an opportunity.  Be positive, smile, and make it count.  Pretend today is going to be great.  Do so, and it will be.  Research shows that although we think that we act because of the way we feel, in fact, we often feel because of the way we act.  A great attitude always leads to great experiences.
  5. Choose to smile more often. – A smile is a choice, not a miracle.  Don’t wait for people to smile.  Show them how.  A genuine smile makes you and everyone around you feel better.  The simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you’re happy.  And when you’re happy, your body pumps out all kinds of feel-good endorphins.  This reaction has been studied since the 1980’s and has been proven a number of times.  Bottom line:  Smiling actually makes you happier.
  6. Choose to take care of your body. – Taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be.  If you don’t have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected.  Recent studies conducted on people who were clinically depressed showed that consistent exercise significantly raises happiness levels in the near-term.  Not only that, six months later, the people who had continued to exercise were less likely to relapse into depression because they had a higher sense of self-accomplishment and self-worth.
  7. Choose honesty. – Start being honest with yourself and everyone else.  Don’t cheat.  Be faithful.  Be kind.  Do the right thing!  It is a less complicated way to live.  Integrity is the essence of everything successful.  When you break the rules of integrity you invite serious complications into your life.  Keep life simple and enjoyable by doing what you know in your heart is right.  Don’t get involved with drama that doesn’t affect you.
  8. Choose to help others when you’re able. – Care about people.  In life, you get what you put in.  When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life.  Do something that’s greater than you – something that helps someone else to be happy or to suffer less.
  9. Choose to let go when you know you should. – Sometimes you have to be strong for yourself.  Love is worth fighting for, but you can’t be the only one fighting.  People need to fight for you too.  If they don’t, you eventually have to move on and realize that what you gave them was more than they were willing to give you.  Some relationships and situations just can’t be fixed.  If you try to force them back together, things will only get worse.  Holding on is being brave, but letting go and moving on is often what makes us stronger and happier.
  10. Choose to embrace the next step in your life. – You can hold on to the past, or you can create your own happiness today.  Never let success get to your head and never let failure get to your heart.  Every day is a new beginning and a new ending.  Embrace it, make the best of it, smile, and keep looking straight ahead.  And don’t forget, a smile doesn’t always mean a person is happy right now; sometimes it simply means they are strong enough to face their problems going forward.  Read The How of Happiness.

And remember, your mind is your private sanctuary; do not allow the negative beliefs of others to occupy it.  Your skin is your barrier; do not allow others to get under it.  Take control of your boundaries and what you allow yourself to absorb from others.

Never let someone’s opinion become your reality.  Never sacrifice who you are because someone else has a problem with it.  Love who you are inside and out.  No one else has the power to make you feel small unless you give them that power.  You are the only one who can create your happiness.

The choice is yours.  Choose happiness.

Photo by: Noukka Signe

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  • This is such great advice! Thank you, Marc and Angel, as always.

  • Thanks for these timeless reminders. Simply reading them made me a little happier today.

  • These happiness tips came along at the right time for me. I appreciate the effort and wisdom you two continue to put into this site. It helps me.

  • The art of gratitude is a wonderful thing. I have found that the happiest people I know seem to always default to what they are grateful for already in their life. The people most unhappy are constantly searching for answers outside of themselves, or what they still need to achieve to feel complete… when in reality they have everything they need already in them. And its that constant awareness of being grateful for the small things that make it so.

    Thanks for the reminders.

  • These are words and principles I’m constantly striving to live by. Thank you for the extra push.

  • I like “Choose to be around the right people” and “Choose to let go when you know you should.”

    I have lived by these two rules (among others), and people have given me a hard time about it. But I’m glad I stayed strong and held tight to these rules because I’m a much better (and happier) person today, with positive, supportive people around me.

  • Love this! Thanks for putting it together in the BEST way, as always. I especially appreciate the last bit about your mind and skin being sanctuaries. I really needed to read that.

  • Wonderfully said, as always. Real happiness is a new thing for me, and it is beautiful. Thank you for your insight. You keep me going!!!

