Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design into the present.” – Jim Rohn

I worked my way through UNC-Chapel Hill as the night manager of a gas station. A 78-year-old man named Butch worked with me most nights. He was a character, gruff and often short-tempered, particularly with rude people. But it was Butch who taught me a great lesson about happiness.

One evening a college student, who clearly had more money than sense, pulled his new souped-up Chevy into the station and bounded out of the car. He stormed over to Butch and started haranguing him because his car had been in earlier for repairs and it wasn’t fixed to his satisfaction. The young man was rude. He yelled at Butch, “I’m mad and you are going to fix this car right now.”
Butch looked at him and in his inimitable style said, “By God, you better get glad if you expect me to do anything for you.”

Now, I thought this was hilarious and started dying laughing. Even the rude student realized how funny this was and joined in. It was not until much later that I realized the profound nature of Butch’s message.

He was saying that no one but you can control your attitude unless you cede that responsibility. If you let something or someone affect your happiness, that’s on you. You just need to step back and take a critical look at why you are letting this situation or person operate your remote control. This, my friend, is easier said than done. But – like anything else – with practice it becomes a habit.

Remember, that it is important if you are going to try to make someone happy, start with yourself.
I’ve used Butch’s saying a lot in my 64 years, and I try to live by it today. You can get glad. It starts with a decision on your part.

Author's Bio: 

Harry Hoover is an author, content developer, speaker, and publisher of You, Improved. He has written three books: Born Creative: Free Your Mind, Free Yourself, Moving to Charlotte: The Un-Tourist Guide, and Get Glad: Your Practical Guide To A Happier Life, which is available in print, ebook and audiobook formats.