Telling someone that their level of happiness is directly linked to their choices is often enough to fire them up. For a few, that’s in a good way. It can feel empowering and motivating to know that you have that much control to change your life. 

For others, they may fly into a rage. Being told that they’re responsible for where they are can feel more like a rude accusation than a universal truth. 

What a lot of us don’t realize is that our standards play a HUGE role in our happiness. What you choose as “must-haves” in life will either make or break your happiness, depending on whether or not those standards are met.

For others, this seems impossible. It can’t really be that simple, can it? It is, but it begins with some tough love… for yourself. If you want to change your life and experience more happiness, then you will need to be honest with yourself about a few things.

Sometimes, we pass the blame onto other people and things outside of our control so convincingly that even we start to believe it.

I was talking with my daughter about our so-called “musts”. We were in the kitchen after our workout preparing dinner. 

She remarks, “It’s so funny how we each have our snacks or drinks that we ‘MUST’ have by the end of the day.” She’s right, it’s actually comical how we’re each such creatures of habit.

These were just silly examples of our favorite foods, but it’s clearly a decision we made at some point, conscious or not.

Sometimes it’s a decision in the background of our minds, and the way our life unfolds seems to simply just… happen that way. It’s time to take control and let life happen for you instead of to you.

Your Standards And The Pain They Cause

We as humans always bring people and situations into our lives because they fulfill something in us that we’re seeking.

When we’re dealing with things that challenge us to feel uncomfortable, we’re not likely to place it as a high priority. We’re more inspired to invest our energy if we have faith in our ability, and feel positive we’ll get a good outcome.

What if your marriage was failing because you weren’t home enough? Whatever is keeping you from being home is your “must”. Clearly, the marriage hasn’t been.

What about the person who is over-weight but doesn’t make it a “must” or a standard to go to exercise a few days a week and get serious about the food that they put in their body?

Do we really wonder why they aren’t reaching their physique and health goals?

We find ourselves being frustrated that nothing seems to work, but what if the answer is more simple than it seems?

Being Honest With Ourselves Isn’t Easy.

It’s difficult to face that we have misguided standards because it hurts too much. We would much rather blame our circumstances on not having enough time, resources, or support.

If we truly wanted something badly enough, we would put all of our energy into going after it and getting it. There’s no denying it.

What’s the formula? It’s changing our standards. As simple as that is, it’s truly a recipe for success! The mind games that we play with ourselves are all about pain and pleasure.

We have a responsibility to give the suffering areas of our life the same attention that we’ve given the other areas. Why haven’t we, then?

It feels overwhelming and scary to see that we have to dramatically shift our focus, turning our routine upside-down. We realize we have to build new habits, and there’s always a fear that we won’t stick to them. 

With that kind of discomfort, we start making excuses. It’s only natural. What is there to do, then? It all starts with being fed up enough. 

You have to make the decision that the way the neglected spheres of your life happen to be just isn’t good enough anymore. You have to decide to make it a “MUST”.

Ponder this for a moment: If it’s a must for me, I will find a way. If it’s only a “should” for me, I will find excuses.

Which is it going to be?

Take a look at your “musts”. Do they align more with what will continue to keep you comfortable and complacent right now, or are they actually in alignment with your long-term fulfillment?

Do you give focus to reacting to life as it happens? Or, do you give your attention to what satisfies your core values?

What small thing can you change tomorrow that will get you back on the right path?

Want some short n’ sweet life advice and inspiration to help you win at life? Follow Sharon on Youtube!

Be sure to grab my free course on how you can conquer fear, end self-sabotage, and build your confidence. Gain the courage and clarity to create an amazing life! Check it out here! 

Originally published at


  • Sharon Koenig

    CPLC, NLP - Online Business Coach, Writer, Entrepreneur - Fearless Pursuits

    Sharon Koenig, CPLC, NLP is Mother of 3, an online entrepreneur with 25 years of experience with brick and mortar as well as digital business, marketing expert  and Strategic Interventionist certified by the Tony Robbins coaching academy. While specializing in visibility and marketing, she also uses groundbreaking NLP techniques to help her clients to conquer what's holding them back from showing up powerfully and consistently in the online space.