• Charles Cherney

108: Dan Sullivan - The Happiness Decision


I learned about Dan Sullivan, a coach for entrepreneurs, from Benjamin Hardy.


Dan’s YouTube channel – Strategic Coach – has some excellent videos. I’ve watched a few now. His video on happiness stood out.

Are you getting happier or does nothing seem to make you happy? Or are you somewhere betwixt and between these ends of the spectrum?


Dan Sullivan argues that you choose happiness. Or, rather, that happiness is a choice available to you.


It’s an internal decision and capability. Happiness is a mindset.


No matter what happens outside of you, you can choose to be happy with it.


In other words, regardless of what happens – even if it is a negative experience – you are going to deal with it. Because you are in control of your internal happiness.


Got that? Dan Sullivan argues that no matter what the external unpredictable factors are, they are going to make you happy.


The first week in January my VW Tiguan was rear-ended at a stoplight. Happiness!


Things about this experience that made for happiness in my life:


• No one was hurt. My wife and daughter were with me in the car at the time. I found myself even more grateful for our health and well-being.


• The accident happened two blocks from home and my family could walk home while I sorted out the paperwork at the scene with the police. Nice!


• I could still drive my car after the accident. Very convenient.


• I did not have to pay anything for repairs, not even the deductible. Insurance covered everything. Love it!


• My favorite auto body shop was able to book me in the following week for the body work on my car. Great owners. Enjoyed seeing them again.


• I was without my car for a few weeks while it was being fixed. Being without it made me appreciate it more. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.


• When I picked up my car, it almost seemed better than it was before the accident. Like new. Love!

• Since picking up my VW a few weeks ago, I am more conscious of my car and more grateful to own it and drive it. The gratitude is almost palpable.


All of the above amounts to a good example of what Dan Sullivan is getting at.


And another thing. Happiness is attractive. Most all of us like to be around happy people. Sullivan says aim to be the happy person others want to be around.


For Dan Sullivan, happiness is his standard approach and outlook – it is his responsibility. Regardless of what is happening, what is happening is going to make him happy.


It’s an interesting experiment to wake up tomorrow and decide that everything that happens during the day will make you happy. Everything. The heat not coming on. The person you are meeting with showing up 30 minutes late. Your partner forgetting to do something you asked. Spilling coffee on your white shirt. H-a-p-p-y.


Happiness is a choice. One worth making. What do you choose?