  • This is exactly the kind of advice and positivity I need right now. Bravo for reading my mind! ;)

  • Thank you so much for all of your thought provoking, insightful advice. Reading your articles helps me look inside myself to better influence the world outside of me. I believe happiness is the best gift we can ask for and give.

  • This is great advice! I know a lot of negative people who are miserable because they haven’t grasped the concept that happiness is chosen not stumbled upon by accident.

  • Many good points here. Happiness… Bliss… I have over the years made efforts to build my happiness based on positivity. It works well. I deal in Abuse & Domestic Violence, so happiness is wonderful to go home to each day and share with my children….
    I find the victims to be humble, they offer thanks endlessly. It is mostly those we deem close who tend to drain us of our positive energy, or at least try.
    It’s really good to help and assist others, though a word of free advice from a counselor…. From time to time it isn’t selfish to say “No sorry but right now I’m not in a position to do that for you”. You cannot be there for others unless you are “A” “Number 1” up there on your self-help list.

  • Baker, wise words and I couldnt agree more with you.

  • Thank you for another GREAT post you two!

  • Love the clarity of these 10 points. One I would add would to be to live in the now. Happiness is a natural occurring emotion in the now, as is love, peace, freedom, and the kind of hope that is in the present. You cannot feel happy if your mind is in the past or the future which is where the ego-mind resides.

    Keep spreading your light. It is awesome.


  • Thanks for these reminders - they made me smile. I’ve been needing this lately.

  • This is one of my favorite posts on one of my favorite websites ever. :)

  • Once again, incredible advice. My mother has always said that happiness is a choice, and even though it irritates me more when she says it, I know it’s true. Great reminder.

  • Excellent post as usual. Thank you.

  • Good advice here. Happy JUST to be happy! Reminds me of the Jesuit method of spiritual formation — deepy intimate — called “Consolate vs. Desconsolate”. The educational variety.

  • I really like this post. Especially

    “Never let someone’s opinion become your reality. Never sacrifice who you are because someone else has a problem with it. Love who you are inside and out. No one else has the power to make you feel small unless you give them that power. You are the only one who can create your happiness.”

    Awesome stuff. Thank you for your posts and your blog. You do me so much good.

  • All my mom (rest her soul) ever wanted for me, was to be happy. I’m proud to say I’m working on it, and this article is inspiring me to keep going.

    Thank you.

  • Common sense is so often discounted. These are all great points and great rules to live by! Thanks for posting this. Everyone needs to be reminded from time to time!

  • Thank you for this.

    I am writing an article about “Making yourself Happy”, inspired by a comment. Your work added more .. and as always with happiness.. there is more!
    You and readers may like the book 14,000 things to be happy about. .

  • This is just perfect! Made me smile. Thank you for this and all your inspirational post/s! Every post you put together so enlightening. Many of the things you write about are things that I have to keep reminding myself of time and again. :)

  • This is such good and honest article! I particularly like the part on gratitude. Thanks.

  • I love your articles! This one is particularly wonderful.

  • Great food to thought. Thank you.

  • WOW, so many great ideas. I do not know how many thanks I should say for that, just wow again.

  • So much truth in this short article. I only wish I had read something like this when I was younger.


  • Great article and a message many, many people need to hear. I would encourage anyone reading this (and I encourage my coaching clients) to practice gratitude EVERY day. Beginning your day with it is the best way to jumpstart your happiness.

    I don’t care how bleak things look, or how much chaos one is experiencing, there’s always something to be grateful for. As I once heard said, “even the homeless can be grateful for the grate that keeps them warm.” The amazing thing I’ve found about gratitude is that it begets more gratitude. Once you can find one little thing to be happy for, it leads to another. And another and another.

    Thanks for the great read!

  • Beautiful message! Thank YOU!

  • Great thoughts Marc. I was just talking about this with a client this morning. It can be so helpful to look at what you have to grateful for in your life and stop motivating yourself with the things you aren’t happy about.

  • I only wish more people would stumble across this blog like I did. It is one of my favorites! Thanks :)

  • Thank you guys for helping others with the life lessons you share.

  • An excellent post! Thank you. I love it all and really love the “keep life simple” statement. We are truly amazing how we can complicate things/life so quickly - a bit like the song “From little things, big things grow” and it’s not always to our liking :)

  • Beautiful and helpful words. Thank you for sharing.

