Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Happiness depends on ourselves. Aristotle
I’ve been listening to Tony Robbins, and he tells us he knows what makes us unhappy and what makes us happy. He tells us we are unhappy when the life story (blueprint) we have for ourselves doesn’t mesh with the reality of our lives. When our life is far different from what we expected it to be, we are not happy.
We have two choices, we can change our expectations, or we can change our life. Sometimes we have to make huge adjustments in our life and change our expectations because the reality is the dream we had for ourselves is never going to happen.
We may look at people who have huge accomplishments but still aren’t happy, and we see people with seemingly small achievements that are very happy. One strategy to find happiness is to continually improve and to see progress in our lives. He tells us we may need post-traumatic growth. We need to grow through adversity, and when we do we will realize we are stronger than we thought we were. We can deal with more than we thought we could and we know we can deal with what lies ahead.
How easy is it to manage our expectations? One of the problems we have is our expectations of other people, but we don’t have any control over other people. The person we get to change is ourselves but often we want to change others. If they would just… then we would be happy. If other people have to change for us to be happy, chances are we will never be happy. We have to accept others as they are, but we don’t have to let them have control of our lives, we can give up our expectations for them to be different than what they are, and accept them as they are, just as they need to accept us as we are.
Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions. Dalai Lama
It all sounds so easy when we are listening to someone talk about some of the biggest challenges in life. What if people are really not doing what they should be doing? That is still their business and not ours. What if they are living in our house? We can live with them and love it, we can live with them and hate it, we can leave, or they can leave, but what we can’t do is make them change to be what we think they should be.
If we expect less of others and more of ourselves it seems better than the reverse. We can change the way we look at things, we can change the practices in our lives, and we can change the groups we belong to. We may find when we leave people be, to make their own decisions and lead their own lives they figure things out.
We may be unhappy that we haven’t reached our goals, but maybe that goal isn’t part of our destiny. Maybe adversity is part of what we have to go through to become who we are to become. We might not like the adversity, but we might like knowing we could get through the hard parts of life, and know we can meet the challenges in the future.
Is it true when we change the way we look at things the things we look at change?
For just one second, look at your life and see how perfect it is. Stop looking for the next secret door that is going to lead you to your real life. Stop waiting. This is it: there’s nothing else. It’s here, and you’d better decide to enjoy it or you’re going to be miserable wherever you go, for the rest of your life, forever. Lev Grossman
Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. Franklin D. Roosevelt
One is happy as a result of one’s own efforts once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness: simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and above all, a clear conscience. George Sand
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