Happiness is an Inside Job

Is happiness something out there over which you exert no control at all? Can it be that happiness is something elusive and difficult to find or is it just that you just don’t know how easy it actually is to be happy. Could it be that you don’t accept that happiness is a choice, instead you believe that it is something, which is dependent on extrinsic factors, over which you exert no or very little control at all. Happiness is there for the taking, if you stop looking outside of yourself for meaning, fulfilment and joy. Anyone can be happy at any time, if they choose and allow themselves to be happy.

Invite happiness into your experience

What does it take to get you into a state of happiness? Do factors outside of you dictate how happy you feel? Of course certain extrinsic factors do influence your state of happiness. My question is “SHOULD THEY”. All we are ever exposed to throughout our lives are a number of different events. We then give these events meaning and based on the meaning we apportion to them, we either allow them to make us happy or sad. If happiness is a choice, should an event over which we have little or no control, dictate how we feel?

Understand Happiness

Do not try to control everything in your life. One of the biggest happiness busters I see all the time, is caused by people not accepting that life is unpredictable and that challenges may arrive at any time. Yes of course you need a vision and goals for the future, but accept that things won’t always go exactly according to plan, challenges can and will come along at any time. They are an inevitable part of any success journey. Challenges are not always possible to predict and more often than not, they arrive when least expected. Should something you can’t predict or control, dictate how happy you feel?

As General Dwight D Eisenhower said after being asked about the importance of planning before the Normandy landings, He said “Planning was crucial before the battle began, but once the first cannon were fired the plans were of little value at all.” Accept that your vision gives you direction and your goals give you guidance on what daily action to take and then life happens. The universe will throw you a few challenges along your path to success; I believe to sharpen you up, not to steal your joy and happiness.

Challenges are never a reason to be unhappy, if viewed properly, they offer you new perspective and even reveal opportunities, which may have remained hidden, had you not encountered the challenge in the first place. Challenges are not a reason to be unhappy; they are a reason to celebrate. Each one, which comes your way, is bringing you just one step closer to the meaning and fulfilment you desire.

Take a Long-term Perspective

You cannot control your circumstances at a micro level, so don’t even try. Stop trying to control your circumstances at a micro level, expecting things to just go the way you want them to. Rather take a longer term view of your life. As Anthony Robbins said, “We hugely overestimate all we can achieve in a year and massively underestimate, all we can achieve in a decade.” When you take a longer term perspective, it is far easier to see setbacks, challenges or roadblocks for what they really are. Short term issues, which when handled properly will just disappear in time. Allow your life to unfold within the broad constraints of your vision and goals, , take a longer term view of your life, accept that you can’t control everything and it will be far easier to invite happiness into your experience.

Live for Legacy

If you truly want to invite happiness and meaning into your life, then stop being self-absorbed and start looking beyond yourself, towards helping others. When you focus your energy on a cause larger than yourself and you stop thinking only of self, your world opens up and you will begin to experience true happiness and joy. Live your life in such a way that other people’s lives are touched in a meaningful way and you will start feeling happiness, in ways you could never imagine. There is no greater happiness, than can be found by helping and supporting others to realise their potential.

Develop Friendships

Yes happiness is an inside job, but when you have real and true friendships with people, who matter, being happy and content is far easier. Good friends are one of life’s real blessings and will support you to be happy. I have some incredible, caring friends, who I completely trust and admire. They most certainly help me to uncover my internal happiness and joy. Great relationships are a wonderful catalyst for happiness. Are you investing enough time into developing meaningful friendships? Time invested into building great friendships, is time well spent, as it provides one of the best support systems for your happiness.  

Andrew Horton

Andrew Horton

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