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The Determinant of One’s Happiness

The Determinant of One's Happiness

One of the most empowering and sometimes simultaneously destructive truths is that you always find what you’re looking for.

If you look for the positive in a person, an event, a scenario or a situation, then you will find something positive.

If you look for the negative in a person, an event, a scenario or a situation, then you will find something negative.

Which suggests that it matters much less what is, and matters much more what you think about what is.

You then, are the author of your own life.

You are the creator of your own happiness or unhappiness.

Your positivity or negativity is completely your own fault.

What we need to train ourselves to do then is not to spend so much time looking for a better situation, thinking that there is an easier way, or wishing some person was different.

Instead, we need to train ourselves to see the positive in whatever it is we are looking at.

We need to focus on looking for the positive in each scenario.

We need to be intentional about finding the good in every circumstance.

And we need to be deliberate about seeing the best in other people.

We need to notice what is right with the world and what is right with the people in our world.

Because it is a peculiar truth of the human mind that we often care less about accuracy and more about just proving ourselves right.

So whatever we decide to be true about ourselves, our friends, our jobs, and our circumstances is what our brain will seek to validate as right.

Our brain typically searches for and recognizes only the information that supports its original premise.

So be careful.

Be careful what you choose.

Because whether you choose to see the positive or the negative is what is likely to actually become true for your life and be the determinant of your happiness.

Where Happiness Comes From


Pursuing happiness is not what brings happiness.

Pursuing service is what brings happiness.

When we pursue happiness we convince ourselves that if we had something else, did something else, or had something more then it would make us feel better.

But if stuff or experiences was what made people happy, then we all should be happy already because most of us already have plenty of stuff.

Serving though is what always fills us up.

Serving brings us joy.

Serving supplies meaning for our lives.

There is something magical about the exchange that takes place when we help other people.

Our connectedness to another human makes us happy.

Our usefulness to someone outside of us makes us happy.

Our contribution to something greater than ourselves makes us happy.

There is nothing like the feeling you get when you serve someone. When you pour into them and fill them up.

The irony is that in dedicating your time, your energy, and your resources to serving others, you gain in return that ever fleeting feeling that we are all endlessly in search of: happiness.

What Leaders Know That Most People Don’t

leaders know

Leaders change the standard by which they measure success.

Most of the world today measures success based on personal achievement.

How much money do I have?

How many awards do I have?

How much notoriety do I have?

But there is some amount of futility in personal achievement.

Because when personal achievement is your only pursuit, you eventually realize that there is no level of “enough-ness.”

All you can do is pursue more and more and more.

What you once thought would bring you joy, satisfaction and fulfillment later provides only a few fleeting moments of peace.

Shortly after, it dissipates and we are left with nothing but a new pursuit of a higher level of more and bigger or we are left with complacency.

Contrast that with those who measure success not by what they accomplish but by what they help those around them accomplish.

There is something magical about helping another person succeed.

There is something truly fulfilling about knowing you played a part in someone else’s breakthrough.

And there is nothing like the feeling you get when you are serving others.

When you assist others, you get a deep sense of satisfaction, a meaningful sense of joy, and a tranquil sense of peace.

And those feelings seem much more sustainable and satisfying than just reaching your own personal levels of success.

It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue individual goals, as they can still mean a lot – especially if they inspire those around you to achieve new heights.

It just means that at some point you’ll probably realize that the lasting satisfaction you seek will come from serving others, and it is on that day you become a leader.