For many years, I believed that only I can determine my happiness. I still believe in this today. However, what I didn’t understand was the true meaning behind this notion.
I was a people pleaser. I sought external validation. As I didn’t have my own benchmarks, I believed values determined by the general public were perspectives that I had to uphold. I never questioned them nor evaluated its hidden meanings. When things didn’t happen in the way I want it to be, I blamed other people. I blamed my environment. I blamed my situation.
It’s always easy to blame others.
You can spend your entire life blaming the world, but your successes or failures are entirely your own.Paul Coelho
Recent years, I started to question values and believes that I had in my life. Even though I upheld it as common sense, it was only accepted in certain group of people. Then, I realised the multiple reality in this world. Every individual will have their own way to define their world. My common sense and the common sense as defined by person happened to sit beside me will not have same values. We might share similar values but it wouldn’t be exactly the same.
So for years, without realising, I sought happiness outside of myself. I allowed others to determine my value and happiness. Not until that day when I decided to take full responsibility for my own life by making life decisions based on my own values. When I have revealed my values and purpose in life, I felt I have finally find myself. I have finally have control of my own life. I have finally understand what did people mean by ‘only I can determine happiness of myself’.
Past few days, I encountered so many people who are still in that place I used to be. They were try to do the right thing but it wasn’t received by others in the way they have imagined. They try to do their best to their ability but they couldn’t because of such and such person. Even when they did the right thing, the policy didn’t support them. Even when they did their best, their manager only evaluate them based on the things that can be measured.
When you blame others, you give up your power to change.Robert Anthony
Any time you’re busy fixing blame, you’re wasting energy and not fixing the problem.Rick Warren
I remember I was reading a comic one day that taught me about self-respect.
Person A and Person B bumped into each other on the street. They agreed on a time and place to catch up later in the afternoon. Person A arrived earlier to the place they have agreed to catch up. Person A waited for few hours til dark but Person B never turned up. Person B totally forgot about their catch up.
Then Person C happened to pass by where Person A was waiting for Person B. Person C is a person who Person A respect all the time. Person C always cared for his juniors including Person A.
So, Person A expressed his concern “Such thing happens to me all the time. I easily believed on others and take it too seriously. I must be too stupid to believe so easily on others. I am really ashamed of myself that I never learn from the experience.”
Person C waited for few moments and replied with a powerful voice.
“If I had to choose between you and Person B, I will choose you over Person B. It doesn’t matter whether Person B has a privileged background, I choose you over Person B because I can trust you. Before you blame on yourself and question your ability, you should be proud of yourself who kept the promise.”
I lived like Person A, blaming myself before question behaviour of others. Instead of blaming myself I question myself whether I acted based on my values and ethics or not. If I did act based on my values then there is nothing I should blame myself on. For me, this is part of self-respect.
Happiness doesn’t exist on the far side of distant mountains.
It is within you, yourself.
Not you, however, sitting in idle passivity.
It is to be found in the vibrant dynamism of your own life as you struggle to challenge and overcome one obstacle after another, as you clamber up a perilous ridge in pursuit of that which lies beyond.Daisaku Ikeda
Upholding self-respect and evaluating my act based on my values, I understand now that only I can make myself happy. Only I can determine my satisfaction in everyday life that leads to my happiness. Since then, I feel like I have finally found a ground to stand tall. Instead of blaming myself, I become proud of myself.
How do you evaluate yourself?
What makes you proud of yourself?
What does happiness in life means to you?