“Happiness is an inside job. Don’t assign anyone else that much power over your life.” — Mandy Hale

Many people wait for something to happen or someone to make them happy.

You are responsible for your own life experiences. Whether you are seeking the meaningful life or the happy life.

If you expect others to make you happy, you will always be disappointed.

Being responsible means not blaming others for your unhappiness.

It means figuring out ways to be happy despite others’ (negative) behaviours and despite the external influences.

The all-important truth about happiness is this: your happiness depends much more on your attitude than it does on objectives, or external circumstances.

In many cases of unhappiness, people experience difficult circumstances that create paradigm shifts, whole new frames of reference by which they see the world and themselves and others in it, and what life is asking of them.

When you are caught in the stress of life, you can easily forget your responsibility and how you should react to stay happy, comfortable and calm.

You will stop to notice what is awesome and magical in life.

No one can make you happy, nor can you make anyone else happy.

Instead of looking to get happy from a person or a job, or an external factor, view relationships and/or work as outlets for happiness, and focus on how you can give more happiness.

When you leave your happiness in someone else’s hands, you’ll end up being dependent on them and when they leave you, you’ll become empty inside.

Everything outside yourself can help you get better in life, but they are not the means to your happiness.

Viktor Frankl, author of the best-selling book,Man’s Search for Meaningsays two of the most important values in life are the experiential, or that which happens to us and the attitudinal, or our response in difficult situation.

“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance,” he says.

Don’t be easily discouraged by unfavourable circumstances.

Happiness is a choice.

You have the ability to control your own emotions.

Do not let anything or anyone rob you from your own happiness.

Drop the negative people and dramas in your life.

Choose to do more activities that’ll bring you joy for as long they are not detrimental to your body and soul.

Happiness is acceptance

“The happiest people in the world are those who feel absolutely terrific about themselves, and this is the natural outgrowth of accepting total responsibility for every part of their life.” — Brian Tracy

Accept you for who you are. Accept that there are things that are beyond your control. Accept the things you cannot change.

Stop comparing yourself to others all the time.

“Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today”. Jordan Peterson said that.

It’s rule number 4 of his best-selling book, 12 Rules For Life.

Channel your brain to make a better comparison in your long-term interest, growth, and happiness.

Change the object of comparison to yourself.

If the urge to compare is too strong to ignore, measure yourself against yourself.

Once you truly understand how to let go of your comparison mindset, you will see the world from an entirely different perspective.

The dangers of pinning our happiness/progress with on how we measure up to others are too great to ignore.

The more you desperately want to be like someone else, the more unworthy you feel. The more you desperately want to be happier, the lonelier you become, despite the awesome people surrounding you.

The key to the good life you really need is giving a damn about what’s important to your growth, career and total well being.

Chances are you are paying too much attention to negative information.

When you start aiming at something different — something like “I want to be better than I was yesterday ” — your minds will start presenting you with new information, derived from your previously hidden self, to aid you in your new pursuit and quest to become a better version of yourself.

Happiness is being grateful

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” — Aristotle

What is the one unique thing you are grateful for today?

Practice writing everything you are grateful for every now and then.

Don’t write the same things every day.

Selecting unique areas of gratitude each day forces you to re-frame your perspective to look for the positive, rather than the negative, aspects in your daily life.

Gratitude has been linked to a host of physical and psychological benefits, including happiness.

One study found that grateful people are 25 percent happier.

So whether you make it a habit to talk about what you’re grateful for, or you write in a gratitude journal before bed, train your brain to look for the good in your life.

It could be the simplest, most effective way to boost your well-being.

Charles Dickens puts this well: “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many, not your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”

Happiness isn’t a destination, it’s a habit

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” — Marcus Aurelius

It’s what we do to make everything else in life awesome.

And once we make that internal shift, we can put our day-to-day external frustrations into perspective.

Our brains are wired to be negative, but the good news is that you can train your brain to hold on to happiness.

As we understand better how the brain works, it gives us more power to change our mind in so many ways, says Rick Hanson, a neuropsychologist and author of the book Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence.

All mental activities — sights, sounds, thoughts, emotions, and both conscious and unconscious processes — are the result of firing neurons.

Intense, prolonged, or repeated neural activity leaves an enduring imprint through which future neurons are likely to flow.

Like a river shapes land, the more we think and feel a certain way, the deeper the river channel becomes and the more likely we are to think and feel the same way in the future.

You can train your brain to scan for the good things in life — to help you see more possibility, to feel more energy, and to succeed at higher levels.

According to Shawn Achor, psychologist, Harvard researcher, and author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, when you raise the positivity levels in your brain, you actually do better work and, generally, are happier.

Key takeaway

When your happiness is in the hands of other people, they determine when you can be happy.

Free yourself today and be responsible for your happiness.

The next time you want to look for happiness, take a look at yourself in the mirror. That reflection is the one who is responsible for your happiness.

Starting today, exercise your brain for happiness every day, and over time, you’ll train it for happiness and a better life.

As you increasingly install experiences of acceptance, gratitude, accomplishment, and feeling that there’s a fullness in your life rather than an emptiness or a scarcity, you will be able to deal with the issues of life better.

Originally published on Medium.com

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