On my birthday, August 30, 2013, I received a phone call from my uncle that I will never forget. We were chatting and laughing and catching up when he paused for a few seconds and then said “Never depend on another people to make you happy. No one else can make you happy but yourself and no one can make you sad unless you allow them to.” I have seen quotes that say similar things many times but hearing those words being spoken to me really brought the message home.
Happiness is an important aspect of life but many people don’t realise that it isn’t found in wealth or possessions. True happiness is found in appreciating what you have and embracing each challenge and disappointment as it comes. Understanding this fact has led me to write this post so that I can share the wisdom I’ve garnered over the past two days.
Happiness Requires Effort
As soon as January began this year, I began to make plans for my birthday. I chose where I wanted to go and who I wanted to share that day with me. However, as the year progressed and money got really tight because my temporary job had ended, I abandoned the idea and decided to resort to my usual “sitting at home feeling sorry for my self” birthday. By the middle of August I really began to think about what I was doing and made a decision….no matter what, I was going to ENJOY my birthday and be HAPPY on my birthday. As a result, I made a financial decision and got the money I needed to drive into Kingston and spend an awesome evening with some of the people I value most in my life. I made the sacrifice and ended up having an amazing evening.
The sacrifice that you may have to make may not be financial. It may require you to give up friends who are making you unhappy or it may require you to give up some time that you would spend doing more work than necessary so that you can do something you enjoy. Nevertheless, when the sacrifice is made you will be amazed at how great you feel.
Happiness Requires Us to Stop What Comes So Easily
The thing that comes most easily to many of us is negativity. We tell ourselves that we don’t look good enough or we don’t have any friends or we aren’t good enough to do something. According to an article written by Amie (2012) entitled How Thoughts Determine How You Feel negative thoughts feed each other and cause your body to respond physically and emotionally. She states that she experienced headaches, muscle tension and depression because of negative thoughts . However, she also states that when we begin to think positively and make positive statements our body responds positively.
Another call that I got on my birthday was from my aunt and she encouraged me to go into my new job with a positive attitude. Although it is not what I want to do, if I give it 100% then I may just be rewarded with exactly what I want to do. Positive thinking leads to positive results.
Happiness Overcomes Fear
Fear will always be an ever present force in our lives. It is how we choose to deal with it that matters. I provide some tips for overcoming fear in my post entitled Conquering Fear but I will mention here that when we learn to conquer our fears, it frees us from a bondage we have placed ourselves under. Think of a slave who has been shackled and beaten but who has suddenly gotten the strength to shatter the chains. Think of the joy that comes with that experience. This joy is similar to the joy we experience when we learn to overcome our fears. Never let fear take away your joy.
Never Allow Someone to control Your Happiness
When we allow people to have power over our emotions, we become their captives. Always remember that no one can make you happy but yourself. So, when your friend disappoints you by saying that he can’t go to the movies with you or he can’t come to your celebration then you have two decisions to make. The first decision is to become sad and upset because of the disappointment. The second is to smile, understand where your friend is coming from, and find something else that makes you happy. Probably you can watch a movie at home or find another friend to go out with. Regardless, the point is that you are in control of your emotions and of your happiness. Don’t relinquish that control to someone else.
I hope that this post can help you to find true happiness in your life. Always remember that you are the only one who can make you happy.