  • Learned a lot from this great post! Remember that we are not responsible for other people’s happiness. We are only responsible for our own well being. Don’t only try to please others, take care of yourself.

  • It’s always good to hear some of the basic things we need to remember to be happy . I’m making a file of inspirationals, thoughts reflections, wisdom you know keys to unlock those dark days!

  • Amazing post. Happiness truly is a choice. 3 yrs ago I was diagnosed with cancer. It rocked my world, disrupted my life, and changed my perspective forever.

    I chose to be optimistic. I chose to beat it. I chose to make the most out of everyday regardless of the outcome. I chose to fight the fear. I chose to let it be a turning point in my life for the better.

    Reality is relative. Happiness is a mindset and completely up to us regardless of our mindset.

    “Choose to focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t” is not just a great idea but a principal that yields amazing outcomes. Gratitude overcomes fear, depression, anxiety and all other aliments.


  • I’m so pleased with how easy your posts are to read, understand and embrace. Truly uplifting :)

  • I love your articles! Everyone should subscribe to your email newsletter and be inspired every week.

  • Number 9 is the advice I need right now. Thank you very much! I love your website!

  • “Holding on is being brave, but letting go and moving on is often what makes us stronger and happier.”

    Needless to say beautifully written. I am surprised at the way you seem to have answers to most of my questions and that such wonderful ones.

    Thanks for making me realise I am not wrong in the way I chose to lead my life :)

  • As always, reading it is reinforcement. Thank you.

  • Jack Kornfield, a well known meditation teacher, once said at a talk “Try lying all day and then try to meditate”. It’s really hard to be happy if your actions don’t match your thoughts. Thanks for the post.

  • I enjoy the idea of being the best you can be, that sounds like cliche, but it does wonders for your life when you can be yourself. Wonderful article, and reminders!

  • Great advice and came at good time for me. Focusing on what we have and not letting negative vibes rattle your vision — good reminders! Thanks for sharing!

  • Thank you! Very inspiring, as usual!

  • -Nice list, very practical/achievable and helpful -thank-you :)

  • Inspiring list.

    “Happiness is a butterfly which, when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” - Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • I love the advice here :) Choose Honesty, Keep Life Simple and Choose to be around the right people…

    Honesty coming from love, is still a preferred option than comforting white lies. At least, that is what I will choose. And being around the same likeminded people is so important. Like you mentioned, life is too short to let negativity suck it out of you.

    And most of all, never stop doing your best, each and everyday.

    Great article!

  • Your words seem to have made a lot of people happy. I really wish they could for me too, but I was bound to be the exception. This is day one of an experiment in ‘choosing to be happy’. So far, it’s no different to any other day and I’m frustrated and angry that I can’t do this. I’m not thinking anything negative - just feeling as crappy as I always do. I just can’t turn happiness on like a tap. As for being ‘grateful’ - who am I supposed to be grateful to? Almost everything I’ve got I’ve achieved myself. Any additional advice would be helpful. Wish me luck for day two.

  • Thanks for the article, it’s a great read and very encouraging.

  • Love this…. so true and much needed advice. I especially liked the bit about not comparing oneself to others… : )

  • Nice post… an encouraging one.

  • I was googling for some help and found this site. Sometimes you just need some sensible advice to ground you when everything seems so bleak. Know that this site helped me today. Thank you

  • This post really helped me as I ve been feeling low/down for almost 3 days. Nothing was making me happy until this post opened my mind a bit. Thank u.

  • Thank you for the great advice :D
    This is exactly what I needed for now after what I’ve been feeling for the past few days. “All the happiness you ever find lies within you” I will always keep that in mind.

  • This is really thoughtful and positive wisdom, not FB Fluff. Thanks for your hardwork and effort in making this world a better place. You are making a positive impact!

  • Great stuff! Never let someone else’s dysfunction become your destiny!

  • Kannan Ravinther
    January 4th, 2014 at 2:12 am

    Thanks… keep running your blog! Don’t ever stop - we need your advice. :)

  • This is so great… the perfect thing to start up my new week fresh. Thank you!

  • Great! Thanks!

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