Monday, March 31, 2008

Steps to Happiness – Part 5 - Choose What Kind of Chicken You'll be before an Egg Hatches

Thank you for following along in our series on Steps to Happiness.
Here are the links to the previous articles in this series:
Are You a Puppet on Strings? - Taking Back Control of Your Life
Steps to Happiness – Part 2
Steps to Happiness - Part 3 - Does this Stuff Really Work?
Steps to Happiness – Part 4 - Who is Master?
In our first few articles we discussed some ways to take back our puppet strings so that we could have a grasp on happiness. In our last article we began talking about some ways to prevent handing our puppet strings to other people, things and situations.Today we will continue the discussion of prevention.

How Do We Deal with the Inevitable?

In step four we mentioned that there was a secret that happy people have learned since they have knowledge of the thought/emotion order….. If it is true that we can have control over our thoughts then we can conclude that we can choose our thoughts, emotions and reactions AHEAD OF TIME.

How do I choose my thoughts ahead of time?

Happy people get up every day and say something very similar to these words to themselves:

  • “I can choose evil or good today. I choose good.”
  • “I can choose to think negatively today or I can choose to think positively. I choose to think positively.”
  • “I can choose to think about bad things going on my life and in the world or I can think about the good things going on and the good things I can do. I choose to THINK about the good things going on and I choose to DO good.”
  • “I can think about all the things I do not have or I can think about all that I do have. I choose to think about all that I do have.”
  • “I can choose to think about the parts of my body that don’t work quiet right or hurt or I can be glad for the ones that do work right and don’t hurt.” I choose to be glad for the ones that do work right and don’t hurt.”
  • “I can choose to see and look for the bad in every person and thing or I can see and look for the good and potential in every person and thing. I choose to see and look for the good.”
  • “I realize anything can happen today. That’s o:k because I’m bigger than any problem that arises. I choose to look for the good and opportunity in it.”

Let’s talk for a moment about outside circumstances….

1. You see, happy people choose to be happy no matter what comes up, no matter what outside circumstances arise. They CHOOSE AHEAD OF TIME to look for the GOOD in any and EVERY circumstance that arises.

2. Happy people live with the realization that any thing can come up or happen at any time. They simply choose not to fall apart with each bump that comes up in the road. They choose not to live in a fairy-tale land expecting that everything will be perfect and rosy and nothing will ever go wrong.They realize that bad things happen to everyone including themselves.Thinking otherwise will only be setting themselves up for failure.Since bumps in the road are inevitable they program their mind to think, “bump = opportunity.”

So does this mean that happy people love everything? - that there is not anything that a happy person does not like?

No. There are things that a happy person does not like - negativity and evil being the two biggest things. They have simply programmed their mind to THINK OPPORTUNITY WITH EVERY THING AND EVERY MOMENT instead of programming it for gloom and doom.
Gloom and doom are not even an option in their mind.

Does this mean that happy people are never sad?

Absolutely not.Are they sad much less often? You bet. When the inevitable sadness comes they evaluate it. If it’s merited like the death of a loved one then they allow themselves to feel it, but choose not to get lost in it forever. They choose a time to grieve and they choose to grow from it and continue on with their lives. They choose to become better for it, not bitter.The grieving process is necessary. They then can choose to turn this into an opportunity to help comfort others in the same situation.

Next time, we will discuss the reasoning behind why happy people are able to think in these ways.


  • Remember four key words we used in this discussion: choose, good, positive, and opportunity.
  • Remember life is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in – positive or negative. The choice is yours.
  • Copy the statement from the previous paragraph and all the quotes from the beginning of the article onto a note card or piece of paper. Make one more copy.Keep one beside your bed.
Read it every day when you wake up and every night before you go to bed for 30 days.
Keep the other copy with you. If you find yourself struggling, pull it out and read it. Just give it 30 days.See if you and everyone around you do not notice a difference.Share some things that you use to prevent yourself from getting so upset when when those inevitable things happen?

Recommended reading on this subject:
The Choice

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Dr. Nicole said...

This is great...I am a full believer that my own worst enemy is negative thinking. It is always good to have a reminder. Thanks!

Jennifer said...

Glad I could serve as a reminder to you.

As a doctor, I'm sure you see how negativity can affect our health also. I saw one place where a doctor stated that 85% of illnesses and diseases are the result of negative emotions.

Shilpan said...


Great post. We choose our thoughts. We can choose to be happy no matter what happens in our life. You have articulated that quite well.


Jennifer said...

Yes, Shilpan, that is what peace and happiness is - not the absence of outside conflict (which is inevitable), but the absence of internal conflict.

Kirsten Harrell, Psy.D. said...

Hi Jennifer,
Great! I totally agree. Happiness is a choice. There are times it is more difficult to choose... those times call for what Napoleon Hill called applied faith - faith in the moment that there is a seed of opportunity in EVERY experience.

Jennifer said...

Well said Kirsten. Napolean Hill was certainly a man who knew what he was talking about.

There are some things I have been through that I still don't understand, but I have faith that I will see the seed in it one day, so I am able to move forward.