What would your life be like if you were happy all the time? Really, think about it. What would it be like?

In this day and age, you may think that being happy all the time just isn't possible, but in reality it is. And, not only is it possible for you, it's also possible for everyone you know. That is, once one understands the essentials of how to be happy.

The Paradox of Happiness
It may be news to you, but there is a bit of a paradox that surrounds happiness. You see, most people think happiness is a condition brought on by things or circumstances that are external to them. But in reality, true happiness comes from inside of us, not from the outside.

There's an old parable that states: "There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way." It means that you cannot experience happiness outside of yourself until you are first happy on the inside, in your heart.

In other words, happiness isn't something that happens to you. You can't buy it or get it from someone else. Plain and simple, happiness is a decision you make.

In every moment, of every day, you make the decision to be happy, or not. That's right, it's up you, and no one else, to make and keep yourself happy.

How can that be you say?

People tell me all the time: "There are so many things I see and hear every day which make me unhappy." They ask: "How is it possible that I can be happy all the time with all the negativism that surrounds me?"

Again I say, happiness is a choice. You have to decide to be happy first, and then the happiness will follow.

One of the best ways to do it is by adopting the 5 Essentials of Happiness into your life.

5 Essentials of Happiness
Here are the five vital keys to living a life where happiness is "always" the way:

1 - Be True to Your Word. Although always being truthful in what you tell others is a major factor in living a happy and healthy life, what you tell yourself about you is even more important when it comes to happiness. Poor self-talk can have a huge negative impact on who you are, what you stand for and the amount of happiness that surrounds you.

Every time you say something like, I'm not smart enough, I'm too old, I don't have the patience. I'm not coordinated, I can't {fill in the blank}, I'll never be happy because {fill in the blank again} and so on, you add another brick to the wall of unhappiness. These phrases set up permanent limitations in your mind, which will cause you to be unhappy every time you use them.

The key here is to always be true to your word when you speak with others and when you speak of yourself. Consider this: Is it really true that you're not smart enough, or do you just need to learn a new skill? There's a difference, and you can change all of your self-talk to be more positive, more loving and more happy.

2 - Take No Offense. This is one of the biggest keys to bringing greater happiness into your life. Author, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer says: "That which offends you only weakens you. If you're looking for occasions to be offended, you'll find them at every turn."

Taking offense to what people say or do is a surefire way to become unhappy. When I speak in front of an audience of 50 people, at the end of the talk there are 51 different opinions about me and the topic of discussion. But only one matters. Mine. Whether someone liked it or not, my opinion of how the talk went is the only valid one in the room because that's the only one I have control over. If I feel I have done my best, then I'm happy, regardless of what anyone else thinks.

The same goes for everything in life. Like it or not, you only have control over one person, you! You can encourage others, love others, even inspire others, but when it is all said and done, they will always make their own decision whether you approve of it or not.

And here's the key: if you become offended by their decision, because it is the opposite of what you think is good for them, that is your choice. They didn't offend you; rather you decided to be offended because of what they did. Remember, the choice they made is theirs, not yours.

The message here is to truly take no offense with the actions of others. Let it go, good or bad. If someone cuts you off on your drive to work, let it go. If someone says something you'd rather not hear, let it go. If someone tells you that you are an amazing person, thank them, and let that go too! It's just their opinion; it's not necessarily correct. Just let other's opinions go and let the happiness prevail!

3 - Expect Nothing. Another way people bring enormous unhappiness into their life is with expectations. When you expect someone to do something and they don't, you become disappointed. In essence, you let your happiness ride on the outcome of what someone else is supposed to do.

The only expectations you can set and rely on are your own. Face it; you have no control of what others will do. Just because you assume someone will do something does not mean it will get done, or be completed to your satisfaction.

However, when you expect nothing and accept the outcome however it turns out, happiness rings true because you were not let down. You move through each day happily relying only on yourself and your ability to meet your goals.

4 - Serve Others. Another way to bring untold amounts of happiness into your life is by giving. Mother Teresa said: "It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving."

Giving opens the heart and lets happiness flow freely. And one of the best ways to give is to serve others without expectation of a reward. Give a smile, time, love, a hug, understanding, compassion and even your most worldly possessions and watch in amazement as happiness fills your heart and your life. Giving from the heart equals great happiness.

5 - Always Do Your Best. Happiness naturally comes from always doing your best. It just feels good! Now, some days you may feel your best may be better than others, but the important point to note is that doing your best always equals being happy.

The simple rule is to do your best in every moment, with what you have, under the circumstance, and let that good feeling permeate every inch of your body, mind and spirit.

Final Thought
Happiness is a choice you make--no if, ands or buts. American author Og Mandino sums it up the best: "Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having, or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself."

Author's Bio: 

America's Life Balance Expert™ Ed McDonough is a certified personal development life and business coach. He specializes in helping people solve problems and raise the quality of their life through knowledge, awareness and simple action. For more information and to schedule a consultation, visit: www.MyLifeCoached.com