Proactive Happiness

From The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

“Sometimes the most proactive thing we can do is to be happy, just to genuinely smile. Happiness, like unhappiness, is a proactive choice. There are things, like the weather, that our Circle of Influence [what we can change] will never include. But as proactive people, we can carry our own physical or social weather with us. We can be happy and accept those things that at present we can’t control, while we focus our efforts on the things that we can.”

3 thoughts on “Proactive Happiness

  1. Fabulous quote! I read that book some 25 years ago and loved it. Choosing happiness comes more easily to me these days – amazing what 25+ years of practice (and life experience) will do! Still a work in progress, of course…


    1. The 7 Habits is wonderful, I’d always been put off by the title to be honest, but it’s no way just a business book – it’s a ‘how to live better’ book and one of the best parenting books I’ve ever read!


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  2. Hi Ben. This looks like it’s trying to summarise Aristotle’s thoughts in a slightly clunky way! “To be happy” may refer to reactions to moments of instant gratification, or the general demeanour of a person we’d describe as “happy”. We can be proactive to both, although the former doesn’t necessarily result in an effective person e.g. a gambler. The final sentence is fine for the weather or other negative trivialities of life we must accept. Suggesting we can be happy in times of war, famine, disease, disaster, death etc, which we can’t control, by focussing on other things we can control is super insensitive. I know it’s not your quote. You and I appear to be an exceptionally happy guys for very good reasons.


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