You are responsible for yourself and your own Happiness – 20 Nov 14

Happiness

I yesterday explained why I believe one should not blame one’s parents for one’s mistakes and faults but instead take responsibility for his decisions and his happiness. There is a saying: ‘Every man is the architect of his own fortune’ – and as old as this may seem, as much as you may object that this is just some old proverb, I believe that it is true. You are the one that is responsible for your happiness.

Of course, when you see your own unhappiness, it doesn't seem to have to do with anything you did. Others treated you wrong or things just happened wrong without you doing anything that caused it. You don't have the success you want, the ladies or guys you date are never right, your family members ignore you and you are not appreciated by your colleagues and boss enough, either. What of this could be your fault?

Now I want to ask you to stop these inner arguments for just a little while. Forget all about them and start one day as though you were happy with everything in your life, with things as they are.

While you go through your normal day, try to get distance from yourself. Become the observer. In situations when you would normally react with unhappiness, note it down, why? What happened? What kicked you out of your state of happiness? Write it down, forget about it and continue the day, trying to be as happy as possible.

In the evening, take a look at your list and find out what a neutral person, an observer would say about it. Maybe it helps saying out loud what annoyed you – and then try to see whether your unhappiness was really caused by something from outside.

Couldn’t you have reacted in another way? Could you have been less short-tempered and more patient instead? Did it actually annoy you, not because of the other person but because of something inside you?

To make it clear, I will give you an example. A coworker keeps on asking you to do small things for him. An errand here, a favour there. They are so small it seems that it would be impolite, wrong to say no – but it annoys you because it eats your time. You get upset about him and feel that he really doesn’t respect you and your time. It’s his faults that you are unhappy now, isn’t it?

No, really not. He doesn’t value your time because you yourself don’t. In reality you are upset about your own lack of willpower, your inability to say no in such situations. Once you realize this, find a way to make the change. Explain him that you are very busy at that moment and, if he really cannot do it himself, show him and tell him that you are doing this so that he can do it himself next time! You see, you are responsible for making yourself happy in such a situation!

Sometimes it is difficult to get enough distance to actually find out what is wrong. You need to take time and invest in your happiness. It won't happen in front of TV. Get out in nature, take a break, maybe travel to get distance and find out!

You are responsible yourself and cannot put it on someone else. You are the one who makes your own happiness. So take care of that next time you complain.

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