Happiness Is A Choice

Do you ever feel as if you’re on a treadmill and have lost your enthusiasm for life? Finding joy, meaning and happiness is a choice you can make right now. Learn more in this brief video.

FULL VIDEO TEXT: (Transcription by Victoria Barkley)

Thirty years ago, I didn’t feel like my blessings were overflowing…On this particular day, when I was looking in the mirror and saw that the light had grown dim in my eyes.  I wondered, “Where did that light go?”  Instead there was dullness.  And I just didn’t have the whim, the vitality, and the enthusiasm for life that I once did.  Life felt like a treadmill.  And I was experiencing what one sage called “anguishing monotony.”  You know, the same old thing…things just didn’t feel right…didn’t have any enthusiasm for life…

Have you ever felt anguishing monotony?  I think at some point in life –if not this lifetime, another lifetime—people get to that point.  And I was feeling it and it set me on a quest…a quest of looking for meaning…looking for purpose, trying to re-find the joy that I had once experienced.

And, over the years of searching and looking, of reading and meditating, of going to hear speakers, of thinking, of journaling…I discovered over these years that joy is within me…that there is a joy inside of me that’s independent of external circumstances…that there is a joy inside of you that’s independent of people’s opinions…there is a joy inside of you that’s independent of anything out here…

I discovered what the Hindus thought, that God is satchidananda, conscious, eternal bliss and joy…and that we live and move and have that joy…but the reason we don’t experience that all the time is because we frustrate it.  Our minds get disturbed, but it’s always there.

Jesus said that I have come that my joy might be in you and that your joy might be full.

Did you grow up hearing about Jesus teaching about joy?  I didn’t…of course I was raised Jewish…We didn’t talk about Jesus much.  In fact, we’d try to avoid anybody or anything that talked about Jesus.

Joy…I’ve come that you may have life and have it abundantly…Not just outer stuff, that’s good too, but inner aliveness…Joy, everybody wants joy.  I believe our deepest yearning is for more of this joy.  We long for it.  The problem is that we’ve been conditioned to look outside for it.  We’ve been conditioned to look and try to find it out here…and that’s part of the problem…but everybody wants it.

Ask a burglar, “Why do you rob houses?”

“Well, I want things.”



“Why do you want things?”

“Because I can sell them and get money.”

“Why do you want money?”

“’Cause with money, I can buy stuff that will make me happy.” Huh…

Ask a police officer, “Why do you go after burglars?”

“Well, because I don’t like people to lose their stuff that they’ve earned…and they become unhappy…and that doesn’t make me happy…and so, I want to keep people safe.”

Whatever…you look underneath…everybody wants joy…everybody wants joy…

And so, it’s very important to understand that joy is a choice—that we choose and create our own happiness or unhappiness. That’s what I have learned over the years and I’ve frequently have people say, “Wow, you’re always so upbeat and enthusiastic, and happy…and the fact is, I am, most of the time.

Now, like you, every now and then, there’s really something that might be out of my comfort zone and I may frustrate that joy and forget my nature of happiness…because we’re all here growing…But most of the time, if I go and lose that sense of joy, I know how to get back into it. And it doesn’t take very long to do…