Ah, the infamous question that I pondered for years. I had always been “happy” for the most part, but it was never that “I’m so excited for life, jump out of bed, appreciate everything, radiance” type of happiness. I had seen numerous Facebook updates or Instagram posts along those lines and honestly thought it was all BS. I thought that the people posting this crap were just posting to look happy, and that they weren’t actually insanely happy. There was no way they could be.
Up until a few years ago, I had yet to learn the answer to this question, the secret to happiness. I had searched for it in many different forms – books, people, school, relationships, drinks, or daydreams. All of which left me right back where I was.
The biggest thing that hindered this happiness for me personally was relationships. I felt as if I always put all of me into them, and never received the equivalent in return. When things went south I would feel as if my world was over. When I had feelings for someone that was all I could think about, or talk about. It consumed me. And when things were high, to me that was happiness. Or so I thought.
But after numerous heartbreaks, lots of nights spent soul searching, years of journaling and wondering, “where I went wrong”, I finally found it. The secret. The best lesson I had ever learned, and maybe will ever learn. The turning point in my life.
So how do you create happiness?
Well, actually. The step-by-step guide is quite simple. So simple that it had been in front of me the entire time.
The answer: You create happiness.
Okay you’re probably thinking I’m on some kind of drug right now because that didn’t make sense, but hear me out.
YOU are the creator of your own happiness, not someone else. That is the mistake I was making my entire life, I was constantly giving the key to my happiness to someone else. I was relying on someone else’s actions to complete me, their feelings to validate me, their love to justify me.
So what happens when you take that key, and keep it for yourself? I honestly think it’s one of the most important things you can do in your life. Learning how to be happy with yourself independently, and knowing yourself independently, that’s where happiness grows. Everyone always says “you have to love yourself before someone else can love you” and I had always thought that was a load of crud, bundled up into a “I’m not sure what else to say” package. But holy moly is it ever true.
I’m using this in a relationship scenario for now, because I feel like that’s one of the easiest things that everyone can relate to. When you are in a relationship with someone, that person should not “complete” you, because you should be complete by yourself. That is where happiness comes from. That person you are with should help you grow into something bigger, independently, and together. They should not be the sole reason for your happiness, and they should not be the primary holder of the key.
This is where I had been going wrong all those years. I had been searching for validation in someone else without being happy with myself. I had to learn to be comfortable in my own skin, pursue what I wanted to do for me, I had to be completely okay with being independent, and take control of my thoughts and emotions. That’s where happiness was created, within me.
When you are independently happy, your identity stays with you, and you allow yourself to grow far beyond where you thought your growth would end. Of course, for me, bringing gratitude and positivity into my life as well greatly contributed to my happiness, but that may not be the case for everyone. Being happy with yourself is what opens up the door to other opportunities to bring in more happiness, that is where you will start to grow.
This doesn’t mean you have to accept everything about yourself right away. If there is something about yourself that you don’t like, then make the change, but make it for YOU. Not for anyone else, or for validation for someone.
Once you’ve mastered holding your own key, the next step is simple. Do what makes you happy.
I wish I had learned this life lesson back in elementary school, but I think it’s something that definitely takes time, and comes with a lot of self-realization. Once you learn to love yourself you will only better yourself, and I cannot preach that enough.
And don’t get me wrong here, it’s not just a relationship where you can unknowingly give the key to happiness to someone else. You can give it to a friend, a job, a goal, etc. The most important thing to remember is goals (personal or job related) should just be goals, they should not determine your self worth or how happy you are in life. Money can buy a LOT of awesome things, but true deep-within happiness is not one of them.
There is a book I have recently read that really helped me with living in the moment, and controlling my reactions to certain situations to ensure that I was keeping the key to my happiness in my pocket and not someone else’s. It’s not one of those books where you read cover to cover in one day, but just reading bits and pieces every day helped me feel way more in-tune with myself and the world around me. You can find the book below, and I strongly suggest everyone to read it with an open mind! (Please note: this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through the link, I will receive a small commission at no added cost to you. I only promote items I see true value in and have read or tested myself)
If you’ve had any similar experiences, let me know in the comments below! If there’s someone you know that was like me and always gave their key away, send them the link to this post!
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