My friend has a very special friendship with her elderly neighbour. While my friend is at work, her neighbour, a spry 87-year old lady, takes her dog on long, happy walks throughout the neighbourhood and parks nearby. The neighbour gets fresh air and exercise, not to mention heaps of canine gratitude. My friend enjoys peace of mind knowing that her dog is in excellent care and she loves hearing about the adventures that her neighbour and dog share.

I asked my friend how she met her neighbour and she replied, “When I moved to this condo, I decided to like everyone”. This powerful decision made it possible to cultivate a warm friendship that enhances each woman’s life on a daily basis.  As I considered how a deceptively simple decision could transform our lives for the better, I realized that happy is something you can decide to be.

It doesn’t end there – you can decide to be happy at any stage in your life.  Whether you are 9 or 99, it’s never too late to choose to be positive.  Last summer, the Globe and Mail published an essay on 98-year old Ria Maude Hart, a grandmother who chose to banish negative self-talk and open her mind to new ideas and ways of being.

What if, like Ria, you woke every morning and made a conscious decision: Today will be a good day and I will see the greatness in everyone I encounter. I have incorporated this decision into my morning routine and I can guarantee that things change once you commit to happiness.

Carlos Castaneda noted that the key is in what we choose to emphasize in a given situation. “We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves happy,” he said. “The amount of work is the same.”


Once the decision to be happy is firmly ingrained into your life, why not take a page from Brian Tracy’s book, “How the Best Leaders Lead” and decide to be not merely happy but to be very happy.

What daily decisions do you make to be happy? How do you approach course correction during the day? Please share your ideas and stories in the comments below!