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By Lisa Cypers Kamen.

Harvesting Happiness: Own Your Own Happiness

If you had to publicly share every decision you make with the world, which would you bear more often: a scarlet letter or a badge of honor?

In our exceedingly fast-paced world, we are bombarded with situations that demand immediate decisions and judgment calls. Unspoken email etiquette requires a same-day response to each message that lands in our inboxes. And the assumed rapid response to text messages is even more demanding: Societal conventions say that if a few hours pass before you respond, you’ve dropped the ball. Gone, it seems, are the days of decisions made at a snail-mail speed.

But all of society’s emphasis on speed can land us in a dangerous decision-making trap. When we make decisions faster, giving less thought to potential outcomes, we often see our own actions as less meaningful.

True, our intuition can often be a good indicator of the “right” decision. But the process of weighing pros and cons is also healthy: Taking a step back to think through a decision is a process that requires us to be personally invested in the actions we take.

In reality, we will never have to carry around a sign that states what actions we’ve made that day. Without much effort, we could go through life denying or ignoring the consequences of our actions. But it’s impossible to be happy if you don’t accept yourself for who you are, and a big part of who we are is the decisions we make and the actions we take.

So don’t slip into autopilot: take a moment and actively make a decision, instead of letting the moment decide for you. Own the actions you take by making decisions that bring together your heart, your mind, and your spirit. Besides, if you don’t own up to your actions, you lose out on the fun of reveling in your sound judgment when you accomplish something you’re proud of!

Happiness is an inside job®.

Happiness Strategy:

Starting tomorrow morning, write down every decision that you make during the first thirty minutes of your day. You don’t have to explain them in detail; a simple key word that will jog your memory is enough. At the end of the half hour, read through your list of actions.

How many did you actively think about, weighing pros and cons or taking into account the feelings of others? Would you be proud of those decisions if you were to communicate them to others?

For the rest of the day, take a little extra time to think through each decision before you make it, noticing how this ownership gives you peace of mind.

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Lisa Cypers Kamen is a filmmaker, positive psychology coach, author, host of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio, professor and lecturer specializing in the field of sustainable happiness. She is widely recognized as an expert on the subject. Lisa’s acclaimed documentary film co-produced with her now fifteen year-old daughter, Kayla, “H-Factor…Where is your heart?” explores how people in varied circumstances find, generate and share happiness. In addition to her film on happiness, Lisa has also published a number of articles and books entitled, Got Happiness Now?, Are We Happy Yet?, Leadership: Helping Others to Succeed and Reintegration Strategies, about combat trauma and using positive psychology principles to create wellness in a post-war new normal. Lisa’s written work is featured on blogs for the Huffington Post, and and she is a TEDx community event speaker. In addition, she is the Happiness Expert for the Florida Department of Citrus/ Florida Orange Juice in its Take on the Day campaign.

Harvesting Happiness for Heroes™ is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that delivers stigma-free integrated combat trauma recovery services to warriors and their loved ones. Modalities include scientifically proven strengths based Positive Psychology coaching and interdisciplinary tools such as film, yoga, meditation, art and creative writing designed to mindfully empower the client to achieve increased self-mastery, self-esteem and reclaim her/his life. HH4Heroes focuses on the balance of mind, body and emotion resulting in greater overall wellbeing and the transformation of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) into Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG). HH4Heroes offers retreat workshops, one-on-one coaching, Battle Buddy programs, as well as our new R.E.B.O.O.T Online virtual community coaching classrooms designed to reach underserved areas. In addition, HH4Heroes deploys Return to Duty™ civilian and corporate training to help welcome a warrior home and into the community and workplace.

Lisa is committed to teaching Happiness is an inside job™ and helping others end their needless suffering through intentionally cultivating greater joy.

For more information, please visit, and

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