My perspective on life has been a roller coaster. I’ve gone from believing “everything happens for a reason” to “life is incredibly cruel and unfair” with thinking life is beautiful to being distraught at its random destruction. While Life is going to throw us curve-balls of blessings and curses, there is one truth that we have complete control over: We are the drivers of our own happiness.
I spent way too many years waiting for life’s grand curtains to open themselves and reveal my destiny. If there’s one thing about life I’ve learned it is that it prides itself on dramatics just as much as the anticlimactic. And well, life didn’t reveal a grand destiny to me. I’m still here trying to figure out what my path is, and quite frankly, maybe that curiosity is meant to be a lifelong process.
I had and still have a lot of figuring out to do in my own life and in search of my own happiness. But the good news is, we are our own drivers of that bus. We get the final say in how we spend our days, where we work, who we keep in our inner circle.
We can’t have anyone else be responsible for our own happiness and why the hell would we want it that way anyway?
When I knew experiences in my life were getting out of control in frustration and negativity, I pumped the brakes. When I decided to remove myself from spaces, people and experiences that weren’t making me smile, weren’t making me laugh and weren’t making me feel fulfilled, I felt the weight of misery melt off my shoulders. It gave me clarity to explore where I wanted to be, who I wanted to surround myself with and what it was I wanted to accomplish. But even more so, it showed me that I had the capability to control the things, people and places that made me happy.
Today, I feel more active in my own happiness than ever before. Gone are the days of waiting around for happiness to fall into my lap. I feel like each day is a treasure chest waiting to be opened and reveal what treasure awaits. Now, when things seem to be loaded with exhaustion and negativity, I ask myself what I can change or control to make things better. I follow that up by asking myself if a current struggle is worth it – sometimes it is, sometimes it most certainly is not.
That doesn’t mean each day is going to coated in metaphorical gold. I think we can all find in each day, week, month, and year a collection of highs and lows. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t guaranteed happiness. We just have to know where to look and we have to know how to respond to the people and experiences that are robbing us of our own happiness.
Sometimes what we want to make us happy, simply doesn’t. It can be people who have cut us from their lives, or are simply drain the goodness we should be living and breathing. Maybe it is a relationship that has shifted, strained or fallen apart. It can be a job or passion that has become unfulfilling and stagnant. Whatever the case, most times the circumstances of that disappointment are out of our own control. We can’t control how people feel about us and we can’t control how certain things develop in our lives. It sucks. It hurts. But you should never let it destroy you. Instead, think back to what you can control and take back your own happiness.
There are a few simple ways to do so:
If there’s something you want to do – do it.
If there’s something you want to try – try it.
If there’s a place you want to explore – explore it.
If there’s someone you love – tell them you love them.
Don’t sit around and wait. Don’t be passive. Don’t have expectations and don’t have standards. Go forth into life with vigor and curiosity and you will be amazed at what is revealed to you. It doesn’t mean there won’t be disappointments and heartbreaks. But you should take every opportunity you can to balance those out with the people and things that make you happy. Savor that happiness and let it seep into every area of your life possible. Life will undoubtedly give us reasons to not be happy, but we should not allow ourselves to be robbed of the pure joy we all deserve.
This means you have to be willing to be active in your own happiness. Turn the key. Start the car. And drive forward to your own destiny. As I have questioned if happiness would knock on my door once again, I realize it’s not happiness that does the knocking – it’s us. Take back the control and be active in the pursuit of your own happiness.