Happiness continues to elude many people, not because it does not exist but because they look to the wrong source. Disappointment follows on the heels of every expectation you put on another person or object to make you happy. Peace comes from knowing that you are the only true source of your happiness.
‘The greater part of our happiness and our misery depends upon our disposition and not upon our circumstances.’ Martha Washington.
We cannot limit happiness to an emotion that we experience when things are going well. Instead, it is a state of mind that we can adopt. One has to choose to pursue it through their actions. You could go through some of the most troublesome times in your life and still choose to be happy through it all. It does not mean that sadness does not creep in or that you perpetually smile through the pain. Neither does it mean that a state of happiness vanquishes trouble or that overwhelming sense of defeat we sometimes encounter. Happiness makes the most of every season in your life and chooses the positive in the surrounding chaos.
Losing your job will not encourage positivity. There are bills to pay and people to take care of. An option would be to cry at the unfairness of the situation. It does not solve the problem, though. The more you allow negativity to creep in through worry and anxiety, the more unbearable the condition. It affects your mental health and your relationships.
Another option would be to see the loss as a state of transition between opportunities. You could use that time to evaluate your skills and upgrade them so that better opportunities find you well prepared. You can also use that time to follow through on that business idea and look for potential partners and investors. Finally, it could be a season to look into your gifts and talents to start an income-generating project. It is all in the way you choose to perceive it.
You are ultimately responsible for any state you choose to be in, even after life throws you curveballs.
Giving such responsibility to another person or material things is to give them too much control over you. To let someone else be your source of happiness is to depend on them. They get to decide when you are happy. You do not want another person dictating how often you are happy. Otherwise, you may never experience true happiness in your lifetime. Neither do you want happiness determined by material possessions as the world dictates today.
Your definition of happiness differs from that of the next person. This is because it is intrinsic. It stems from our internal makeup and what we value. So if another person sees value in something that you do not, already there is potential that you will not be happy with what they choose to prioritize. This is why you should choose happiness on your terms, not on someone else’s. The reason people are so unhappy today is that they continue to look to their friends, family, spouses, or careers for happiness. When these things cannot fill that void, people see a life of doom and misery.
If you want to experience true peace, define what makes you happy and make it your responsibility to bring that happiness to your sphere.
Taking responsibility for your own happiness.
Know what makes you truly happy.
No one knows you better than you. The more time you spend with yourself, the more you get to see what you enjoy doing and what brings you joy. If you do not make these essential discoveries about these triggers, you will get swept up in other people’s happiness, doing what makes them happy while never achieving that same state.
Do not try so hard to fit in.
Many people struggle so much with the need for acceptance and validation from society. We want to blend in so much that we sacrifice our happiness for a seat at the table. It is frustrating to pretend to be someone else and to force yourself to like what they like. Do not shortchange yourself. Be true to your identity. You will be happier existing as your true, undiluted self. If other people dislike what you bring, find another table with those who appreciate you for who you are.
Never compare your life to someone else’s.
The greatest source of dissatisfaction and unhappiness is the perception that someone else has it better than we do. When we look to the other side and see their greener grass, we become unsettled about our own lives. There is nothing wrong with looking on the other side for inspiration. Success stories should fuel us to work harder. The problem comes when jealousy takes the place of admiration. Accept where you are in life. It is the right place to be at that moment, especially if you are working hard to improve yourself. You need the rags to bear witness to your journey to riches. Your turn will come. Be content in the place you are now.
Gratitude is a state of mind that allows us to appreciate what we have. While we desire to improve our lives, gratitude allows us to look at what relationships and opportunities we have as a blessing. To cultivate happiness under challenging moments, consider what you have and be thankful for it. An attitude of gratitude is an essential ingredient of happiness.
We cannot avoid tough seasons in our lives. Things may not always go according to plan, and that is okay. When we take full responsibility for our happiness, we control the narrative of the lives we live. Do not give anyone control by making them responsible for what makes you happy. It is a burden only you should bear because no one knows what makes you happy better than you.