“Happiness comes from within. It is not dependent on external things or on other people. You become vulnerable and can be easily hurt when your feelings of security and happiness depend on the behavior and actions of other people. Never give your power to anyone else.” ― Brian Weiss
Have you ever heard a friend or relative cry out, ‘I just want to be happy!’? People seek happiness in money, travel, relationships, a good job, security, or some other place. The problem with this idea is simply this: Happiness is a choice.
You choose to be happy. If you constantly depend on material things, people, places, or your job to make you happy, you will find out very quickly that this is an untenable position. Why you ask? Because nothing is permanent in this world. Money changes, places change, people change, jobs change, and your health changes. If you depend on outside things to make you happy, you’ll be chasing happiness for the rest of your life.
Happiness is a mindset. It literally is a way of living. You either choose to be happy or you choose to be unhappy. Frankly, I choose to be happy. Being happy is so much easier than being pissed off and afraid. Happiness is calming, peaceful, comfortable. Why would anyone want to be anything but happy?
I find the people that are chasing after happiness are never happy. There’s always one more thing to get, one more friend to have, one more experience to try, one more place to travel to. A common phrase unhappy people use is “if only”. If only I had a wife that loved me. If only I had a nicer home. If only I had a better job, a faster car, a puppy, ad infinitum.
Unfortunately, in the United States, we have a society driven by marketing, sales, and advertising. We’re shown unrealistic pictures of happy people driving around in Ferraris, eating whatever they want, drinking whatever they want, and living the supposed “good life”. We have a 24-hour news cycle constantly berating us with disasters, crime, and tales of doom and gloom. It is never ending and inescapable.
Be informed but remain happy. Buy the things you want and need but be happy. Be grateful for what you have. It is so interesting to hear people talk about what they need and confusing need with want. Most of us have what we need to survive. We have a place to sleep, we have enough food to eat, we have a place protected from the elements. Yet, so many of us are unhappy. We take for granted what we have already and that what we have is enough. I think part of our unhappiness as a society is spurred by social media, advertisers, and the 24-hour new cycle, which focuses on negative, rather than positive stories.
How can you turn all of this around? Avoid it. Stop watching the news. Stop spending hours on social media. You can still be informed by scanning the news for a few minutes in the morning. You can stay in touch with friends by making some postings in the morning and reacting to your feed. Once you’ve done these things–GET OFF OF IT!! Then, focus on the things you want to do for yourself. Work on your goals, work on yourself, do your chores. Read, write, experience. Most importantly, take stock each day of what you are grateful for. Really focus on the things that you have right now. The more you focus on what you have, the less you’ll want something externally.
I hope all of you have a terrific Saturday!
Until next time…