Torres column: Happiness is an attainable goal | PostIndependent.com

Torres column: Happiness is an attainable goal

Sandro Torres

When parents at an elementary school were asked what they wanted for their children, what did they reply? Love? Money? Fame? Recognition? Health? Awards? Happiness? More than 95 percent choose "happiness" because happiness is not created by love, money, fame, recognition, health or awards. It's the result of complex events and interpretations.

I've studied many books by authors like Jocy Meyers, Anthony Robbins, Napoleon Hills, Albert Einstein and Carlos Cuauhtémoc Sanchez, about how to release one's potential, how to achieve happiness, how to live to the fullest, and how to empower one's life. To achieve these things is complex and involves self-awareness, personal security, adequate knowledge, progress towards one's goals, a sense of purpose, finding the good things in life and being able to control one's thoughts.

Since my passion is teaching health and weight loss, I'm going to focus on this aspect of "happiness." Many develop diseases and have problems with weight gain because of their lifestyle. This often consists of bad food choices and behaviors and an inactive lifestyle. A person's choices and actions create a negative lifestyle for them, which leads to negative results and situations, which do not contribute to human happiness.

Wonderfully, we have free will in our lives. Sometimes when people notice that their lifestyle is going in the wrong direction, they choose to start making better choices to better achieve happiness. In fact, "Happiness is the Goal" (A book in Spanish that I'm reading) states that happiness is actually not a long-term goal but can be an everyday goal.

"Happiness is the Goal" explains that to achieve our daily goal of happiness we usually have to do some uncomfortable but constructive things. In other words, discipline makes us happy. Odd sounding, I know, but true. The book continues talking about the importance of being fit.

An example of this can be seen every day. People know they need to exercise in order to lose weight or improve their fitness, but along the way they realize that exercising itself contributes to their daily happiness. The reason is because exercise has many advantages:

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• Combats health conditions and diseases

• Improves mood and even sex drive

• Boosts energy levels

• Reduces the risk of dying prematurely

• Reduces the risk of diabetes and helps control diabetes for those who have been diagnosed

• Reduces the risk of high blood pressure and helps reduce high blood pressure in people who already have hypertension

• Promotes psychological well-being

• Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety

• Helps control weight and lose body fat

• Rejuvenates the body

• Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints

• Improves the physical ability to drive a car in older adults

Not to mention that a person who is fit is able to do many physical tasks that the average person can't.

I used to be a person with no discipline; I let life take its own random course. I thought I was happy, but I was only rationalizing my unfocused if somewhat comfortable life. But now, as I work out and try new things in life and in my business, I end up getting out of my comfort zone, and I see that this allows me to achieve many of the long-term goals that contribute to my long-term happiness. Not only that, it has helped me achieve daily happiness. This may sound a bit obscure, since it's hard to explain to someone who has not achieved true daily happiness. It is like explaining the red color to a blind person. If you experience self-discipline, and find all the good things of life, you may know what I'm talking about.

Don't let your life vanish, waiting for happiness when you have it in front of you. I encourage you to find what you require to start being happy every day of your life. I suspect that starting to exercise and changing your eating habits for better ones could be a first step towards this happiness goal.

Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs and author of the book "Lose Weight Permanently." His column appears on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month in Body & More.