How To Own Your Happiness

How To Own Your Happiness

This is one of those topics that it’s easy to get flooded with information.  I mean look, my website in a lot of ways dances around this topic.  I’m building this site to be a resource  to help provide ideas, forums, experiences, etc,, for guys to build a complete life.  And in a lot of ways that has to do with happiness and building a happy life for yourself.  Google “how to find happiness” and the search comes back with 148 MILLION hits – I shit you not.  Browse down the self help aisles of any decent size bookstore and you’ll be overwhelmed with choices that will help you be happy in one way or another.  Money happy, relationship happy, fitness happy, mentally happy, emotionally happy, you get the idea.  In general the entire self help world, including therapists and psychologists in many cases as well, are built around this central theme – how to be happy.  My take is a little different because you can find many many tips and trick to being happy.  I’d like to discuss how to own your happiness which actually gives it away right there.   But first, let’s face a harsh reality.

People are Innately Selfish

Yeah, you read that right.  And I’m talking about you.  I’m talking about me.  I’m talking about the vast majority of people.  And don’t be too offended by the word innately, it just means there’s a natural tendency to be that way.  And if you think about it a little bit you know it inside yourself.  And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  The reality is we each live inside our own heads and are the main actor or actress in the movie known as YOUR LIFE.   And as such you naturally gravitate and move towards things that you enjoy and feel good.  That might be drinking beer to get a nice buzz, or watching sports because it get’s you riled up and yelling with your boys, or it might be trying to get the pants off your significant other, or it might be taking on more responsibilities at work because it brings additional compensation and a nice feel good step up the company ladder.  The list goes on and on.  At our most basic we are doing the majority of our activities and actions to move towards things that feel good to us.  To help us feel better about ourselves in one way or another.  And that’s okay.  It’s an important concept to grasp before we move forward.  This doesn’t mean we don’t take other peoples well-being or feelings into account, it just means they aren’t our first priority typically.  We don’t normally build the majority of our actions in order to make others feel good.  Unless you are doing things for a baby, then it’s a whole other ball game.  In that case that baby is your world and it seems like 90% of the things you do are for the baby to feel better – but that’s a unique situation.  In general the things that make us feel good and impact our lives directly in a way that benefits us are the things we are most concerned about and spend most of our time and energy on.

You Make Your Own Choices

Sometimes we don’t do things that are our #1 choice.  Like maybe you don’t love your job and you work it more just for the income because you’ve got bills to pay.  So you show up everyday to do something you don’t really like to do but more like feel obligated to do.  Same can be said if you’re dating someone you’re kind of into.  Maybe you’d really rather go out with some new honey you’ve got your eye on instead of the person you are currently dating, Miss Right Now.  Perhaps you think your body is “ok” and you do some exercising but you’d really like to drop 10 more pounds or get a little bit stronger.  It could be that you’ve lifted your head out of the sand recently and realized all you do is work, eat, sleep, and watch tv and wonder what you’ve done with the last 10 years of your life.  Guess what?  Every single situation you find yourself in is by your own choice.  You’ve decided to continue working at that job you don’t really like.  You’re still dating that girl you’ve been thinking in your mind is a placeholder until you find someone you’re more into.  You’re the one that’s spent the last 10 years doing almost literally the same thing every day.  That’s you buddy, no one else made that decision.  The funny thing is right now you’re thinking you didn’t really make the decision, it just kind of happened,  So the issue isn’t that you didn’t make the decision, it’s that you didn’t really make it CONSCIOUSLY.  And that’s probably true.  It seems like it’s only the really big decisions that we stop to think about enough to make a conscious decision.  Yes or no to the new job.  Thinking through if you want to dump your girlfriend finally.  Waking up with no recollection of what happened after 9PM the night before and DECIDING to quit drinking for good.  These are the types of things you remember making a well thought out decision on.  Most things you don’t.  They just kind of happen.

