The term "excessive happiness" was used in the movie Patch Adams. The truth is that there is no such thing.

Having excessive happiness is like having excessive money. Imagine someone telling you that his or her problem in life is having too much money. I can just hear them say: "I have excessive money, and I don't know what to do." Having money is not a problem, neither is being happy.

Do you know what "being happy" really is? Let me tell you. Being happy is finding out that you are OK. As Goethe said: "As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live." You may have had many problems and disappointments in your lifetime. Being happy is a method of reassuring yourself. You have the wisdom to think clearly about what has happened.

Trust yourself and make choices that will get you where you want to go. Being happy means having value in your life. Having value allows you to live the life you choose.

You do not have to allow yourself to be forced into acting the way your family, friends and loved ones feel you should. Being happy allows you the ability to take action. Become comfortable with who you are, and your purpose for living will be revealed to you at long last. Your goals become easier to set, and attain. Your plans for living become "the perfect day" and this, in turn, becomes "your perfect life."

Being happy means taking charge of your life and becoming responsible for yourself. Take back the very personal job of deciding what is good for you -- run your own show. Being happy means realizing that you cannot truly be happy unless you are in control of yourself. Being happy also means not trying to control other people. Many times you have no control over the situations, events and experiences in life.

Being happy means doing what you can, when you can, to effect a change, rather than waiting for something to change on its own. Being happy means finding solutions to a problem, while making the best choice for now. Being happy means never volunteering to see yourself as a victim. When you are happy you become proactive to allow your wisdom and common sense to make the change you want to see.

Being happy makes you feel you can change the world. You are taking control of yourself from the inside out. Being happy allows you to deal with what you cannot change, recognizing the situation is only temporary and if you really want the change, it will happen. Being happy gives you the patience to wait for what you want, because you will get it soon. Being happy allows you to experience being stronger, smarter, freer and more fully yourself.

Being happy is the essential quality for being responsible and taking charge. Being happy gives you the ability to successfully cope with meeting challenges. Being happy allows you to show yourself how you can do things you never thought possible. Being happy gives you the energy and power to take command of any situation. Being happy gives you a can do attitude even when you didn't think you could.

Being happy allows you to gain access to new habits with which to empower yourself. Being happy allows you to tap into the power to do it. Being happy allows you to deal with difficult people. Being happy allows you to deal with anger when it arises.

Being happy allows you to stop feeling guilty, to let go of the past. Being happy allows you to forgive people and stop labeling them. Being happy allows you to free yourself from self-doubt and despair.

Being happy allows you to change for the better, it frees you from needing others to help you. Being happy allows you to learn new skills because there is nothing holding you back any longer. Being happy allows you to come to the decision that unhappiness is not an option. Being happy allows you to experience more of who you really are. Being happy allows you to learn more about your life, your relationships and your potential.

Being happy is the most powerful decision you can ever make. Being happy gets you what you want out of life. As Henry David Thoreau said: "There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself."

Being happy is the only way to find happiness. Being happy allows you to keep the experience of happiness. As D. H. Lawrence said: "The living moment is everything." It is not about wanting to "be happy." That is about a future time. It is about "being," in this very moment, a present state of reality. When you learn the benefits of "being happy," you will become a happy human being.

Lionel Ketchian, the founder of the Happiness Club, can be reached at PrintLRK@aol.com or through the website, www.HappinessClub.com