Find Happiness in Any Circumstance


So your life is not necessarily where you wanted it to be right now. Happiness is an elusive feeling that comes and goes with circumstances, and you can’t seem to hold on to it long enough to enjoy it. I hear those sentiments quite often. Many of my conversations give me a glimpse of how difficult to achieve happiness is for most of us. But I think we’re getting it wrong. Circumstantial happiness is by any standard, a fleeting and fickle feeling (sorry about the alliteration and don’t try to say it tree times fast). There has to be a better way to live.

Find happiness in any circumstance

Whether you verbalize it or not, how many times have you thought: I would be happy if I had

a job

more money

a wife

a better job

a house

a boyfriend

a slimmer figure

a newer car

six-pack abs

better friends

a better looking boyfriend

a big break

a bigger house

more popularity

brighter teeth

a more outgoing personality


not married poorly

better parents

richer parents

better and richer parents.

This list could go on and on. And yes, the trill of a new relationship, the comfort of surplus money, the popularity of physical beauty are things that make life easy and enjoyable at times. But they don’t make you happy. They never will. Years ago I read Happiness Is a Choice. and thought, “could it be that simple?” As the title says, happiness IS a choice and not a circumstance.

I embraced my ability to chose happiness decades ago. It made all the difference. Yes, I still have bad days and bad seasons where I’m not myself. Winters are specially difficult for my tropical self, but for the most part, I choose to be happy. Along the way, I realized that happy people are attractive. Think about it. When we find ourselves in a room filled with strangers, we tend to gravitate to the people who are laughing, smiling and having a good time. Happiness by itself will make you more attractive.

I’m writing this post to myself today. I needed to be reminded that my circumstances should not dictate how I feel. I must confess I was getting upside down and allowing everyone and everything control how I felt. So today, I choose anew to, well, be happy. I hope you’ll join me.

Do you have a problem with the concept that happiness is a choice?

  • I was taught that happiness is a thermometer. It fluctuates with the weather. But we can set our internal thermostat at joy. I choose joy–even when I’m unhappy.

    • That works as well. I think the important thing is to decide what kind of person you are and refuse to allow circumstances to derail us.

    • That works as well. I think the important thing is to decide what kind of person you are and refuse to allow circumstances to derail us.

  • Julie Kolb

    Fantastic post. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I’m choosing happiness, toonnThanks for sharing your encouraging perspective!

  • I completely agree with you – happiness is a choice. It’s why some people who have nothing are happy, and some who have everything are miserable. It’s not always easy to choose happiness, but always worth it.

    • “it’s not easy but always worth it.” Most things worth doing in life would fit in this category!

  • Thank you for the reminder. While there are things on that list I want to achieve (six pack abs would be nice) they don’t have to be determining factors of whether or not I’m happy.nnThis is a great prequel to a post I’m writing for later in the week on smiling. Will be sure to give you a shout out.

  • Daina House

    nI preached the same message to Singles last Friday night. They all believe that if they were married, they would somehow be happier…Or if they had this or that…Thanks for the confirmation and personal application! Life is a journey, not a destination!nn

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  • Janicekayemiller

    Thank you for this reminder…I needed it today! And I also always seem to catch the days you tweet – “…today I choose joy.” I try to live that choice each day, and though I don’t always succeed, I attempt it!

    • Interesting, most of the times I tweet “today I choose joy,” life seems to get complicated. I’m thinking twice now about tweeting that. 🙂

  • John Wetzler

    I do not think happiness is purely and completely summarized by saying that it is a choice. As if you picked the red baseball bat over the blue baseball bat, or in other words, as if being happy vs. not happy is merely a matter of taste or affection for one more than the other. nI think happiness is more like a piece of good fruit. When we water our plants and don’t forget to take them out of the freezing cold, unless we want them to freeze and die. Then, our collard greens we planted get ripe, our tomatoes produce good fruit, and our flowers bloom. This blooming or blossoming is happiness I think.nnHappinesss is named among many fruits flowing from the Holy Spirit, along with self control, meekness, gentleness, discernment, forgiveness, joy, peace, patience and arguably some other English words too we could throw in there to try and describe the fruits of God’s blessings. I am trying to say that I think Happiness results from the counsel of the Holy Spirit’s wisdom, which is a gift. nnHowever, it seems also that choosing to wrestle with the idea and really understand that salvation is a gift, when accepted with true and honest thanksgiving alone, will lead us to wisdom and happiness. So we have a role in it but only after we understand that God alone is the playwright, not us. Know what I mean?

  • I’ll join you my friend. I agree, it’s hard to make that choice sometimes, especially in the winter season. A friend once told me, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Oh how I have to constantly remind myself not to compare myself and my circumstances to others. I have to choose to be thankful for what God has blessed me with and be the best me I can be with exactly what I’m given. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Thanks for your comments. More in the church need this reminder. I was just thinking about this topic and what keeps us from joy. I believe the major fault is a lack of faith in Godu2019s goodness and willingness to come to our aid. I explain why I think this at But I agree our focus on circumstances and the priorities we give to them are very strong obstacles as you present.

  • Angela

    this is freakin stupid!

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