Own It

So now it’s time to swallow the bile back and really dig in to realize you make all the decisions that affect your life.  Look, I know there’s always extenuating circumstances like someone you love dearly that passes away or the car wreck that takes one of your legs.  Life happens.  But what I want is for you to full embrace that you make the decisions for your life.  This is one of the fun (and scary sometimes) things about being an adult – you make the decisions that run your life.  And affect your life.  You have to own that fact.  In our society it is very prevalent to blame people, things, circumstances, etc., for the negative things we don’t like in our lives.  We play the blame game far too much.  Why do we do this?  Because it’s easy.  It takes the responsibility away from us having to make decision and choices and quite honestly, the hard work that sometimes goes along with the ability to make those decisions.  So it’s simply the easiest thing to do – blame something.  It’s the default setting.

If you can get rid of playing the blame game it’s liberating. I’m not saying it’s easy because that would be lying to you.  It’s not easy.  But if you come to accept and ultimately LIKE that you get to make the decisions that impact your life it becomes really cool.  Because you realize you have a lot of power over your life and the things that impact your life.  And ultimately your happiness.

Your decisions = Your Happiness

Now that we realize that we must make the decisions that will impact our lives take it to the step of happiness.  You have the power to make the decisions that directly impact your happiness.  Nobody else will specifically make decisions to lead you to your happy place.  No one.  That’s something you have to do on your own.  And realize you have the power to do that.  You can go find another job that you like better.  You can go for a girlfriend or someone significant that brings more joy into your life.  You can stop hanging around the friends that always complain and bitch about everything.  You can get up earlier and go to the gym or do some food prep for a change so you can eat healthy.  You can save up the $600 and order that ACE certification material so you can finally become a personal trainer.  YOU.  YOU.  YOU.  So realize you have the power and start making some of those decisions that will help lead you to a happier, more fulfilled place.  Because if you don’t life tends to make those decisions for you.  And it doesn’t have your happiness in mind, it just kind of happens.  So go get it.

Going For My Happiness
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  1. You know what’s funny, I’ve been finding it easier to trust a person who is more selfish than altruistic. But this is a subtle thing to understand, which I think you would get.
    I know that I want something out of life, and I’ll do what I can to get it because the drive in me to have it. If I meet someone with a similar drive, we can actually help each other. That is true altruism.
    But the person who pretends to be meek or altruistic actually doesn’t know that they are worthy of what they really want. They curry favour to you so that you reciprocate, and you know what happens? No one gets anywhere.
    So when you say that we’re innately selfish, I totally get it.
    All living beings are selfish, in order to live, one must eat, breathe, mate. There is self-interest, and my self-interest ensures that you can have yours, because then I can do what it takes to work and make things that will give you or another man what he wants, so I can have what I want, and vice versa.

    1. Ade,

      Thank you so much for reading the post and sharing your thoughts.  Even better I love that you “get it”!  I agree with you, I think it’s easier to trust a person who is being selfish.  With that type of person you know what you are getting – the bare minimum is that they are honest right?  And they are real.  

      The reality is most people won’t admit it but down deep we are all selfish.  Some of us just hide it more than others.  And it’s not a bad thing.  When you clearly state and go after what you want you are making your desires clear.  And like tends to attract like.  I am very happy helping others out whenever possible.  So it’s okay to be selfish and give of yourself – it works.

      Thanks again,

      Mat A.  

  2. Hi Mat,
    Interesting read. Yes, I have been in a place where indecision reigned. I could not judge what was good or right based on the facts that I had. Emotions, relationships, letting go and we all know how deep and dark it can get.

    But I made a decision after few months when I reached a certain saturation point where I couldn’t take it any more. It wasn’t over night. That moment changed my life. I pursued one of my dreams to try sacred plant medicine and it really helped me to rethink and align my life in a more positive way.

    Wish you happiness and peace in your journey.
    Time to own and act more responsibly.


    1. Jai,

      Really appreciate your thoughts and sharing some of your story.  I think it’s awesome that you made a decision that changed your life – that is so powerful.  Even more so that you made a decision to pursue your dreams.  Much love your way – thanks again.


      Mat A.  

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