Carol the Coach: Happiness Is A Choice

It has been a long time since I read a book that has so much potential to change how we feel, what we think and how we behave. Currently the editor of this magazine and I are reading A Complaint Free World and we have been amazed at how it has transformed how we interact with the world. The purpose of the book is simple; you are expected to go for 21 days without complaining. You wear a purple band on your wrist and each time you find yourself complaining or being critical or sarcastic, you switch your wristband to the opposite wrist and begin the 21 day challenge again. Although initially, I believed this would be an easy assignment. I see myself as a positive person and very much believe in reframing which is looking at the "positive spin" on things therefore I believed that I could get to 21 days a lot faster than most. My colleagues and clients on the other hand have moaned and groaned and said they felt this would be an impossible task to go 21 days without complaining…this strengthened my challenge!

I had hoped to complete the 21 days in succession. Although I cannot report this type of success, I can say that it has made a huge difference in what comes out of my mouth. This is the purpose of the book: to think before you speak and put out words that are positive and uplifting. When we become more deliberate about how we speak we put out a different energy that affects the world and we change how we view things all at the same time.

I believe that happiness is a choice and we have the power to bring about happiness if we can change the way we think about life. Let me give you an example. Today I'm at home because of a terrible snowstorm. I could focus on the wages that I am losing because I am not seeing my private clients or I can chose to focus on what is good about this situation. I can say to myself "this is a fabulous time to enjoy nature, to clean out my closet, to pet my puppy, and to write this article." Both thoughts are true but which one will make me happier? And when I'm happier I am more likely to enjoy my day, be more productive, and be more pleasant to be around. It's a no-brainer for me… I choose to be happy. In this book the author challenges the readers to look at life from a different perspective and when you change what you think, the world around you changes. I teach this in cognitive behavioral class. What I know to be true is that when you have a thought it affects feelings which affect your behaviors. That is as universal as the idea of gravity. Why not become a master of our thoughts? Why not exude happiness?

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we were all ambassadors for happiness in this world? So I invite you to take this 21 day challenge. It would be very helpful if you read the book A Complaint Free World by Rev. Will Bowen and ordered a "Complaint Free World" purple bracelet to wear on your wrist and enjoy changing your thoughts and changing your life. We really are "powerful beyond measure" ... we just need to access our own power from within!