Happiness Starts with You

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Happiness starts with you. Not with your relationships, not with your job, not with your friends, but with you.

Some people-especially women-have the unhealthy tendency of hinging their happiness on other people. There are also people who wait for a certain achievement, like landing a high-paying job, getting married, or owning a new car, before they could really pronounce themselves happy. When we depend on these things for our happiness, we have what experts call “external locus of control.”

I’m sure it’s already clear that having an external locus of control is not the best way to live one’s life. When we depend on someone for happiness, we could actually push them away for robbing them of their freedom. Likewise, if we hinge it on our goals, failures could easily tear us apart.

On the other end of the spectrum is the “internal locus of control,” which is having an inward sense of happiness. These people have the great potential and likelihood to become effective leaders, because of their greater level of confidence. Leaders should also maintain a certain mindset or attitude, which people with external locus of control could easily lose in the face of difficulties and disappointments.

Nevertheless, a recent report published in the Review of European Studies declared that the happiest bunch is those whose locus of control was a mix of internal & external-but a little more on the former. Since we are social animals, we can’t help but be affected by the people around us. It’s when the external locus dominates that we suffer and forget about our own well being.


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