“Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.”
– Dale Carnegie
My message to you this week is simple but not easy: Choose happiness.
It’s often a choice. And one that we’re scared to make because we let fear take over. We let our reptilian brain (the amygdala) win out. The fear of making the right choice prevents us from choosing happiness.
I get it.
It’s so easy to get stressed out. So easy to think you can’t do it. You can’t figure it out. Stress and the fear of not knowing lead us into a tailspin.
I was reminded of exactly this listening to an episode of Brian Koppelman’s excellent podcast, The Moment. Brian is the co-creator of Billions and behind films like Rounders and Ocean’s Thirteen. He knows success, right? Yet he too is afraid of failure:
“It’s much easier to say I don’t have the time to do this, to try this, then it is to say I’m scared I’m not going to be good enough at it and I’m going to be made fun of, right? And I think part of it is when I see a finished movie, when I was young and I would see a finished movie, it looked so perfect.
I didn’t understand that that director, that writer, had days where they felt like a failure, where they felt like there was no way for it to work.”
(You can listen to this clip here.)
I’m personally horrible at remembering the importance of choosing happiness. Of getting out of my own way and not letting stress and fear take over. But I was recently reminded of the importance of choosing happiness, of the importance of a smile, of importance of getting out of my head, so I want to take this time to ask you to try doing the same.
PS What are ways you choose happiness at work and in your personal life? How do you manage not to let fear take over?