Happiness in actuality is spiritual fulfillment. Spiritual things have a way of bringing light and happiness to everything they touch. When we follow the spiritual path, we go from feeling happiness to the additional bonus of experiencing joy. As Frank Donnelly said, "God has given us two incredible things: absolutely awesome ability and freedom of choice. The tragedy is that, for the most part, many of us have refused them both."

When was the last time you practiced your freedom of choice? When was the last time you felt joyful? When was the last time you experienced happiness for an hour? Have you ever felt happiness for a month or even a week? When was the last time you felt happiness for an entire day, with the feeling that nothing could stop you?

I know many people will think this is impossible. Start here, maybe you don't think it is possible to be happy for very long. I am telling you that it is possible. It may be your programming and belief system that are telling you that it is not possible. Who programmed that negative suggestion into your other-than-conscious mind? Did you allow someone else to do it? Your intellect wants you to be safe. Your soul wants you to live! Trust your essence and direct your mind so that it does what you want it to do.

Our minds live in fear, filled with negative thoughts about life. How you choose to live your life is very important. The decision to live your life the best you can is the greatest one of all. The choice you don't make is the choice you don't have. Just like a vote that you do not make. The main choice you have is the decision to be happy or unhappy.

The reality of life's choices are: You either live in a dark world of worry and fear, or you live in a peaceful, happy, loving world. Making the right decisions and the very best choices in your life creates your reality. Making the decision to be happy is not just living a wonderful life for yourself, your decision to be happy and lead a loving and peaceful life goes far beyond you as an individual. You have transcended the bounds of the self, and have entered the frontier of selflessness.

Living a life of happiness and spiritual fulfillment is a message of change to the world. Peace is a call to action by your own actions. Peace is an active thing, not a passive thing. You become the ripple that spreads out to touch your family, the people that you work with, and the people you meet. You affect them with a reason to change to the positive and become happy. How does this happen? They see something better in you. They sense it and you become aware of it as well. This is true communication. It is not the way of relating to people to see what you can get from them, it is all about what you can give them. This is the world you can enter right now. Maybe it will be for the first time. Maybe you have made numerous attempts to live this way. Whatever the case, you must enter this world first in order for others to follow.

The light of a flashlight cuts through the darkness and shows you the way. You are exactly like a flashlight. Your individual existence makes all the difference in the world. When your light is on and you're positive and happy, you light the way for others to see better and begin to light their own way. This sounds better than sitting in the darkness. This reminds me of the saying: "I would rather light one candle than curse the darkness."

The important thing about a flashlight is that you have to make the decision to turn it on, otherwise it will not do you any good. Like the flashlight, happiness is the decision you carry within you. Turning it on is just like making the happiness decision. Being able to see what direction you are going to take is the end result. Of course, the flashlight is an object you can touch. The happiness decision requires you to use your mind. You have to control your mind and not let your mind control you.

The other characteristic of light is to point it into the darkness not into your own eyes. Pointing it into the darkness allows you to see what is there, and where you are going. Pointing it at yourself will only blind you. So it is essential to point the light in the direction you want to go. When you use negative thinking and choose unhappiness, you only blind yourself to the opportunities and possibilities available to you.

The choice to stay unhappy, depressed, and miserable is the choice you make to blind yourself with the same powerful light that could show you the way. Do not blind yourself with self-pity; instead use your light of happiness. When you use happiness to light the way for yourself, you also help others see the best way to travel.

Not only can you make a difference you do. Some people make a negative one, and others make a positive one. Rather than making a judgment about good or bad, positive or negative, decide what you want and just do it. For one thing you will benefit from your choice, and for another the world will benefit as well. When you live your life with happiness, you are giving something to the world, and you are leaving this world as a better person. You have created a better world and a better you. Think about it!

Zig Ziglar said, "You are free to choose, but the choices you make today will determine what you will have, be, and do in the tomorrow of your life." Become a happy light! Illuminate the world ... eliminate negativity! Make the happiness decision: lighten up your life ... smile!

Lionel Ketchian is the founder of the Happiness Club, a happiness coach, and can be reached at PrintLRK@aol.com. The website is www.HappinessClub.com.