One of the problems with many happiness programs is that they insult your intelligence. You’re not stupid. You can’t fool yourself into being happy. You have to convince yourself to be happy and you have to be believeable when you do so.
It’s easy to think of the things which make us unhappy. Write down a list of things that you have to be happy about. Make each item a real item — something which is important to you.
Here are a few examples:
- I have a wonderful family.
- I have a wonderful wife/husband.
- I am in (generally) good health.
- I work with some great people.
- I live in an awesome country.
- I live in a nice house/apartment.
- My future looks brighter than my present or my past.
- My kids will have a better life than I did.
- I have a job and I do it well.
- My car is reliable.
- My conscience is clean.
- Through hard work and intelligent effort, I am able to affect my future.
- I can go outside today if I want to and feel the Sun on my shoulders.
- I can read a good book this week.
- I possess unrealized potential.
Not all of these will apply to everyone. Make up your own list. Don’t bullshit yourself. Each one must be something which is important to you personally.
Keep the list with you. Review it when you’re feeling discouraged. At times, you will need to strike items from the list. As you do, work hard to replace each item with a new one. Happiness isn’t a static thing. Every new day gives us new ways to be happy.