Though the definition of the word varies from person to person, we all want happiness. To achieve this feeling for the long term, it is vital to assess where you are in life and where you want to be, Deborah Day, M.A., believes. The Clearwater, Fla.-based psychotherapist details the roadmap to reach that objective in her new book, “Be Happy Now! Become the Active Director of Your Life.”
“Happiness is a feeling, like anger, frustration, and joy. Feelings are temperamental. They come and go, sometimes quite quickly,” Day explained. “Being truly happy with your life involves being an active participant in the direction your life is going. This is the essence of the book – becoming more of the active director of your life, meaning that you have the power to change what you think, feel, and how you behave.”
The book’s subtitle is the key to cultivating a life that provides true and sustained happiness, Day says.
“Becoming the active director of your life represents the passion behind my teaching and counseling, and it also reflects my own philosophy,” Day said. “We each have within our grasp the ability to monitor and change many aspects of ourselves. This includes not only our inward character but also how we respond and interact with others.
“The process of identifying the path your life is following encourages reflection on all aspects of your well-being. There are many books that focus on specific topics, such as career development, relationships and moods. This book encourages you to evaluate various components of your life,” Day added. “This especially involves how you feel about yourself and how those feelings, conscious or unconscious, get in your way or help you. Wisdom comes from reflection, and without it you are just following the path presented instead of creating the path you want.”
Be Happy Now is a self-improvement handbook with interactive exercises that offer a checkup of the mind “just like you visit the doctor for an annual physical checkup of your body,” Day said. Chapters are dedicated to topics like The Power of Attitude, Understand the Power of Your Beliefs, Nurturing Yourself, Relationships and Communication 101 among others.
“Taking the time and energy to determine where your life is falling short can be difficult and sometimes frustrating,” Day said. “However without this effort it will be hit or miss as to whether you experience fulfillment and a sense of satisfaction.
“Maybe you are very successful in your career, but your interpersonal relationships are rocky at best. Maybe you are the one who helps everyone, but feel very alone,” she added. “Do others view you as very self-confident and secure, but you know otherwise? It doesn’t have to be like this.”
Asking yourself what path you’re on will help you identify the areas in your life that are being fulfilled and going in the direction you want. It will also help you address the areas in your life that you are not happy with or the aspects of your life in which you know you are not living up to your full potential, said Day, an Ohio native who earned a communication degree from Wright State University and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Trinity Divinity School in Deerfield, Ill. She has operated a private practice for 25-plus years.
“Only you can decide when you are ready to take responsibility for where you are in life and where you want to be,” Day added. “No one else can help you grow emotionally, physically, and spiritually until you are able to identify that you have an emotional, physical, or spiritual need.”
The interactive exercises in the book are what Day uses in her private practice.
“We are often so busy doing life that it is easy to avoid evaluating whether you are putting your energy in the directions you value most. Taking time to gain clarity about what is important to you is imperative. As you are more aware of what you value, then you can create goals that will adhere to and reinforce these values,” Day added. “Goal setting is a way of assuring that you are progressing in a manner that aligns with your values.”
For more information about “Be Happy Now! Become the Active Director of Your Life,” visit www.deborahdayma.com.