Choose to be Happy!

I recollect a breakfast meeting from 16 years ago like it was yesterday.  I had met this gentleman at a networking function and I thought I might be able to get him business so we set up this follow up meeting.  I don’t remember his name or industry (you’ll understand why in a moment) but I have always tried to be a resource and would cultivate relationships with people that had businesses of benefit to my clients.  I felt this was a win/win.

Anyway…. I remember the fruit cup and blueberry muffin, the sun shining in the sky that day, and the scowl on this gentleman’s face when he proclaimed to me, “I’m not buyin’ it!”  I didn’t understand and asked him to elaborate.  He said, “You are just too happy.  I don’t think it’s real.  And I resent you for trying to fool people.”  Huh.

At the time, I was devastated.  I was honestly happy and loved my life but I questioned how I was being perceived and fretted about it to the extent of asking my close friends and family, “Do you think I’m too happy??”

My oh my…how times change.  Not only have I changed.  I pride myself on my ability to remain happy in times of challenge.  And I look at disbelievers with empathy instead of allowing them power over me.

But quite literally…times have changed.  “Happy” is more mainstream now.  People don’t look at someone who is happy as naïve and silly.  They look to them for answers.  Know why?  There is scientific proof that being happy elongates your life!  Being happy has far reaching physical and emotional benefits.

To validate this point, I went to a ‘Happiness Club’ meeting last night in Madison, CT.  I wasn’t the only one there!  I didn’t count but it looked to me like there were about 60 men and women filling the room at the Madison Library.  The beautiful and talented Tina Garrity created this club about 5 years ago.  And the speaker last night was Lionel Ketchian, the founder of the now international Happiness Clubs.  Visit for more info.

Lionel was fabulous!  A born speaker with a gift for humor and the ability to think on his feet, he obviously lived the strategies he professed to the group.  His large smile, fun smiley face tie, and good humor put people at ease while his reference of doctors and religious leaders backing the happiness movement lent him credibility.

Many tips to share but the one that stuck out to me because I use it in my coaching and speaking is the ability we have to choose how we feel/respond to situations.  Unhappiness occurs when we give away our power.

So, my friends….take back control and CHOOSE to be happy. 

Action Step:  Review your day and ask yourself when you allowed other people or situations to steal your power and take away your happiness.  Tomorrow be strong and stop yourself from getting frustrated or angry or unhappy based on a situation.  Each time you choose to be happy and loving you take a step closer to creating a new and powerful habit.

Want to work with me?  Go to


About FindYourFire

Writer, speaker, and life coach Heather O'Neill is president of Progressive Image and creator of the Fire in Five program...helping people reconnect and find the joy in their lives.
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1 Response to Choose to be Happy!

  1. bobbevard says:


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