Whether or not we want to admit it, everything we do in life is by choice. And hundreds of times each and every day, we consciously exercise our right to choose these things.

We choose to wake up at 6:30 AM, dress in black, eat a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, approach a meeting with an open mind, use a Mac or a PC, meet a friend for lunch, choose a Diet Coke over a regular Coke, or listen to a new album on the ride home. Every situation leads to another choice. Whether you choose to take a left or a right, hopefully it is with some kind of purpose. Sometimes we even choose to NOT make a choice and wind up in ambiguity-land.

Choose to “Live in the Happy”

Another choice you can make each day is to be happy. At first, the idea of choosing happiness may seem strange or even impossible, but happiness is more tangible than most people think.

That’s because happiness doesn’t come from the material possessions, or concepts like fame or fortune. It comes from within.

Luis Banuelos

A multimillionaire might be miserable, while a quote-unquote less fortunate person could walk by with a spring in every step. Happy people are happy because they make themselves happy. They maintain a positive outlook and are at peace with themselves.

At the most recent SXSW, I came across Luis Banuelois, who five years ago was homeless. Now he plays guitar as if he were born with it attached to his person. Luis discovered what makes him happy and is doing it, passionately.

With this example in mind, the chances of someone being happy if they aren’t in a happy place, or if they don't have the desire to be in a happy place, are probably pretty slim. People can accomplish almost anything they want, but first they have to want to be that way. So how do you drive happiness?

Activating Happiness

One way to drive happiness is to create tools that will make people more conscious of the things that make them happy. We’ve all read motivational articles and listicles with titles like “5 Ways to Get to Happy” or “15 Things to Do to Die Happy,” but without the desire to actually do or commit to those 5 or 15 things, let’s face it, happiness isn’t going to happen. 

Technology: Happiness Is a State of Mind

Technology and happiness don’t necessarily seem like they would go together, but there are a number of happiness platforms that bring people together to create a happier community, like the Happy Fuel app and its web app happyfuel.me. There are also happiness tools that are more about driving happy behavior or actions, such as happathon.com or happify.com. By utilizing available technology to enable, connect, and empower people to be happy, we have the ability to create a meaningful global impact.

No matter how advanced the technology, you still need to start by choosing to live in the happy. The technology and tools exist to enhance awareness of our happy and keep us on the right course. The United Nations has declared March 20 the International Day of Happiness. That’s a great thing—but remember that your own day of happiness can be every day.

10 Ways to Live in the Happy

Elizabeth Elfenbein

Elizabeth Elfenbein is the founder and creator of Happy Fuel LLC, which represents her vision in creating a new form of media – what Elizabeth calls “happy media.” Happy Fuel is a microblogging social network that helps users “live in the happy” by giving them a fun, simple way to discover, store, gauge, and fuel their happiness, whether via a song, photo, video, place, sound or thought.

Elizabeth is a creative leader and Partner at The CementBloc, the most creatively awarded health/wellness communications company in the United States. She is also the Editor in Chief of HealthWellNext, an industry-first publication from The Bloc that offers a refreshing point of view on the challenges and opportunities facing the health and wellness industry and how it communicates with customers. Additionally, Elizabeth leads the Wet Cement Innovation Lab at The Bloc, a platform for thought leadership that drives events, publishes, and creates digital prototypes that propel success for brands.

Elizabeth is part of The Opener, an exclusive, invite-only contributor network that will bring the best food, culture, and innovation writing to the pages of Coca-Cola Journey.