So, the question is…what makes us truly happy?

Is it that certain someone?  Our job?  Our family?  Being alone?  The mountains, the sea or the desert?  That car we’ve always wanted?

The answer is potentially all of the above – and none of the above directly.

Let’s begin by admitting that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it (those who follow me on Twitter know this to be one of my favorite expressions).  So, it’s not the things themselves that bring us joy, but the way we allow ourselves to be affected by them.  Pay particular attention to the previous sentence.  Many of us make the mistake of giving the responsibility for our own happiness to others.  In reality, nothing that anyone else does or says is ultimately the cause of finding true happiness.  Sure, the actions or inactions of others may cause some bumps and bruises along the way, but we must take ownership of our own responses.  If we find ourselves at an unhappy point in our lives, it is in our own best interest to figure out where that unhappiness is coming from, and what WE are doing about changing it.

If a relationship is making you unhappy, have you taken the time to ponder what the reason is?  Have you considered what part you might be playing in that reason?  Have you given the other person the courtesy of attempting a calm, open-minded and rational discussion concerning the issue?  If it can be fixed, have you made a sincere effort to do so?  And if it can’t, have you been honest with yourself and with them and moved on?

This same process holds true whatever you’re dealing with – a job, a living situation or an item you’ve been dreaming of having.  What is it about the issue that’s bothering you?  What part of that issue is your own responsibility?  Have you thought about other options or alternatives?  And, having done so, have you decided on a course of action to rectify the situation?

One of the biggest causes of unhappiness is passivity.  Making a conscious decision to be in command of your own life is extremely empowering.  So, this holiday season give yourself one of the biggest and most important gifts you ever will and empower yourself to achieve the happiness you deserve.  Take stock of your situation and determine what in your life makes you smile – those things are the keepers.  As for the rest, perhaps a change is in order!

“When I was 5 years old my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.  When I went to school they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I wrote down ‘happy’.  They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”  – John Lennon

Wishing you and yours happiness this holiday season, in the coming year and beyond!

Ice Castle

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