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Every day we are bombarded with choices. What to wear, where to grab lunch, what route we want to take to work and a host of other options are constantly flying at us all the time. And we seamlessly make the decisions. We all manage to dress ourselves, feed ourselves, make it to and from work, and live pretty consistent lives.

Why, then, do so many of us get crippled with decision overwhelm? Specifically, why is it so hard to us to choose to be happy? On the one hand, we are constantly viewing images of what happiness looks like. It’s expensive handbags and a jet set lifestyle with beautiful people a drinks that have no calories.

Though all of those things are nice, none of that stuff is actually going to make you happy. Happiness is something you’re going to have to work out on your own.

As a financial planner, I cannot stress enough the importance of choosing the right products and services for your money. And I’ve been privileged enough to help many people create a life they love at whatever start point they are at.

One of the main things that I’ve learned through this process, though, has nothing to do with money. It’s about choice. And the best choice many of my clients had to learn how to make was the one of happiness.

A foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet. ~ James Oppenheim

Were their problems instantly solved once they made the choice? Did everything all of a sudden magically go their way? Did they look in the mirror and adore everything about themselves and their lives? Of course not! But what did happen is that they knew they had the power and the tools to make enormous, scary chances in their lives.

People think happiness is a destination. It’s not. It’s a way of living. It’s a fraternity you have to continuously pay your membership fees to. Once you decided to join, though, all of those roadblocks that kept you up at night with overwhelming anxiety will get a lot easier to traverse.

Action step

A goal is a dream with a deadline. ~ Napoleon Hill

Live by choice, not by chance. Wealth rarely just falls into your lap. Neither does happiness. Like wealth, happiness is earned. And you earn it by choosing.

We look at success athletes, actors, heads of companies and other people considered wealthy and successful to have it all. They have enough money to buy whatever they want. They travel. They lead glamorous lives.

But you know what? They worked for it. They spent decades sacrificing for their craft, focusing intensely on their goal and building their destiny. Behind every successful person is a long, long journey set in motion not by chance, but by choice. Let’s view the choice of happiness the same way.

So here’s what you can do. Every day set a goal for yourself to be happy, and make the deadline for that goal bedtime. No more dragging your feet about this choice. Nothing in your life will be more important because nothing will change, empower or enlighten you more than choosing to be happy.

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