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.”

This quote suggests that true happiness comes from within, and not from external factors such as relationships, jobs, or material possessions. It highlights the idea that our happiness is not something that can be controlled by others or by external circumstances, but rather, it is something that we have the power to create within ourselves.

Many people have the tendency of hinging their happiness on other people, whether it be a romantic partner, family member, or friend. They may believe that their happiness is dependent on the actions and attitudes of others, and that their own happiness is out of their control. This is known as an external locus of control, which refers to the belief that external factors, such as other people or circumstances, are responsible for our happiness.

On the other hand, 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 can truly pronounce themselves happy. They believe that once they achieve these things, they will finally be happy. This is also an example of external locus of control.

However, both of these perspectives can be limiting and can lead to disappointment and dissatisfaction. When we depend on external factors for our happiness, we inadvertently abdicate our power to create it within ourselves. We may find temporary happiness when we achieve our goals, but it doesn’t last.

The key to true happiness is to focus on the present moment and to find joy and contentment within ourselves. This can be achieved through practices such as mindfulness, self-reflection, and self-compassion. It’s important to learn to appreciate the present moment, to find gratitude in the simple things in life, and to practice self-care.

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.

Interestingly, 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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