How to be a little Happier – The Power of Decisions

Written by Tobi Warzinek

This post is all about the good stuff, the stuff that makes your life worth living. It’s all about happiness – and happiness is a cool thing! It’s in fact so cool, that every living being is after it. We spend lifetimes seeking it in relationships, coconuts, rainbows, meditation, accommodation, holidays, work, in our body and in other peoples bodies. Many even think it hides somewhere in the future or within our memories. Some people have told me that it is to be found within health and youth, others suspect that happiness can only be found after death. This week I am going to give you some awesome tips and we’ll discuss how to be a little happier in life.

The Pursuit of Happiness

We are actually running after happiness and comfort all day long. You don’t believe me? Well, that’s probably because you haven’t reached the level of a Jedi-Unicorn yet. Let me invite you to observe yourself a little closer today and in the coming weeks. Ask yourself: “Why do I do what I do minute after minute, day after day”. Observe your motivations and your actions clearly and you will find that you are either busy trying to end some problem or build happiness. We go to great lengths trying to establish comfort, pleasure and happiness. We even construct and store nuclear weapons in order to “create and maintain peace“.

This behavior is at the root of all our intentions and activities. It pervades our entire being. We call this “pursuit of happiness”. It could be considered both wonderful and terrifying at the same time. It’s wonderful because once we consciously acknowledge this basic drive we could go after it more directly and skillfully. I refer to such a responsible person as “the magician”. But if the thirst for happiness is left within the subconscious realm we will mostly experience life as “something that happens to us” and happiness as a “lucky coincidence” that comes from external circumstances. I call this the position of “the victim”.

The Victims Way

Making clear decisions is an empowering process when it comes to the creation of happiness. Most people make decisions unconsciously however. They don’t act – they re-act to life. The problem is that a re-action is based upon past habits and character traits that have manifested out of those habits. So these individuals are mostly stuck in the residue of their past and experience life as a somewhat unsatisfied observer. Circumstances are either appearing to please or attack them and they often feel overwhelmed, even by their own emotions and mental states. The victims motto is: Internal and external circumstances are happening to me.

Happiness appears as something that exists outside of themselves. It appears to arise when there’s more money, more fame, more health, more friends, more future, more… whatever. Happiness will always appear as something that’s in the distance. It seems to hide in some future or past event and so the thoughts of a “victim” mostly circle around the previous or the next moment. At best, life and happiness is something that happens to them – not from within them. Once we recognize this victim-mentality within ourselves (it takes sincerity, honesty), we are in the position to shift our state towards something that’s a bit more empowering…

The Magicians Way

The magician takes responsibility for his creations. Instead of feeling like a victim, the magician acknowledges the mind at the root of experiences. He or she may choose reactions that lead to benefit. Instead of automatically reacting from old habit patterns, the magician actively creates better circumstances. He does that by working from the inside out. Becoming aware of the choices we make, understanding the directions of our choices and playing an active role in creating a wholesome lifestyle that leads towards greater happiness and release. That’s what a magician is all about. A magicians motto is: I consciously choose how to act right now

The magician sees itself in a responsible role. He is not only responsible for his actions, but also for the way he reacts to circumstances. This gives the magician a great amount of freedom. Taking responsibility for our happiness and our suffering is freedom. We stop blaming and complaining and choose to act wisely and skillfully instead. Making decisions that lead towards greater and deeper happiness are a trademark of a true magician. Thus, a magician contributes to this world with a refined character and a joyful presence. When adverse circumstances arise, he can skillfully transform them into something that we feel inspired and uplifted by.

How to be a little happier?

One of the keys to happiness lies in the way we make decisions and take responsibility for our mindset. No matter what life throws at us, it is always possible to make inspiring decisions if we don’t loose our mindfulness. And its these decisions that determine the course of our life. If our decisions come from a state of forgiveness, kindness and compassion – more happiness is the result. And of course I am not talking about external “happy circumstances”.

If our decisions come from a set of old negative habits and if we make them unconsciously, true happiness will keep eluding us. If we stay within the state of  re-acting (literally) to circumstances from our old mindset, life cannot change for the better. This knowledge is one of the keys to a happier life. If you decide to take responsibility for the way you feel, you will start to make empowered and conscious choices that lead towards joy. Even though this is one of the fundamental levels of spiritual practice, it is often overlooked.

Experiment with this or train your mind with this information. See how your decisions influence your day and how you can change the way you feel if you make this a priority. If your decisions lead to a happier and healthier life both for yourself and others you are doing well – keep going 🙂

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Tobi Warzinek - Meditation Teacher

About The Author

Tobi Warzinek has been working as a spiritual guide and mentor since 2009. His journey started in early 2002 when he entered the Tibetan Buddhist monastery of Rabten Choeling. He spent approximately 7 years in the community and studied the Tibetan language, mind-training and various meditation methods. Additionally he trained in traditional monastic debate and Buddhist philosophy. In 2011 he subsequently began practicing within the “Forest Tradition” in Thailand. Altogether he has dedicated his life to the exploration and refinement of introspection throughout the past 18 years.

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3 thoughts on “How to be a little Happier – The Power of Decisions”

  1. I would be good if you could say more about how to shift from one state to the other and how to become conscious of what is unconscious since nobody would-consciously-choose decisions which cause them or others harm.

    • Hi Chris,
      Becoming conscious of what has previously been unconscious is a major point of spiritual practice. Even though we mostly don’t know how our actions will actually unfold and shape our future, we do have the possibility of making our motivations known. Becoming aware of our motivations/intentions can help us to let go of harmful/unskillful motivations and cultivate skillful/beneficial motivations. Intent is the precursor of decisions. Decisions are the precursor of actions. Actions shape our life. If there’s Mindfulness, we have a choice. We are not caught up within the reactive mental emotional patterns – there’s some space. This space is developed by a solid practice of Mindfulness. Making our actions, intentions, motivations known frequently will create a stronger Mindfulness. The stronger your Mindfulness becomes, the easier it is to deal with unconscious or deeply unconscious patterns. No mindfulness, no choice. Most people simply react to whatever experience arises. Not many choose to act so that it serves them on the long run. But this can be trained and it makes sense to train this skill 🙂
      Hope the answer helps a bit.


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