Everybody wants to be happy. Yet few people know HOW to achieve this illusive goal. We think we will be happy if we get the right job, have the right people in our lives, get a new car, and so on. The problem is that if we only feel happiness when we have what we want, we will NEVER be happy. There will ALWAYS be something else we want or think we need.
Genuine happiness isn’t found in achievements or acquisition of stuff. Those things feel good for a time, but the newness eventually wears off and the happy feelings fade. Often you’re left with the cost of maintaining the thing you thought would make you happy (the house payment, the car payment, interest on the loan you took out to purchase the thing you just had to have, insurance premiums to protect it, and so on).
Real happiness isn’t tied to anything outside ourselves. When we allow our happiness to be contingent on other people or circumstances, we’re giving up our control. When we give up control, we live on a never-ending roller-coaster of emotions. When things go well, we’re happy. When they don’t, we’re frustrated or depressed. When people treat us well, we’re happy. When people are unfair or rude, we’re angry or sad. Putting the responsibility for our happiness on other people is far too much for anyone to have to bear. And putting the responsibility for our happiness on “things” is absurd because “things” are continually deteriorating. The minute you drive the car off the lot, it depreciates in value. The tires wear down with every mile they roll. The house will always been in need of some kind of repair or upkeep. The only person responsible for your happiness is YOU.
If you want to get happy, and stay happy, rather than just vaguely hoping that it’ll eventually happen someday, you must live deliberately. To do that, you can to do these five things:
- do an honest assessment of where you are in life
- decide what you want to change
- determine how to best get from where you are now to where you want to be
- assess what you’ll need in order to live the life you want to live
- take a step every day to get closer to where you want to go
- choose to be happy
You can do this on your own. But my book, 30 DAYS TO HAPPINESS, set to be released in December 2018, will lead you on an honest assessment of the 30 things that interfere with your happiness.
Your happiness assessment can be done any time of year, but year end, birthdays, and times of transition (like job loss, divorce, etc.) are ideal times to step back, take inventory, and prepare for your future.
After you’ve completed 30 days of deliberately creating your own happiness, you’ll find that you’ve embarked on a fresh beginning– “do-over” of sorts, only this time you have more experience and greater wisdom than ever before. With your new perspective, you’ll be better able to assess plans that didn’t work out, make adjustments, and try again with a focus on what really matters in your life–all without beating yourself up. Thomas Edison tried thousands of times before inventing the incandescent lightbulb. Adjusting the approach and trying again is what eventually leads to success. Giving up never does.
The important thing in all this is that instead of measuring “stuff,” measure what truly counts—the intangibles, such as relationships, love, and character traits. The true measure of success is in these five points: Good relationships, good health, peace, joy, and financial prosperity. One without the others is not real success.
About the author: Rhonda Sciortino, author of Successful Survivors, used the coping skills from an abusive childhood to achieve real success which she measures by good relationships, good health, peace, joy, and financial prosperity. Through her writing, speaking, and media appearances, she shares how others can use the obstacles in their lives as stepping stones to their real success. Rhonda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.