I Do Not Need Anyone to Tell Me How to Be Happy
Happiness is not hidden behind magic formulas, let alone in the wisdom of those who think they know everything. Being happy is taking care of oneself to be authentic creators of our destinies in freedom and responsibility.
Everything we are, all that we have, happens after a series of personal choices. Listening or seeking advice is always positive, but if we allow others to always lay down the rules for our decisions, we will become secondary actors in the theater of our own existence.
I choose how to be happy, I am solely responsible for these personal maps that draw my essence, where every mistake or accomplishment achieved is a reflection of all my responsibilities.
In the 1940s the most famous and prestigious study of happiness took place. The conclusions reached by the “Grant Study” reveal something that almost all of us intuit: to love and be loved is usually, for most people, the key to happiness.
Now, for our part, we want you to reflect on something else: the need to love ourselves to be able to choose and build our own paths in freedom.
Being happy is a subtle balance between control and freedom
What makes your parents or friends happy doesn’t have to make you happy. Each person is different and each one has their own laws, their way of feelings, of thinking and enriching themselves emotionally. The key is finding our own “element”, that motivation that is charged with meaning for us.
Let things flow: do not cling to others, accept that everything has its time and that it is better to walk free than chained to what can never be: move ahead calmly and sure of yourself…
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is a classic reference in the study of happiness. According to him, rather than aspiring to be happy we should focus on what he calls the “optimal experience”. This means that we achieve physical and mental wellbeing by having a level of control of the situation and where, quite simply, we can flow.
Here we’ll analyze it in detail.
Happiness is control and freedom at the same time
- The best experiences are those that we enjoy by having control over a particular activity. We are competent and guided by a high intrinsic motivation.
- During those optimal experiences, there are errors, unforeseen or unexpected twists that may appear, without a doubt. However, feeling that “we are free” to start again gives us a pleasant feeling of self-efficacy and…happiness.
The ability to allow ourselves to “flow”
“Flow” is a state of emotionally positive consciousness characterized by the following:
- We are committed in mind and heart to what we do in the “here and now”.
- The ego is disabled and we enjoy a great inner balance to perform and feel things that really define us, which are harmonized with our faculties, emotions and knowledge.
Now this calm will break away if we lose control and let ourselves get carried away by the commands or opinions of others. So instead of flowing we remain stranded. There is no movement or balance. What we feel is a total disconnection with ourselves and with our essence.
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What you do NOT need from others to be happy
If we reduce our pursuit of happiness to only aspiring to love and be loved, we will develop an unhealthy attachment in which any disappointment, absence or heartbreak will result in a serious personal crisis.
Again, we talk about balance, establishing mature and conscious relationships which allow us also “flow“, free of iron chains, dependencies and fears. Because if there is something we must be clear about it is that happiness is primarily fearlessness.
Since most of us know what we are looking for in people to feel good, let us reflect now on what we do NOT need from others to be happy.
- You do not need approval, it is an unnecessary source of suffering.
- Do not let yourself be “inoculated” by the fears of others. Limiting attitudes can be projected from parents to children or between couples in a way that makes us believe that we are not capable or fit for life.
- Do not put goals that are not yours on your horizon. The aspirations of others do not define you, they’re not yours, so it is always better to find your “element”, your motivation and make it the engine that gives strength to your dreams and everyday hopes.
Being happy is not a feeling, but the decision to walk without fear and in harmony with others while we take care of ourselves.
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