Each morning when you open your eyes, you are faced with a choice: happiness or suffering. You can choose to suffer throughout the day because it’s Monday, or because it’s 5:00 a.m. or because it’s cold outside. All of these reasons can give you one fleeting thought to simply pull the covers over your head and return to whatever dream you were abruptly pulled from when your alarm began its incessant ringing. But if you truly want power over your life and your feelings throughout each day, you can also choose happiness.

Happiness is a choice. Suffering is a choice. What a simple concept outlined in Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements. No one would argue the impossibility of feeling happy when it’s negative ten degrees outside and you are sleep deprived! Au contraire, my friends! You can choose happiness because you have blankets to warm you and a place to rest your head at night.

Happiness is simply perspective. What seems miserable to you is someone else’s glory. THAT is the power of choice: realizing that by shifting your perspective, you can CHOOSE a different attitude that will shift your day. You can complain about having to go to your job, or you can be grateful that you have one to go to when millions of others are in search of one.

So how does one break the negative thoughts to alter his/her attitude and ultimately the universe’s response to the day? Here are a few ways:

  1. Keep a gratitude journal. Every day, make a list of three to five things for which you are grateful. Can’t think of anything? How about having the ability to journal? Or borrow from this list of very simple things that we often take for granted: birds, air, life, family, music, clothes, health, food, a friend, the ability to walk, being forgiven in life, fresh water, etc.
  2. Start speaking and writing positive affirmations for your day and life. Many people start each day with negative thoughts: “Today is going to be terrible.” “I’m so broke.” “I don’t even want to get out of bed.” “I can never catch a break.” “When it rains, it pours.” “Why does bad stuff always happen to good people?” “Life isn’t working.”Words have POWER, just like our choices. Many medical experiments have been done where doctors give patients a placebo and then been amazed the placebo actually worked to cure the patient. It is not the placebo however that makes the difference, it is the doctor’s WORDS and the patient’s BELIEFS. Make the conscious decision everyday to write affirmations that give you words and your life more power: “I am attracting success.” “I am on the road to recovery.” “Today will be a great day.” “Positivity follows me.” As time goes on, you will find that these words will begin to take meaning and you will feel a shift in your every day. If you need help thinking of some affirmations, subscribe to Madi TV, my YouTube channel! I have a ton of videos on affirmations and their power.
  3. Listen to personal development. We have a tendency to listen to things that do not help to create an attitude of gratitude. The news is often shrouded in sadness or celebrity gossip. Social media, as fun as it may seem, can trigger feelings of inferiority. After all, surfing instagram and finding pictures of people who have more than you, look better than you, or are advancing in life faster than you is not exactly a way to start each day. Try listening to speakers in your morning as you get ready for your day that will enlighten you and bring you to a sense of awareness for your life. Avoid looking at your text messages, emails, or surfing social media in the first 10-20 minutes of your day. Your goal should be to block anything that could be negative or bring about negative thoughts early in your morning. Negativity upon wakening hinders your power to choose happiness! A few inspiring speakers I enjoy via podcasts and youtube are Joel Osteen, Oprah, Eric Thomas, Les Brown, and business philosopher Jim Rohn. By listening to more motivating speakers, you will invariably improve the quality of your morning also, thereby improving your attitude throughout your day. You can also listen to one video on my YouTube channel everyday, designed to give you power. If it is the evening hours where you struggle, why not sign up for my goodnight thoughts? They are daily emails you receive meant to help you reflect and see the “better side of things.”
  4. Join some form of an accountability group. I actually belong to a few for my body transformation, my success, and my ability to lead. A group that will hold you accountable to be the best version of YOU will help you stay on track. Also, it is sometimes nice to see that others struggle with some of the same things we do. It means we are NOT alone and this allows us to see more silver linings also! If you are looking for ways to stay in better shape, check out what I offer by clicking here.

Life is hard. No one can deny the power of unfortunate circumstances. The beauty of it all however is that you are far more powerful than your circumstances. Interesting fact: the odds of YOU being born are 1 in 400 TRILLION. The fact that YOU had the parents you had, who had the right circumstances they had, who met when they did, is truly a miracle. The odds that YOU survived is truly amazing! YOU are ALIVE and HERE. You matter! Start living your life with the attitude that you are one in trillions and that is why you are special. If you can do that, you have mastered the choice of happiness.