Only about 10 percent of your happiness comes from external circumstances. The remaining factors rely completely on your personal view of your circumstances and life.
If you are older than 20 years old then let’s face the truth. You have your life habits set firmly in place and you are not likely to change them easily. But the things i'm going to bring to your attention are so common and so natural, they require almost no effort at all to adjust. You are not changing who you are or taking on habits that seem foreign, you’re just opening up and thinking of things that are already a part of your life in a more positive way.
Let’s dig into a few important aspects of your life that have the deepest and greatest influence on your level of happiness and feelings of success. These things may take a little more effort than a simple recollection to adjust but they are things that are already important to you and you are already doing them at some level.
The greatest influence we feel on our happiness and success comes from 4 main sources that lie deep in the heart of your mind set.
Your feelings of being in control of your life.
Your feelings of progression in your life.
Feeling your life is connected with others.
And feeling your life has purpose.
Deep inside each of us these are the sources of all our emotions. Our emotional state of mind is directly affected in a positive or negative way depending on how we feel about where our lives are in these areas.
Feeling of being in Control of your Life
There is nothing more frustrating than feeling like you have no control over your very own life. Even as a child we display signs of independence. Some more than others I’d say, but that goes to show how ingrained and primal that feeling is to us. Having areas in your life you feel you have no control over tends to lead to feelings of frustration and depression.
Feeling a lack of control over your life also brings a lack for the desire to grow, excel or succeed at much of anything. The feeling of “why bother “ can have devastating effects on your feeling of purpose.
For me this was an area of my life that had me fooled and was greatly holding me back. It all came to light for me personally after someone asked me if I felt like I was in control of my life and the direction it was going.
After really thinking about the question I had to admit, that although I felt I was behind the wheel, I didn’t really feel like I was in control of where I was heading. As I thought more about it, I felt like everyone else but me was in control. Between my job, my family and the requests of my friends (I can’t seem to say no) my schedule was determined by everyone else but me.
As I thought about it I realized that the one area that I had no control was the one area that had the greatest impact on my life. MY FUTURE. Every day seemed to blend into the next and how that day turned out was left to pure chance. I hadn’t taken any control over what my future was going to be like and that had to change.
Changing this was far easier than I thought it was going to be. First thing I did was to decide that I was going to take control of what free time I did have on my schedule and do a few thing I wanted to do instead of allowing my every free minute be dictated by what others wanted me to do. It was out of my personality but I simply learned to say NO to some things. It was as easy as “I’m sorry, I wish I could help but I already have plans that day”. Interestingly enough, the people I started saying no to didn’t seem to mind as much as I had imagined they would.
I didn’t say this to everyone or everything, just the things I felt would turn out fine without my help. (This actually turned out to be a lot more things than I had originally thought.) This may sound silly and selfish to some but it was a vastly important step to taking back control of my own life not to mention making a little time to enjoy my life the way I wanted to.
It was amazing how much more time I had to spend with my family and enjoy my hobbies. I also had time to dream and make efforts towards pursuing that dream.
Taking control of one small area of my life also allowed me to see other areas that I needed to take control. Today, I feel as though my life is my choice.
Feeling in control however doesn’t mean that we are to be over controlling in areas we have no control. We still need to understand that there will always be areas in our life that we have no control like certain aspects of our job, other people, laws and rules or the weather. Sometimes there is little for you to control except your reaction.
When we feel like there are things out of our control the one thing we can always control is our action and reaction to the circumstance. Perhaps there are actions you could take in order to have greater control in a certain area of your life. Perhaps still, there are actions you can take to lessen the effect others have upon your life. Either way feeling in control is essential to your emotional well-being and a direct reflection on your happiness.
Having control of your own destiny may not come quickly or easily but as long as you’re on the path of taking better control of your own life, then you are actually in control.
Feeling Progression in your life.
There are few greater ways to instill feelings of accomplishment, purpose and success than feeling your life is moving forward in a positive direction.
It is important for us to feel like whatever it is we are doing is working and progressing our life forward and not just standing still, moving backwards or worse yet, stuck in the doldrums.
I realize there are times when life slips in the wrong direction, unfortunately this is true for everyone at some point or another but even those times do not have to be negative. For many taking a step backwards, whether intended or not, actually facilitated a giant leap forward that was not expected or anticipated.
Some of the most successful people in history started over many times before realizing their final goal. Here are a few examples:
Henry Ford: While Ford is today known for his innovative assembly line and American-made cars, he wasn’t an instant success. In fact, his early businesses failed and left him broke five times before he founded the successful Ford Motor Company.
R. H. Macy: Most people are familiar with this large department store chain, but Macy didn’t always have it easy. Macy started seven failed business before finally hitting big with his store in New York City.
