Thursday, 14 January 2010

What You Need to Know About Happiness and Determination

“People tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will descend like fine weather if you’re fortunate. But happiness is the result of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly.” 
Elizabeth Gilbert

Saying you want to be happy, and actually setting out and doing something about it, you’ll know, are two quite different things. You have the right to happiness, and you can choose it anytime you like, but we’ve all felt the weight that bears down on us when their seems to be too many darned hurdles in the way; we give up and resort to a limbo state of idleness, hoping happiness will come knocking when we get that big promotion or meet the lover of our dreams.

I know this is probably not what you want to hear, but, like everything worth having in life, happiness takes work; it takes drive, and it takes persistent determination. Just because there are people all around you making it look easy, it doesn’t mean that it is (and it probably wasn’t for them either.) But, I believe, happiness that is actively worked for, is the most sustainable kind of happiness – the kind that won’t abandon you when you least expect it, because you understand it better, and you got yourself there.

The way I see it:

The Desire for Happiness + Determination = Success

Why? Because you need to be determined to be happy; you need to have a concept of happiness that you strive towards. I don’t know why humans are here on this earth, but it does seem obvious to me that it is not to mope about aimlessly. From your own experience, wouldn’t you agree that the people in your life who have a major focus or direction – one that they feel passionate and inspired about and actively work at – are the people who are most happy? If you become determined enough towards happiness, happiness will become a by-product, because the two thrive off one another.

Because you are sitting there, reading this article, it is clear to me that you already feel determined to succeed and be happy – otherwise you’d have head off to turn the TV on by now! Now that you know that, and I know that, let’s work together to make it a reality...


♥ Happiness isn’t easy but, if you work for it, it will be sustainable
♥ The Desire for Happiness + Determination = Success
♥ Your determination should be a major focus or point of direction


♥ Work hard to be happy.

Up until this point: have you been working hard to be happy? How much happier do you think you could be if you had been? Happiness is not the result of getting to one place or achieving one thing – it never will be. No, happiness comes first; happiness should be the backbone of your existence, and you should work for it before you set about working for anything else.

Today’s homework is simple: reinstate your enthusiasm for the M.Y.L.A series. Go back and review the exercises you’ve completed so far and consider what they’ve taught you about being amazing. Realise that to complete them all will take work, but that it is work that is worth it; it is work towards happiness and a better you than ever before.

 (Click image to enlarge!)

After this reflection, in your journal, write five points on what you’re noticing happiness means to you, and five points on what determined work you could be doing to make that happiness a reality. See my example above.


Anonymous said...

I don't agree with this at all, I'm sorry. Life is certainly what you make it, but some people's circumstances may continually restrict them from this true happiness, no matter how hard they try. I'm thinking of people in poverty stricken countries and those with troubled upbringings. It is easier to be happy when you have options, but what if your only option is make do with what you have?

Jodi said...

i understand what the anonymous person says, but opportunities in life, however few come to those who look for them. there have been so many people who only have the clothes on their back, but they walk around with a smile. the determination to change horrible circumstance and look at each throw-back as a new beginning instead of a wall keeping them back from happiness. yes, it starts from what you were given, but it's taking those things and looking at them in a positive light and changing them that counts. at least that's what i think.

Rachel said...

This is such a fantastic blog! Why didn't I know about this before?!?! And I LOVE the layout!

Megan said...

Anon - Totally see where you're coming from, and I have to say that similar thoughts did cross my mind as I wrote, but I'd have to go with Jodi. I don't think we should ever give up on positivity and determination, no matter how dire our situation. Thanks for your feedback.

Jodi - Thanks for that!

Rachel - :D :D

Alyssa said...

For some reason my computer doesn't load your website, al the time, so I'm really happy it cooperated today :) This whole M.Y.L.A series is great! I haven't done all of them yet, but I feel like by the time I do all of them, I'll know a lot more about myself. So great job, and keep up the good work. I hope your dreams come true,I'm sure they will. You are such a talented writer. :)

Lizzie said...

I am really loving this series, so I have decided to come out of the shadows of being a lurker and start commenting! I've been doing the exercises each day, and they're really helping me to look at my life and make some positive changes, so thank you and keep up the good work!!

Jodi said...

your welcome :)

Megan said...

Lizzie - Lol, 'lurker' :) Well done, I'm so happy you're seeing results! M.Y.L.A hopes to hear more from you... ♥

Eternal*Voyageur @ Venusian*Glow said...

Anonymous, I've seen people with only one shirt that were happier than a lot of rich people. They simply choose to be. True happiness doesn't have much to do with worldly possessions.
Also, people with troubled childhood can choose to let that define them and restrict their happiness... or not. I have been really amazed how some of the most positive and happy people that I know all have very hard traumas in their life.
They don't use their past as an excuse to be miserable or to be nasty in the present.

erica said...

just wanted to leave a little comment on this because i think it is an important subject. in the past two years, i have dated two boys who were homeless at one point during their lives (long periods, as well.) however, one of them was jobless, homeless (again) and addicted to drugs when we broke up. he was extremely jealous, controlling & dependent on me. the other, who i'm still dating, is in college, editor of a paper on campus & works two other jobs to support himself. he is extremely cheerful, charming & positive the majority of the time.

i understand that the cards you were dealt definitely play a part in your happiness--at first. but by the time you get old enough to realize that you can CHOOSE the way to respond to those circumstances, i do believe it's possible to be in happy a variety of (sometimes awful) situations.

pinkcherry said...

I really loved this activity and I truly think that we are the creators of our lives and we can't let the past or our current situations define us. I think we all can be whoever we choose to be.

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