By BIS Contributor Li Saul


Choose to laugh and choose to smile…knowing we’re here for just a short while.


How do you define happiness? The dictionary describes it as “a state of well-being and contentment.” But what does that mean to you?

Many people chase after happiness, often defining it by their careers, their money, and their things. For a lot of people, it’s about material acquisition—until, for example, they get sick. Then they’d trade it all for wellness and joy. Oftentimes, what was important to us materially five years ago means nothing now. Especially because it can all disappear in an instant.

When we define happiness by things outside of ourselves— like a new car, a better job, a spouse, and more—happiness will always be something we have to pursue and attain. But those things just create a temporary high. Living from the outside in, we can never be truly happy, because there will always be another person or thing that we make responsible for our happiness.

What if your happiness came from within, instead?

When you live from the inside out (rather than the outside in), you start with YOU. You choose to be happy, every single day—grateful for all that you have, and all that you are. Yes, happiness is a choice. And while no-one can promise you that you’ll never be upset, it’s all about how long you choose to stay in that state.

Start by knowing that happiness is your true nature. And that you can consciously choose to be the joyful presence in any situation. When you do, you beautifully transform your energy from the inside out; changing your entire experience of the world.

It is within your power to keep the conversation you have with yourself consistently positive and joyful, regardless of the moods or words of those around you. You stay connected to who and what you are, rather than allowing other people’s voices to play in your head.

You ARE what you think and feel—and you can choose to think and feel JOYFULLY, from the inside out. Each day when you wake up, you must consciously decide to be happy; to find joy in everything you do. And each night, before you sleep, again, choose joy and practice gratitude.

Research shows that counting your blessings regularly and even keeping a gratitude journal results in greater happiness and personal satisfaction.

The bottom line?

Expect the worst and focus on lack, and that is the life you will create by continuously affirming lack. Practice gratitude and appreciation, always expecting the best, and begin to experience the limitless possibilities and abundance that life has to offer you. That IS the Law of Attraction.

Consider, too, adopting stress-relieving habits based in joyful release. For example, turn on your favorite music, and dance with abandon. Sing out loud to your favorite song. Or laugh a real belly laugh, without worrying about how you look or sound. You can start by forcing air out of your lungs and pretending to laugh. Keep it up, until you’re really laughing. (Think of it as laughter therapy.) The act of laughter is a wonderful release that is amazingly healthy for the mind and body. So go for it!

And don’t forget about smiling! When is the last time you walked down the street and smiled at everyone you passed? Smiling is a beautiful exchange of energy with another person, and can tremendously improve your mood and theirs.

Use this simple phrase as a reminder: “I S.M.I.L.E.” It stands for: “I Share My Inner Light Everywhere”

Even if you force a smile at first, you’ll still get the same results because, before you know it, you’ll be smiling for real. Smiling, like laughter, is empowering. It is a signal to your mind and body that you are happy, and it can beautifully transform your energy. It is also wonderfully contagious. Try this simple smiling exercise:

STEP 1: Go to the mirror and smile at yourself. That’s right. Simply smile, and look at your wonderful, smiling face for two full minutes.

STEP 2: Throughout your day, make eye contact and smile at the people you pass, at every opportunity. Then, count the smiles you get back. (Be generous, and they’ll really add up.)

The result? You’ll feel your mood lifted by experiencing the happiness that comes from within—sharing your inner light and joy with others.

Use this simple phrase as a reminder: “I S.M.I.L.E.” It stands for: “I Share My Inner Light Everywhere”

Li Saul is a BIS contributor, Happiness Coach, and the founder of INCENTRALISM MEDITATION—the meditative practice of living from the inside out.  Learn more at