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Happiness Not Followed by Unhappiness

Many years ago my spiritual teacher informed me that “true happiness” is happiness that is not followed by “unhappiness”. How do we achieve this state? The key lies in learning to distinguish between “Events” and our reaction to those “Events”. It is not the Events that determine our happiness, but our reaction to them. Let’s say something happens to you in business such as losing a big contract that you were working on and thought for sure that you were going to get, or someone smashes into your new BMW. Most all of us will say that these are reasons that justify our getting upset, but getting upset is a choice we make not a reason.

Our choices are what determine our happiness. The manager in business has to find a way to avoid reacting negatively to any given situation because being negative attracts more negativity. First, the manager must neutralize the negative event. If the company loses a big contract you don’t want a manager walking around with a negative attitude about the loss. He/she needs to refocus his team and motivate them toward a new goal.

In sports when a team loses an important game, the manager’s job is to help the team recognize that that game is now in the past. Yes, it was a tough loss, but now they need to move forward and focus on tomorrow’s game.

If you were to serve as your own personal life coach you might ask, how can you preserve your happiness when your BMM is sitting in front of you all smashed up? First, one needs to understand that the car accident is now a thing of the past. Getting upset does not change anything. It only makes things worse – your mental and physical health are adversely affected. I am not saying you should get all giddy happy because someone just plowed into your car. What I am saying is that you are in complete control of your thoughts and how you handle things moving forward. It is not the circumstance of the accident, but your reaction to the accident that determines your happiness. Eckhart Tolle, author of “The Power of Now” and “A New Earth” states an unequivocal truth that I have tested on some of the brightest minds you can imagine. And that is: we have three choices in any and all situations:

Choice 1 – Leave it

Choice 2 – Change it (I add to that – what is in your control to change)

Choice 3 – Accept it fully

So if we stick with our smashed up car example, what to do? Choice 1: “Leave it” – does not apply at all. Choice 2: “Change it” – does not apply because it has already happened. That leaves us with Choice 3 which is to “Accept it fully”. To fully accept the situation is not to be confused with apathy. Full acceptance means that you choose to be in the “Here and Now” by accepting “what is” (in the situation) which allows you to be completely in the present moment so that you can make appropriate decisions moving forward without getting all entangled in your upsetness.

If you are interested in learning more about being happy in your business or if you have a seemingly unsolvable life situation, contact me at

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