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Happiness is a Choice—and an Action

by Sandja Brugmann

It’s unique to each of us, what makes us happy. While it may seem simple to figure out, many people are so inundated with the daily demands of life that they have lost a connection to themselves—and when asked what makes them happy, they can’t quite answer. For instance, I recently asked a friend what she does to nurture herself. With a perplexed expression she looked at me and said, “I am a mom. I don’t have time to take care of myself.”

In addition to being a mother, this same person is a highly successful business owner whose marketing agency has happened to have won numerous, prestigious awards within the marketing and PR industries. Her firm has also been a partner firm to my business, Refresh Agency, for more than 10 years. She rocks it in so many ways—but when confronted with the question of how she does so by taking good care of herself, she’s at a loss.

This is not atypical. In fact, the vast majority of us live this way. Unfortunately, though, this type of mindset is exactly what will prevent you from maintaining the level of happiness, fulfillment and aliveness in your life that you so desire. We need to first and foremost take care of ourselves by doing things that build up our reserves and allow us to become closely intimate with ourselves. Only then, when we are overflowing with the abundance we give ourselves, can we truly show up in the world and make a difference—whether it be in our families, businesses, friendships or, in a larger perspective, the world.

So allow me to ask you this simple question: What makes you happy?

If we have bought into the modern, western way of thinking and believing about what should bring us happiness, we are driven by an outside force and not from our core selves. This will not make us happy in the long run—it will deplete us.

So allow yourself to dig deeper—what makes you happy?

Once this first step is clear to us, we can begin to take ownership of bringing happiness into our lives. It is an active, not a passive, decision. I love how this quote from the Dalai Lama sums this up:

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”

When we are able to see happiness this way, we can step into a place of personal power. And when we take full responsibility for our own happiness, we get to create the business and life we really want.

4 Steps to Creating Happiness in Your Life:

1. What works for you right now? Do more of this.

2. What doesn’t work for you right now? Stop doing this.

3. What would bring you the happiness and fulfillment you seek? (Reflect on the feeling(s) you want to feel). Write it down. Look at this list daily.

4. What concrete action will you take to bring you the feeling of happiness you are looking for? You need to do something different than you do now—and it needs to be a concrete action. Ps. A new positive thought doesn’t count as a new action, we are not working with a diffuse spiritual principle here. If you keep doing what you have always done, you will get what you have now. Bringing a deeper level of happiness into your life, requires real action on your part.

Lastly, I want to make sure that you know that you deserve to feel alive, fulfilled and happy. If I can assist you, please feel free to reach out.

Happy creating!

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