Good morning I hope your holiday season is merry and bright 🙂
We are coming into the man-made new year season for 2022. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the last of this year and think about what you want to do different going into the next cycle.
If you’re like me you probably care a lot for the people around you and you want them to be happy. This is a noble intent – to want others to be happy. The challenge is that only THEY can manage their own happiness. You can help them.. but you cannot manage it.
Each individual has a free will, and with that free will comes agency. And with that agency comes their own source of personal power and the ability to be in heaven or hell with that power. Now granted we are all born in different circumstances and it’s easier for some than for others and we should all seek to help each other. But beyond mere survival circumstance, which is actually easy for most humans to achieve, the actual state of happiness is an inside job.
Once we accept that it’s the role of each person to manage their own happiness, and there are actually countless ways to do it – we can take the attention off trying to make others happy and focus instead on overflowing our own happiness, which makes creating more happiness in the world, somewhat effortless.
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR OWN HAPPINESS
We spoke of each individual having free will, agency, personal power and the ability to be in heaven or hell. If happiness is heaven then hell is simply a place we don’t want to be. And the more we don’t want to be there, the more it feels like hell. This is the first clue to happiness: if you can appreciate where you are, you are one step closer to heaven. Appreciating where you are is just a shift in perception. Even if you can find at least one thing to appreciate about where you are and put all your attention on it, you magnify that one point of potential happiness into something much bigger.
Now I’m not suggesting you forget that there are things in your environment you may wish to change. We’ll get to that in a moment. What we are seeing is that happiness begins with simply focusing on whatever is available to appreciate in the present. The more you can train yourself to do that, the happier you will become.
Now beyond that there might still be things in your environment you wish were not there. In your immediate environment or even in the world at large. How do you MAINTAIN or GROW your personal happiness while tackling the perceived problems or challenges of the environment as well? Including helping those you care about have a better or easier life?
One way to do this is to constructively frame any problem. Thinking about problems in ways that feel hopeless, like they will never change, or as bigger than they are can create a feeling of apathy, despair, struggle and depletion. This creates a kind of state that makes it hard to appreciate anything.
If instead you can zoom out and see your problem from the perspective of space – just a tiny speck (you) on a speck (Earth) .. you suddenly get some perspective on the matter. Another thing is to zoom out the time and ask yourself if what you’re going through will matter in 5 or 10 years from now.. or even will it matter when you’re gone? The more you can detach yourself from the emotion of the problem and just see it for what it is, a temporary challenge – the more you can objectively plan a strategy to tackle it and start changing your life for the better.
PROGRESS IS ONE OF THE KEYS TO HAPPINESS
Now here’s where it gets interesting. Even if you haven’t suddenly changed your environment and realized all the money, sex, fame, power, enlightenment or whatever it is you are seeking.. simply making progress towards what you seek to experience, creates more happiness. It’s as if the anticipation of a reward that is getting closer helps us feel happier. This is partly to due with the fact that our brain chemistry is wired to reward us as we move closer to a desired goal.. (dopamine)
Additionally when we move towards what we desire and see our reality shifting around us – we no longer feel stuck. We can find more things to appreciate about our environment and this allows us to shift our focus to the positive. We also feel more in control of our environment than we might have realized, again shifting perspective and helping us to focus on the more positive aspects of our personal power and confidence.
IT’S EASIER THAN YOU MIGHT HAVE IMAGINED TO CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT
The biggest obstacle to overcome in managing your own happiness it the belief that it’s difficult. It’s actually quite easy to implement all the above very quickly. Simply by moving things around in your environment when you TIDY UP can get the energy moving. Organize, clean, clear either your environment and yourself to where you can more comfortable. If you’re surrounded by people you don’t wish to be around – move yourself. If you’re surrounded by items that don’t have significant positive meaning to you – move them out of your life. And keep this process of cleaning, clearing and reorganizing going until you feel you are in a better environment. You may not have control of everything in your environment or consent by others you share a space with .. just make as many moves as you can that starts shifting what you do have control of in a more positive direction. The more IMMEDIATE and REWARDING these changes you can make, the more powerful and confident you will become.
This is actually the key to feeling more positive, powerful and confident in the now – is to simply see what you’re capable of, expressed, NOW .. not in some future horizon that you can barely see. Begin with the immediate changes you can make and once you’ve made as many positive changes as you can NOW, then keep moving into the time horizon with plans and changes you’d like to make until your planning then carries you over the foreseeable horizon. And at that point.. when you’re planning years into the future, you’ve already made an abundance of changes in your present now that should fuel you with happiness, personal power and growth for the time to come. So don’t delay the little changes you can make now and experience the immediate rewards from doing!
GIVING BACK IS THE HAPPINESS TRACK
Now although we started this post today by saying you’re not responsible for other’s happiness, indeed giving or being of service is one of the most important aspects of experiencing greater happiness. It opens the heart and it makes it easier to love the self. Just knowing that you’re focused on good things, noble things, pleasant things and a contributor that adds value – are all things you can see and appreciate about yourself, which significantly increases happiness. Plus any loving feedback you get from others will only serve to support this identify of coming from the higher self. The important thing is not getting attached to external feedback, so you’re not tempted to do good FOR the reward of other’s feedback and validation. Otherwise you’re setting yourself up for being upset when that external reward doesn’t come. Remember, expecting others to be happy or grateful, BECAUSE of the things you do for them, is a form of trying to manage their happiness. Let them manage their own happiness, and you simply add value where and when you feel called.
If you no longer feel called, don’t let anyone’s expectation of what you should or shouldn’t be doing effect your call.
You do from your heart, you act from a place of personal power, you focus your precious life force energy where, when and how it feels truly aligned and inspiring for you. This will ensure you never betray your own self trying to make others happy.. an inevitably failing proposition. Manage your own happiness and you will attract the right frequency of energy around you.
Give from a place of fullness and you’ll never be empty!
Enjoy this beautiful day.
James Sunheart is a student of personal development and spiritual growth. He is passionate about optimizing people, systems and life. He’s written 7 books. Interviewed hundreds of experts. Given a TED Talk in France. Lives in Costa Rica while developing a sustainable eco-village. For opportunities email: James AT FullPotential.com