Bill Gates: Gates didn’t seem like a shoe-in for success either after dropping out of Harvard and starting a failed first business with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen called Traf-O-Data. While this early idea didn’t work, Gates’ later work did, creating the global empire that is Microsoft.
Feeling progress depends on YOUR perception of the situation and not what others think. By looking at every challenge as an opportunity to learn and not a reason to quit, these people turned what most people would perceive as failures into a positive feeling of progress towards something they believed in.These positive thoughts about our situation leave us feeling like we are progressing in a positive direction. It’s what keeps us reaching for more.
Other people will not have the vision you do. Thomas Edison who made thousands of attempts to perfect the incandescent light bulb before finally succeeding is a great example of someone who was likely the only one who saw his vision. When asked about how he felt about failing so many times, he simply replied that he had not failed thousands of times, each time he had learned one more way it did not work but went on to say that he only needed to find one way that did.
Talk about an example of always seeing things in a progressive state. I’m here to tell you that I probably would have given up after 50 failed attempts let alone 500 or even a thousand!
Take one simple action no matter how small in the direction you want to go and before long you will look back and see all the progress you have made, and smile.
Feeling your life is connected with others
Feeling like your life has meaning to others and their life has meaning in yours is natural desire we all feel.
It is so easy to find yourself a bit “disconnected” with meaningful people in your life. Life has a way of forcing us into less and less social situations, or worse becoming surrounded by a lot of people whom you feel no real connection.
Though telephones have been a popular household staple since the 1900’s it wasn’t until the early 50’s when house hold telephones started to become a norm instead of a luxury and kids began to use them as a means of communication with their friends while at home.
Some thought that the impersonal conversation over a phone line would lead to the downfall of their moral society. Wonder what they would think today when a vast majority of our social communication isn’t even done by voice any more let alone in person. I wonder if they were right?
No matter how we do it, whether it’s in person, by phone, or through one of the many social media options, connecting ourselves with people and groups of people help us to feel like we are part of something greater than ourselves. It helps us feel like we have a purpose in other peoples lives and that our life has meaning to them individually or as a group.
As far back as history can record, man has always connected with one another and in groups. It’s a primal and base need for each of us to feel complete and secure while also enhancing our overall sense of happiness.
Feeling connected to a group can bring about feelings of being loved by others, respected by others and important to others beyond the role you play at your job or in the life you have at home.
Many people find great enjoyment and feelings of achievement by being part of a recreational sports team, social or civic club. Still others find this happiness by being part of a religious organization where they can be around others that share in the same faith beliefs.
In our personal life, to love and to feel loved is critical for us to know happiness. Being connected to someone through an emotional bond or through a blood linage connects us together like no other way could.
These connections with one another play a large role in how we feel about ourselves and ultimately have an impact on our feelings of happiness and if we feel successful at being liked, wanted and need by others.
Feeling your life has a purpose
Feeling your life has purpose and meaning is the most powerful factor attributed to your feelings of happiness and success.
The most powerful way to increase your feelings of happiness and success is to understand your strengths and talents, or life purpose, and to work on sharing those parts of yourself with others. Let’s be honest, evaluating your purpose in life is not likely going to be done in this short book but let’s at least take a brief look at a few things that may give insight about what helps us feel our life has meaning and purpose.
The feelings of happiness that arise from your sense of purpose in life are far more meaningful and longer lasting than those caused by any other outside influence. Even greater than the ones we have already discussed. Feeling like our life has a purpose allows us to face any circumstance with a completely different perspective – A perspective knowing that you make a difference.
This comes from the feeling of peace and confidence you have when you know your life has purpose and you are making a difference in some way. Even greater still, is knowing that your life has purpose to others. This greater, deeper sense of purpose translates from within you as happiness, an intense feeling of success and overflows as joy.
Do you feel like your life has a purpose? Don’t feel worry if your answer is not a resounding yes. Most others also have no idea what to think when asked this question. Most of us have never given much thought about whether or not our life served a higher purpose other than what we are normally doing and if it did what that purpose would even look like.
It doesn’t really matter if you have ever specifically gave thought to your purpose, the fact is that we all do have a purpose and we all are, right now, filling a purpose. We all fulfill a purpose to ourselves and others in certain areas of our lives even though we may not have given it much thought. But, by giving thought to these areas we may discover that we have taken a few things for granted or perhaps that a few of these areas bring us more joy and feelings of success than we thought. No matter what you discover, by simply reflecting on these areas you are sure to enhance the importance of each one and thereby also enhancing your happiness, joy and success in life.
Look for further discussions about your happiness and success in upcoming posts. Stay Tuned…Better yet sign up to follow by email!
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Go. Make a difference in someone's life today.Be the Blessing – j.buck
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