Raise your hand if you grew up believing one or both of these things: 1) If I can just have/be/get to __________________, THEN I’ll be happy”

*raises hand*

Okay, you caught me.

However, I bet your hand is raised too. I bet you believe…

“If I can just get rid of my debt, THEN I’ll be happy.”

“If I can just have a better job, THEN I’ll be happy.”

“If I can just have more patience, THEN I’ll be happy.”

“If I can just force myself to think enough positive thoughts, THEN I’ll be happy.”

“If I can just lose the 35 pounds, THEN I’ll be happy.”

“If I can just have financial freedom, THEN I’ll be happy.”

Friends, can I let you in on a little secret?

Happiness is an inside job. You can still have fun behind the Walmart dumpster because it’s all about your mindset and your perception of what’s going on.

Growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of money. My dad brought home big cardboard boxes to play in, and IT WAS THE MOST FUN. Why? Because I chose to see this as my dad’s way of loving us and encouraging us to play – not as a sign that we couldn’t afford fancy toys.

Okay, so what’s all the science behind this?

You encounter a circumstance. You then have thoughts (and create a story) about that circumstance. Based upon those thoughts and the story you tell yourself, you then have feelings about the circumstance. You then act on those feelings.

Now here’s the deal, circumstances are generally neutral. If you want the “end feeling” to be happiness, you have to choose thoughts and create a story that will connect the dots between “neutral circumstance” and “feeling of happiness.”

Circumstances –> Thoughts/Story –> Feelings

[Neutral Circumstance] –> [You Pick] –> Happiness

It’s all about choosing thoughts and creating stories that actually serve you and get you to the feeling you want to feel. (At the same time, this does not mean denying painful circumstances and shoving down negative emotions.)

Friends, we’ve been taught “if I’m just successful in [XYZ], THEN I’ll be happy.” This formula is backwards. Studies consistently show us that the happier you are, the more successful you will be.

So here’s my question for you, what thoughts and stories in your head do you need to rewire so you can start feeling happy right now?