Why I Make Myself Be Happy

Aristotle wrote “Happiness is the meaning and purpose in life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”

I believe strongly in maximizing my potential through self-actualization.  I have spent 35 years studying every self-improvement book, audio, and video I could find.  After all this,

I am fully convinced that money can’t buy happiness, but happiness can buy success.  Let’s face it, success without happiness, is it really worth it?  Is it worth spending 70 hours a week to become the head of your company, if you lose your spouse and your children’s youth in the process?

I’m convinced that some people actually enjoy being unhappy.  They love to host a daily “pity party.”  Soon, being unhappy turns into a habit.  If you are one of these people, then break that habit.  When given the choice, always choose to be happy over unhappy.  Following are some of the ways I do this.

1.   I work daily on it.  When I first wake up in the morning, instead of complaining about how I feel, what I have to do that day, my first words are always “Gee, it’s going to be a beautiful day.”  Then I go out and make it so.

2.   When presented with a challenge, I find the happy way out.  “Don’t wait for the

storms in your life to pass.  Learn to dance in the rain.”

3.   I strive to eliminate “worry” from my life.

4.   I find ways to make myself laugh.  When we laugh, we release endorphins which are chemicals that actually blocks pain.  You can do this by watching funny movies, reading jokes, etc.  If nothing else, just look into a mirror and smile.

5.   I surround myself with happy people.  I avoid direct contact with party poopers, and instead contact them through email, telephones, etc.


In 2004, only months before he died, I had the honor of seeing and hearing Christopher Reeve at a Success Seminar.  Struggling to speak each word between gasps of air from his oxygen, he was still one of the happiest people I’ve ever seen.

What are some of the things that makes me happy?  Let me see, in no certain order;

getting a massage, going to the theater (Opera or the Barter Theater), beach music,

travel (especially cruises), cooking and eating Italian with a good bottle of wine, watching a sunrise, writing, helping others achieve their dreams, including retirement.

So I encourage you to decide between what you think  you want, and what you truly believe will make you happy.

Please respond with things that make you happy that might help others.

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About Jerry Haynes

OK, where do I start. I was born…., no that line has already been taken.Call me…, oops so has that one. Well, I won’t attempt to spout musical prose, and just be myself. I grew up in the small cotton mill town of Fries, VA. My parents were hardworking members of the middle class. They never earned more than a little over minimum wage, but I can never remember lacking for anything. After graduating from Fries High School in 1969, I started to VA Tech. After two years of partying (1st), going to movies (2nd), and studying, well, much further down the list, VA Tech decided I need a two year break to get my priorities straight. With a number 8 in the draft lottery, I knew that even if the Hokies didn’t want me, Uncle Sam did. I joined the US Navy. I got my priorities straight. I’m proud to be a Viet Nam veteran, but feel guilty I never got deployed. I graduated from Tech in 1977 with a BS in Civil Engineering. For the next 35 years I would work in both the private and public sectors. My first job took me to Tazewell County, Virginia where I soon joined the Jaycees. This ignited my passion for individual development. This passion still burns today.

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