It is surprising. What many of us think will make us happy simply does not. Studies on happiness back this up.
Most people tend to think like this:
- If I only had more money, then I’d be happy.
- If I only had a great body, lost some weight, or maybe endured some physical enhancements, my life would be perfect.
- If I only had a great spouse or a good boyfriend, then I’d be happy.
- If I only had a wonderful job that paid well, then I’d be happy.
- If I only had a new, fancy car, the right clothes, or a nicer home, then I would be happy.
- If I only had ___________ (fill in the blank), I would be happy.
Do you notice the trend here? It’s all “if” and “then”. Most of us tend to wrap our happiness around some other event occurring.
So what that means is, if your happiness is tied to another person (your boss, your spouse, a boyfriend, your parent’s, or even society’s view) you are screwed. Why? Because you have no control over them. These are all external measures. By tying our happiness to what someone else thinks or does, we are in essence GIVING AWAY OUR POWER to be happy.
It is the same if you tie your happiness to a material item like clothes, a house, sports car, or money. Studies show that a person’s happiness level drops over the years once they have obtained that shiny new object. Just how long will that 1964 Ford Mustang make you happy? Once the new car smell wears off, so does our happiness it seems.
We have all heard stories about the people who won the lottery and then lost it all and returned to their pre-lottery life. We have heard stories of the rich kid who still wasn’t happy. It’s pretty clear that money, although really helpful when you do need it, is simply not the answer to true happiness.
In fact, most goals we think will make us happy actually don’t. So what should we do?
There is hope. Research shows that our happiness is determined as follows: Genetics 50%, Life Circumstances 10%, our Actions/Thoughts 40%. (From Sonja Lyubomirsky’s book, “The How of Happiness”)
This is great information, but it gets better. According to the research done by Dr. Joe Dispenza and others, we can change our brain by re-wiring it. There are actual techniques that help us do this miraculous thing. This means we can in effect, change the “genetics” part of the above equation. This also means nearly all the factors that control our happiness are within OUR control.
The familiar quote, “Happiness is Within,” is indeed true! Our own happiness IS truly within ourselves.
So remember that happiness is an inside job — inside us. Let that sink in!
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