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The credit for personal happiness lies solely with the individual. I know too many people who either expect someone else to make them happy, demand that someone else make them happy, and blame everyone else because they are not happy. I like this quote from none other than Benjamin Franklin:
“The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”
We are inclined to look to a number of things as the avenue down which happiness will drive to our house.
We look for it to come through circumstances. Then we live in the ifonlys – If only I were there, If only I had a different job, If only I had a different personality, If only I … well you get the idea. The trouble is that circumstances will rarely line up. Something will always be out of alignment someway. Happiness exists in spite of circumstances, not because of them.
We expect other people to make us happy. They need to give us more money, be nicer, grant a promotion, or tell us funny stories…whatever. Here’s a secret, they have all they can do to make themselves happy. Demanding they make you happy too only doubles their load.
Others may have done it to you, but they cannot fix it for you. When you have experienced wrong at the words or actions of another, they may apologize or not, leave you alone or not. Even if they apologize or leave you alone, you may voluntarily chain yourself to them. I’ve said it in earlier posts and repeat it often to so many people I know – There is no future in the past! Give it up, stop repeating and rehearsing the offense, the injury, the hurt, the damage, the error, the whatever. No one can go back and redo it.
YOU CAN GET PAST YOUR PAST! But you will have to walk away from the injury. Yes, you. Don’t pack it up and carry it with you. Many people are familiar with a saying of Jesus – wipe the dust off your feet. Well, it means whatever failure or injury you may have experienced, there comes a time when you leave the residue of that experience behind.
And that time is now…today.
I am well aware that we live in an era where life and its problems are addressed with religious cliché’s. One that usually pops up about now is “Let go and Let God.” I am from the tried that and it didn’t work school. We are very inclined to proof-text and grab something to hold on to. Most often religious cliché’s are relied upon to avoid having to think, having to work, having to do what we need to do. You can trust God but it does not pre-empt doing good (It’s in the Psalms you can look it up.)
Let me recommend a book here by Larry Wingett. It’s called Shut up, Stop Whining, and Get a Life – a Kick-butt Approach to a Better Life. You can get it for as little as 1 cent on Amazon. He agrees with me. If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, do something about it now.
The employee break rooms of a thousand companies are filled with unhappy workers grousing about their jobs. I’ve sat side by side and listened to them complain. For several, I brought to them phone numbers and contact information of jobs available in the field that would pay more and offer better working conditions. Know what they did with the referrals?
Nothing! NOTHING! Never called, never inquired. Nothing. I will go on record now and say that if you do nothing, your life will not get better by itself. God himself advised us “If you do rightly will not your countenance be lifted up?” Translation: Get going, get busy, take some steps toward a solution, you’ll be happier.
More than one person stuck in a low paying job told me they wanted to go back to school and get a degree but they would be three years older by then. I asked them how old they will be in three years if they don’t get a degree?
I ask you what will happen if you do nothing about the unhappiness in your life? There is a solution and it is staring you in the mirror every morning. It is you. Take a look. What can you change today that will add happiness?