Today is International Day of Happiness

As Oprah says, “Everything begins with a decision.”

1. Make The Happiness Decision. If you don’t decide to be happy now, you won’t do it later. The decision is an intention to create what you want. The decision draws events and people toward you that create positive outcomes. The decision makes you aware of things in yourself and around you. The happiness decision is your responsibility, not someone else’s. No one can make you happy. God can’t make you happy. Only your decision to be happy will allow you to respond to happiness and well being.

2. Understand The Value Of Happiness. If you don’t value happiness, you won’t have it. Happiness has great value. You will only benefit from it if you take the time to understand the value of it. You deserve to be happy, don’t undervalue yourself.

3. Happiness Is Within You. Don’t look to the outside for your happiness. Happiness is an inside job. Don’t let any situation be more important to you than your happiness. Situations are neutral, even if you think they are good or bad. The way you think about the situation is what makes you unhappy. The way you think sets up your reaction, not the situation itself.

4. Think About Your Choices. What choices do you have now? It is all a matter of what choices you have available to you. Thinking about your problems is not thinking, it is obsessive negatively. Stop dwelling on your problems and start focusing on your solutions. Thinking is when you are creatively finding solutions and choices to eliminate your problem.

5. Be Grateful. Be thankful about something all the time. What are you grateful for now? Every day, think of three things that you are grateful for and write them down in a Gratitude Journal. It does not matter if you come up with the same thing once in awhile, just list three things every day. This has been scientifically proven to produce long term happiness results. Want some gratitude hints? Make your list simple things. For instance, be grateful you can see the paper you are writing on and that you have eyes to see. Be grateful you can pick up a pen and you have fingers and a hand to write with. You’re alive, you can breath, you have food, you have shelter, keep looking for the simple things.

6. Watch Your Thinking. Our unhappiness is a result of our thinking. Don’t think about what you don’t want or what you don’t like. Control your negativity or your thinking is going to make you unhappy. Think about your choices or what you want. Be aware of your thoughts as they drift in and don’t let negative ones find a place to land in your mind. Don’t give them a home; let them drift right back out again.

7. Learn Acceptance. Deal with change. When you don’t accept something that has already happened, you create resistance to it. The resistance you are creating will cause you to suffer. The change has already happened and if their is nothing you can do about it, and you continue to resist it, you will make yourself unhappy.

8. Now Is Your Point Of Power For Happiness. Don’t dwell in the past or worry about the future. If you’re not focused on now, your awareness will be diminished. Accidents, mishaps and even crime are more likely to happen to you.

9. Use Happiness As Your Strategy. Use the power of happiness in your life when things don’t go the way you think they should. This is important especially when things are not going your way, or you are not getting what you want, or when you are feeling sad or down. It is important to use that power all the time. Use it especially when things are not going well for you. The power of happiness helps you detach from outside events so you don’t internalize your reactive thoughts into negative compulsive obsessive thinking.

10. Act As If You’re Happy. If you “act as if”… than you will be happy. Acting as if you are happy allows your brain to believe you are happy and tells your body to respond in like manner. This way, your body is not stressed out and your brain is producing all the right chemicals and drugs to keep you stress free. Act as if and your new state of being will create a happy atmosphere for your psychology and physiology.

11. Practice, Practice & More Practice. Practice being happy now. Being happy is an empowering state of mind. Happiness is a skill. Like all skills, the more you practice it the better you get. Make happiness a habit by practicing it all the time. Happiness is like a muscle, if you don’t use it you’ll lose it. Practice being friendly and being non-judgmental. Practice being forgiving, being kind, being complimentary, being a giving person, and practice letting go.

12. Do Something For Someone Else. Pay someone a compliment, smile, bring someone a plant. A woman I know has been dealing with the loss of her husband’s death. I met her carrying a plant with a beautiful flower. She said that she was on her way to give it to someone. I knew right there and then that she was on her way to recovering. I recognized she was coping better with the loss of her husband, because she was thinking and doing something for someone else. That is a big turning point for most people.

13. Your Attitude Creates Your Altitude. The better your attitude, the higher your level of well being and happiness will be. You are responsible for your attitude. Don’t use other people, events or anything else as an excuse for having a poor attitude, don’t blame others. A “poor me” attitude will keep you poor. A “why me” attitude will create more things for you to feel awful about. If your are having a “self pity” party, you will find that you are the only one there and it’s not much fun.

14. Use These Power Tools. These 15 items are power tools from the power of being happy. If you don’t use them, you will suffer and hurt yourself and become unhappy. These tools will work if you use them. Put them to work for yourself right now. You can now face any kind of problem that comes into your life. You may not like the problem, but with these power tools, you can work on any problem and turn it into something useful in your life.

15. Learn The Benefits Of Happiness. Live ten years longer, reduce anger, have less stress and confusion, have better focus, better patience and self control, access greater intelligence, utilize wisdom, experience emotional competence, create inner peace, enhanced relationships, and enjoy your life while enriching others with your happiness. Learn to use happiness to make a positive difference in your life and in the life of others.

Lionel Ketchian is the founder of the Happiness Club. He can be reached at [email protected] The website is

Fairfield Happiness Club meeting

The Fairfield Happiness Club’s next presentation, “Discovering the True You,” by Deanne Mincer will be held Thursday, April 16, from 7 to 8:45 p.m., at the Fairfield Public Library, 1080 Old Post Road.

Mincer is the author of the recently published book: The 52: Discovering the True You in 52 Simple Lessons. For many years, she was a practitioner of yoga and in the late 1980s she was drawn to share her enthusiasm by becoming a yoga teacher. Her certification, from the Himalayan Institute, was a comprehensive two-year program including the study of anatomy, diet, nutrition, Ayurvedic medical practices, the methods of teaching hatha yoga, the science of breath and the study of raja (the royal path of yoga) philosophy.

She has developed methods of using yoga in treating those with life threatening diseases as in the programs she designed for Gilda’s Club and Friends in Deed in New York City. She was a consulting producer on an alternative health program for CNBC’s Alive and Wellness, and she has demonstrated yoga on network television. She created the audio CD Inner Light Yoga with Deanne Mincer and she has spoken widely and demonstrated meditation in many venues. Deanne is an enthusiastic and joyful teacher. She is known for the keen interest she takes in her students’ physical and spiritual development.

Everyone is welcome to the meeting; admission is free. For more information, email [email protected], call 203-258-7777 or visit


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