According to Ricky Powell, who is known as The Happiness Guy, we can choose to be happy, despite our circumstances. He explains how in his book, Happiness Rocks: A Powerful Blueprint to Mastering the Art of Lifelong Happiness.
Before becoming a happiness coach and consultant, Powell was a child actor, who appeared in numerous television shows and movies. "But when I became a teenager, things began slowing down a little," Powell said.
So he went to college to study radio and TV. After graduation, he got a job with a production company, where he worked on Golden Girls and Empty Nest. He later began working for NBC/Universal and today is the Program Operations Manager.
After enduring two personal tragedies, Powell decided to learn all he could about becoming happy. His mother died and his best friend from high school died suddenly at the age of 23. "Losing him so suddenly made me realize that life is precious and that tomorrow is never guaranteed," Powell said. "It's important to live every moment to its fullest." For these reasons, and others, Powell became passionate on the subject of happiness.
In addition to his work as a TV exec, Powell offers consulting and coaching on happiness to individuals and corporations. He also speaks on the subject.
He says there are three factors that affect our level of happiness. About 50% is determined by genetics. Another 10% is influenced by our circumstances. We can actively influence the remaining 40% that is at our discretion.
According to Powell, there are three key things we can do to raise our level of happiness.
Forgive. When you are angry at someone and harbor that anger, you think you are punishing that person but you are really punishing yourself," Powell said. He believes that long-held anger can lead to disease.
Serve others. "There are so many amazing charitable organizations out there. Even if you don’t have the money to write a check to your favorite charity you can donate your time which can be even more valuable," Powell said. He volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, Avon Walks for Breast Cancer and Operation Gratitude, which puts together care packages for our soldiers overseas.
Be grateful. Powell thinks this is the most important piece of the happiness puzzle."[Be] grateful for not just the big things but the little things," Powell said. To that end, he offers an exercise: Just imagine waking up tomorrow morning with only the things that you are grateful for. "How much would you be missing because you are forgetting to appreciate them today?" Powell said.
You can learn more about Powell's happiness book, coaching, consulting and speaking at his sites. While visiting, sign up for his free Daily Dose of Inspiration. If you sign up, Powell offers a free 15-minute strategy session that can help you to overcome some of your challenges.