Who Controls Your Happiness?

woman sits on white hammock happily smiling in forest
by Vance Larson

Mission Impossible. Cue the music. See the match flame and the fuse. Well, that’s exactly what is happening to you when you hand your power over to other people. Eventually, there will be an explosion.

I received a frantic call from a client last night talking about how she is destroyed because she didn’t get the job that she wanted. She wasn’t even considered. Earlier in the week, another client was telling me about how her girlfriend said that although she was attractive, she was not the prettiest girl in their group of friends. She went on to say that she couldn’t get this out of her head. I simply told them both, the mission that you chose is mission impossible. 

How often do we give our happiness away to other people? We get upset if someone “Likes” our social media status instead of “Hearting” it. We lose sleep over the text that was never returned. Some stranger snapped at you while you were driving. Or, a friend of a friend was gossiping about you? What do all of these things have in common? You cannot do a thing about them. Moreover, you’re putting your happiness in the hands of others. 

I recall a few years ago while on a consulting job, the owner told me that they received some negative push-back from within the community because they used two pretty girls in swimsuits in one of their commercials. I asked the owner “did anyone complaining own stock?” No. “Has anyone of them purchased your product in the past few years?” No. “Did your Board have a problem with the commercial itself?” No. Then what does it matter? See what I’m getting at?

If we allow people to dictate our happiness, we will forever be at their mercy. It is simply impossible to gather your happiness from others. While I think it is important to have healthy relationships, you are on an impossible mission if you think that other people’s perception of you, validates you as a human being. Your validity, happiness and worth must come from inside. And while it is possible for our inner circle to help us find that validity, they are not responsible for it.

We all know of a story or two of someone who has been cyberbullied to the point of taking their own life. And while no one should have to endure such a horrific experience, if we simply learned at a young age that we are already whole and complete, things may have turned out differently for those who were bullied. 

We all want to be accepted. We all want to be liked. But on those days when we are not getting it from those who surround us, we should summons the happiness from within. Because life is hard enough to take on an impossible mission. 

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