You won’t be happy until… until what? Until you make a certain amount of money? Until you’re loved? Until you’re offered a different job? Until your parent’s are nice to you?
What if instead you said, “I’ll be happier if I …” and you took responsibility for your happiness? The first statement has you waiting for something to happen outside yourself before you will be happy. The second statement requires you to do something to meet your need for happiness. Elizabeth Carter said, “Not to be happy is not to be grateful.” Making your happiness dependent on what other people do or don’t do will keep you from the very experience you seek—happiness! It’s like you expect someone to make up for what is missing and make you happy. To have your happiness dependent on yourself means you’re more likely to obtain it. Dr. John Grey says that when you’re attached to wanting more, then you create a mind-set that “has to have” something to be happy. When you blame others for a lack of happiness, you give up happiness. If you make people or situations not in your control responsible for how you’re going to feel, you’ll never be happy. As long as you believe incorrectly that someone else is responsible for how you feel, you’ll never have happiness. You believe the lie that you can’t have what you want because of so and so, or this or that. When you make someone or something the reason why you’re not successful, you stop your ability to have that success.
DO YOU HAVE GRATITUDE? LET’S FIND OUT…ASSESSMENT ON GRATITUDE
Count the statements that describe you. Please be honest with yourself!
__Life doesn’t seem to get better as I get older.
__I’m lacking things I need to be happy.
__Most of the stuff I do is boring.
__This is a bad time in my life.
__I expect to be doing in a year exactly what I’m doing now.
__It’s more common for me to focus on what I lack than on what I have.
__I was a lot happier when I was younger.
__I feel old and drained.
__I don’t spend time each day listing mentally or otherwise my blessings.
__Compared to other people, I’m worse off than they.
__I tend to take people I care about for granted.
__In an average day I say “whatever” more than I say “thank you.”
__My moods would be better if my life was different.
__I haven’t obtained most of the important things I want and that bothers me.
__The financial resources of the average person seem to be getting worse.
__It’s difficult to appreciate good things in life when I have so many struggles.
__If I’m to be a worthwhile person I need to achieve a certain status.
__I don’t usually feel grateful about my average day.
__I can’t be happy if I miss out on many of the good things in life.
__If I don’t do as well as other people it means I’m inadequate.
__It’s impossible to gain another person’s respect without being talented.
__I’m not a joyful person.
If you have checked four or more statements as being true, then you could use more gratitude in your attitude.
You can now see why the opposite of self-pity, and its components of negativity and complaining, is gratitude. An ungrateful person is an unhealthy person. They can be found in a prolonged self-induced “poor me” depression hanging on to unfairness and tough breaks excusing any responsibility. Of course, the more you focus on any state of mind, the more of it you create for yourself. Individuals who are ungrateful for what they possess create more ungratefulness, more unsuccessful results, and more negativity. The very
prize they seek—happiness, success, some good breaks—are kept from them because of an ungrateful attitude for what they possess now. An attitude of gratitude in life leads to a sense of contentment, and focusing on what is lacking in life leads to resentment, jealousy and unhappiness. It’s healthy and good to want success and happiness, and more of everything only if you’re sincerely grateful for what has been given to you already. If you’re not grateful for what you have now, you won’t be grateful for more.
Happiness comes from what you already have or what you have the power to make happen.
Wise people enjoy what they have—they enjoy their blessings. People who are not thankful for what they possess, are not likely to be thankful for more. You’ll never be happy until you learn to enjoy what you already possess. Measure gratitude not by things, but by things for which you would not take money. Henry Ward Beecher said, “A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.” The poorest person in the world is the one who is always wanting more.
Thank you for your time and replies. -In caring, Dr. Sandy
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