Happiness is A Choice

You don’t have to forgo happiness until you lose weight, break an unhealthy habit, or accomplish all your goals. Happiness is your choice!

With a new year comes renewed optimism, a higher level of idealism, and a passion to work harder than the year before. However, too often we set goals that we think will make us happy when the reality is that the completion of our goals will never define who we are or drive our long-term happiness. This is a simple yet profound truth. You do not have to wait for everything to be perfect in your family or with your business to be happy. You don’t have to forgo happiness until you lose weight, break an unhealthy habit, or accomplish all your goals. Happiness is your choice!

With that said, you might as well choose to be happy, enjoy your life today, and stop dwelling on what should have been or could be. To do so, you must live in the present. In other words, one day at a time. Better yet, make the most of what is in front of you at this very moment and stop dwelling on the next great thing you want to accomplish. It’s good to set goals and make plans, but if you’re always living in the future, you’re never really enjoying the present.

You might be wondering why I started this letter about living in the present. Well, here is the reason: December 9, 2020 was the six-year anniversary of the death of my father. My dad was not only my hero but also the person I have so desperately tried to model my life after. He was a family man, ran a successful business for 35 years, and was a loving and devoted husband to my mother. He taught me what it means to be a man, husband, father, friend, and son — and more importantly, why it is important to help others.

The following quote will always remind me of my father as it relates to teaching me how to live my life: “The pain of discipline is temporary while the pain of compromise is permanent.” While life can be hard and sometimes unfair, it is crucial to stick to a plan with a disciplined mindset. You do not settle for less than what you desire deep down. In other words, “life is not a dress rehearsal” so do not treat it as such.

Looking back, I have come to realize my father truly understood what it meant to live in the present, and although I thought I understood it up until now, I really had not. From this moment forward, I will live my life in the present and help others do the same. Not a day goes by in which I do not think of my dad and how I wish I was more present with him as his life ended as opposed to constantly thinking about what was next.

We have all heard that “life is short” so do not waste it. Learn from the past and plan for the future, but most importantly, live in the present. When you do, your life will be enriched with joy — and isn’t that what is most important?

Here is my wish for all of you: Be grateful and appreciate every blessing that has been given to you. Do not look past your loved ones by focusing on the “next best thing” but rather stay present, enjoy the moment, and never forget that happiness is your choice.

P.S. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. — Psalm 118.24

- Lawrence Montani