Jack Ryser

Those who know me understand that it frustrates me to hear people, especially professional counselors, say that “Happiness is a Choice.” The problem isn’t that choice isn’t involved in being happy, it is that they never really define what that choice is. Usually it is said that you need to change your thoughts and be more positive. Simply, ignore the adversity that is in your life and change your “thoughts.”

My belief is that happiness is not a choice, it is a series of choices. My book Bounce Back: Finding Joy During Times of Adversity defines those choices needed to find happiness in a life of adversity. In fact, happiness is inevitable for those who follow the steps. We don’t minimize the adversity in a persons’ life, we simply redirect their energy to different areas that will bring happiness. Follow these steps and you will know happiness and joy that is virtually inevitable.



7 Life-Changing Steps to True Happiness

I believe we are meant to be happy in this life. Simply, it is a divine right to find joy. Why then are so many people unhappy? We are often told by well meaning people that happiness is a choice. So, we are essentially expected to ignore all the adversity that is going on around us and choose to be happy. I am here to tell you that ignoring adversity is not a strategy to being happy. Forcing...

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Bouncing Back from Tragedy…Or Learning to Be Happy Again

It was the early fall, the leaves were gently changing colors, and I sat looking out the panoramic window at Anna's home in Salt Lake City. As we sat down to talk, Anna rested comfortably in the large puffy couch, wearing sweats and a blue tank top. Her lovely, dark brunette hair was tightly tied up in a ponytail, her legs crossed at the ankles, and she was holding a glass of wine in her right...

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6 Steps to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One

It was November 26, 1996, two days before Thanksgiving. I came home early from work to see if I could help Kameo. We had spoken on the phone a couple hours earlier and she mentioned that she was feeling a little better, though it would quickly become apparent that was just her wishful thinking. I came home and saw all the symptoms I had seen many times before: very high fever, joint pain, and...

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Removing Toxic People from Your Life

Removing toxic people from our lives is critical for true joy. Have you ever thought, (insert name here) is such a good person most of the time, but sometimes he/she hurts me? Then as time continues on, the moments of pain start to increase and the times of love decrease. The good person becomes less and less good. For some reason, we often believe that those closest to us, have free reign to...

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How to Heal From the Pain of Loneliness

When I was only four years old my family, including aunts, uncles, and cousins, went on a vacation to Mesa Verde National Park. We found a short trail that took us to a picnic area surrounded by the beautiful trees of the forest. It was a perfect place. It was isolated and no other people were around. After enjoying each other’s company for an hour or so it was time to clean up, walk down to the...

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The Divine Power of Intention

My spiritual journey started many years ago and included a time when I read The Power of Intention by the remarkable Dr. Wayne Dyer. I was always naturally a driven, motivated person and routinely set goals. Setting goals culturally was looked upon as a positive life-enriching activity.  As I have grown spiritually, I have found that there is a significant difference between goals and intention....

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What I Learned from a Homeless Man and My Dog – Inspirational Blog Post

“I don’t get enough love” - Jeremy (homeless man) I want to share an inspirational blog message with you that touched me deeply. A few winters ago Salt Lake City had a huge snow storm. It was cold, wet and tough to get around. As I was traversing the “fender benders” and trying to get back home I noticed a man, a homeless man, slowly walking by my car. I rolled down my window and asked him if he...

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Is Happiness a Choice?

We have all heard that happiness is a choice. In fact, it is almost assumed to be the truth. As you may know, I understand the principles of positive psychology well, am a self-help author, and life coach, and have some strong opinions on the topic of happiness. In fact, my book Bounce Back: Finding Joy During Times of Adversity focuses on the topic. I want to challenge the conventional wisdom...

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How I Got Here

This web site as well as my book Bounce Back: Finding Joy During Times of Adversity, is a look into my journey to find happiness. I grew up in a home with huge amounts of drug and alcohol abuse present, cared for my dear wife who suffered with lupus for many years, had a home burn down, was widowed at thirty-four years old, was a single parent with three daughters under eight, remarried four...

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