Most people spend a lot of time being unhappy.
If you Google the research on happiness and how many people are happy, you'll find that unhappy people outnumber the happy ones. The majority people in the U.S. (3 to 1) are unhappy with their work and in general.
Those statistics are daunting and sad. We have one opportunity to live our lives on this beautiful planet, and yet so many of us aren't enjoying the adventure. In fact, many people find life difficult, unpleasant, or downright painful. But if you ask anyone what they long for most, it's happiness. We all just want to be happy.
Life presents everyone with challenges and pain, so happiness can't hinge on avoiding these things. We know wealth doesn't create sustained happiness. In fact, some of the happiest people live in poorer countries such as Brazil, Costa Rica, and Panama. Achievement, fame, power, and material things don't foster ongoing happiness.
So how do you become a happy person?
I know from my own experience that being a happy person begins with a decision. You choose happiness as an important value in your life -- a way of being that is essential to who you are. Then you make choices and take actions proven to optimize happiness and contentment. Some of these choices and actions might surprise you.