By Lionel Ketchian


The most important thing you can do, is to make the decision to be happy. Everything in your life is secondary to that decision. The truth is, that making the Happiness Decision will improve everything in your life. If you are not aware of your own feelings of happiness by being grateful or by just realizing that life is pretty good, it will be hard or nearly impossible for you to be happy. It takes awareness to become happy.


Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, a professor who taught a course on Happiness at Harvard and wrote the great book called, Happier has said, "Happiness is not merely contingent on what we do or where we are but on what we choose to perceive." .


If being aware of your happiness is difficult for you, then begin by being aware of your unhappiness. Noticing your negatives is a positive first step. The next time you feel unhappy, because of any situation, ask yourself the question; does this feel good to me? Become aware of how bad it feels to feel bad.


You may be thinking, what good does all this do for me? The fact is, your thinking makes you feel badly. It is not the situation, or even your feeling bad that is the problem. The first thing that happens when anything occurs in your life is your thinking about what just happened. The way you represent and what you tell yourself about the incident is more important then what occurred.


First of all, what ever it was that happened has already occurred and there is probably nothing you could have done about chancing that. Thinking that it should not have happened, or having the thought, why did it happen to me, does you no good either. In fact, those thoughts put you at the mercy of the moment. If you want to master the moment, don't allow your negative thinking to spoil your next moment, the rest of your day or your whole life.


Being unhappy will work against you by letting your thinking make you miserable. Your negative thinking will lead you toward destructive self-talk. You will keep replaying negative experiences in your mind many thousands of times. As a result, you will allow your negative thoughts to consume your mind.


Once you respond to problems by allowing them to make you unhappy, you are giving them power over you. Once you feel unhappy due to your thinking, you allow any situation to overcome you. If your unhappiness is your response to your problems, you will begin to think that you are helpless, and feel that things are hopeless. This downward spiral continues until you feel depressed and un-empowered.


The wonderful thing about the Happiness Decision is that it will allow you to take control of your thinking by not letting your thinking control you. The whole process is only two steps for total control. Step 1. Make the Happiness Decision. Step 2. Think about your best possible choice for now. It you apply these two steps to everything you experience in life, you will be able to manage all your problems. Your ability to make choices will empower you to become more aware and gain control over yourself.


These two steps create incredible awareness in your mind. Step 1. the Happiness Decision tells your mind that you want to stay cool and calm and you want to be happy no matter what. Step 2. think about your best possible choice for now, allows you to remain calm, because you are using your awareness and intelligence to find the best solution to the problem right now. Once you begin thinking in terms of your choices, you will stop being a part of your problems. You will no longer allow anything to have the power to make you unhappy.


One of the best things about happiness is the freedom you feel. By breaking free from your unhappy thoughts, you train yourself to think pro-actively about your choices. Options are always available to you. You begin to see the positive possibilities in everything. You begin to create a different reality in which you can live, one you can enjoy and share with others.


The reality you are leaving behind is the unhappy one. It all started with the thoughts you had about the situation. The negative thoughts will not solve your problems and will imprison you to a life sentence of unhappiness. You have the ultimate power to think what you wish. You will experience happiness, love and freedom by not allowing your thoughts to control you!


Do you want to be happy? The question is, what do you think? Your decision will impact the rest of your life!


The presentation will be a live Mind Health Matters conversation with Bernie Siegel, M.D. and Lionel Ketchian. Bernie and Lionel do the Mind Health Matters radio shows together. We look forward to meeting you and entertaining your questions and joining us in some interesting conversation.
The first meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 19, from 6:00 to 7:45 PM.
Place: The Woodbridge Town Library located at 10 Newton Road, Woodbridge, CT 06525.
Meetings will be held once a month on Wednesdays. Meetings will be in the new meeting hall at the Library.
Meetings are free of charge and no reservations are required. Everyone will receive a free copy of Lionel Ketchian's book: Food For Thought, with Dr. Siegel's endorsement.
Future meetings will be held at the Woodbridge Town Library on Wednesday, August 23, 2017.



Lionel Ketchian is the founder of the Happiness Club and can be reached at PrintLRK@aol.com. The website is www.HappinessClub.com.