Don't Rely on Other People to Make You Happy
Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have been embroiled in lots of controversy regarding their marriage. I’m not certain if their marriage is “goals” for me, but one thing that will stick with me forever is something Will said about a realization he had in his marriage with Jada.
"I remember the day I retired. I literally said to Jada ‘That’s it. I retire. I retire from trying to make you happy. I need you to go make yourself happy and just prove to me that it’s even possible."
I totally agree with this sentiment. We can’t expect the people in our lives to make us happy. Yes, they can add joy to our lives, but they cannot replace the inner happiness and peace that we can only find on our own. Here are five ways to secure your own happiness.
1. Dig Into Your Inner-Child
Invest the time and thought into really investigating what makes you happy. What are the things you liked to do in your youth before all the adult responsibilities of life came crashing down on you? Did you like to paint or play a sport? We have a tendency to fall into a rhythm of life that may not be conducive to our mental health, growth, and happiness. I love to go for hikes, and now that I think back on it, some of my fondest childhood memories were spent outdoors. I have to make an effort to carve out time in my week to go hiking. I come back refreshed and renewed from doing something I truly love. So, maybe take out some crayons or glue and go nurture that inner-child, remember not to eat the glue though.
Identifying a purpose is key to feeling fulfilled. Most people will have more than one purpose. The point is to nail down what your heart is telling you your purpose is. I feel my purpose is to take care of my family and share my personal learning experiences. Knowing your purpose provides you something to constantly work on and grow into.
3. Live Intentionally
Now that we’ve nailed down our purpose, it’s time to look at our intent. To ensure that you live out your purpose, you have to live an intentional life. Living intentionally means that you have to map out your life in a way that gets you to your purpose and goals. Of course, we can’t control everything, but there is a lot that we can control.
4. Love Yourself
The author of, You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Live an Awesome Life, Jen Sincero said,
“Because if you base your self-worth on what everyone else thinks of you, you hand all your power over to other people and become dependent on a source outside of yourself for validation. Then you wind up chasing after something you have no control over, and should that something suddenly place its focus somewhere else, or change its mind and decide you’re no longer very interesting, you end up with a full-blown identity crisis.”
Simply put, we have to learn to fall in love with ourselves. We have to believe that our uniqueness, what we can contribute, and the raw essence of who we are has value. If we lean in and wait for validation from those around us, we find ourselves constantly chasing the ghosts of who other people want us to be. Give up the ghosts and celebrate your own unique spirit!
5. Good Deeds
Many studies and research has shown that giving back has positive effects on our mental health. In a paper by Elizabeth Dunn, Lara B. Aknin, and Michael Norton, they write about conducting a study where they gave all of their participants $20. They told half of the participants to spend the $20 on themselves and the other half to spend the money on someone else. At the end of their study, they found that the people who spent the $20 on someone else were happier throughout the day than the people who spent the money on themselves.
Giving money isn’t the only thing that makes people happier. It turns out that volunteering and giving your time also makes you a happier person and astonishingly enough, you live longer. According to the American Psychology Association, people that volunteer live longer.
However, besides the awesome benefit of living longer, overall giving our time and talents brings joy and purpose knowing that we’re contributing to society makes us more confident and content.
A Great Start All in all, these aren’t the only things that can help us find happiness on our own accord, but it’s a great start. Embarking on a mission to solely find happiness through other people proves to be futile time and time again. Finding happiness on our own terms provides us a life that is fulfilled. DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING I GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS, AT NO COST TO YOU.