Chapter 1Freedom to Choose

Stop chasing happiness and start choosing happiness.


Remember the last vacation you took and how you felt while you were getting ready to go? It was exciting! You were passionate and energized just by the thought of it. While you imagined the white sand beaches, the sun warming your skin, and the sound of the waves crashing, your workdays leading up to your departure went by faster, you worked harder, and you were happier.

Now let me ask if you ever felt this way about going to work. Most people answer no to this question. In fact, they look at me as if to say, “Are you nuts? Why would I feel this way about going to work?”

I remember feeling this negative about work myself, years ago when I worked for a manufacturing company in upstate New York. On a typical rainy, windy spring day, after dropping papers into a puddle and having my umbrella flip inside out, I trudged into the lobby, trying to sneak past our overly cheerful receptionist. But she caught me with her usual chipper greeting, “Good morning, Laurie! How are you this morning?” “I'm having a bad day,” I muttered begrudgingly. In a dramatic gesture, she whipped her arm almost out of its socket to show her watch and exclaimed, “Wow, and it's only 7 a.m.!” At this point, I wanted to leap across the counter and choke her. It hit me as I walked away that I was choosing to let this bother me. How I was acting and reacting was a choice. All of a sudden it was clear to me that I was making ...

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