Happiness Responsibility

It seems common that many of us look to outside forces to improve our self-esteem, self-worth, and overall happiness. If we're not happy with how we feel or how we perform, we look for some one or some thing to fix it.

For example, I was listening to NPR today when a guest mentioned how common it has become for a man who is unsatisfied with his sexuality to look to Viagra even when there is no physical dysfunction. That blue pill is seen as a panacea for self-esteem and confidence issues. The guest then pointed out that such a man, if he subsequently gets positive feedback from his improved confidence, would not know whether it was because of him or because of the blue pill. The opportunity is lost to build his own self-esteem. Conversely, many of us look for someone else to blame when things go wrong. The victim mentality is strong in this society. This time it's an opportunity lost for self-improvement. The quick fix and the quick blame are frequently two of our best friends.

When we rely primarily on outside aids, we lose the confidence that we can solve our own problems, even though we may think our problems are fewer. The real problem is that we don't feel good about ourselves for the right reason. And we lose the power to feel better about ourselves without the use of those aids. We end up depending on them for our happiness. And that is a loss of control.

To be true to ourselves we need to take responsibility for our own happiness, our own self-esteem and self-worth. We cannot rely on others for our happiness. What happens if they don't come through for us? Do we blame them? Well that wouldn't be fair. Would we ever think to outright tell someone else that they were responsible to make us happy? Probably not. Therefore we must take responsibility ourselves, entirely, for our own happiness and success.

I've talked about the Power Of Thought before, and its ability to shape our reality. It is the single most reliable tool for improving our own happiness. We always have it with us. Its efficacy is completely under our own control. The more we exercise it the more skilled we become. And best of all, we don't have to rely on any one or any thing else in a time of need. The reward comes after we build a solid happiness foundation ourselves. When we receive good will from others, that help becomes secondary and reinforcing, enhancing the self-esteem and happiness we've already built for ourselves.

Posted: Wed - December 17, 2003 at 08:55 PM