One way to be truly happy is to have a sense of worth and achievement.  This means doing something that is important both to yourself and to other people.

You don’t choose an activity of this kind to be happy.  You choose your path by asking yourself what you really like to do, what gives you the greatest satisfaction.  Then you ask yourself how this can benefit others.  Everything flows from there.

This is why people volunteer at hospitals, why they serve at suicide hot lines, and why retired rich men in Beverly Hills work as school crossing guards.  It is important to feel important.  It is debilitating to feel unimportant.

What Everyone Wants

Everyone wants to have control over their life.  Everyone wants some sense of power.  Deprive a person of this and they become helpless and depressed.  After a while they become truly unable to function.  Give this person back some degree of control and they blossom.

Some people can come back from any degree of disaster.  Other people can be devastated by a single stroke of bad fortune.  Why the difference?  It used to be called “character”.   It all depends on you, what you want and expect from life, what you have decided for yourself long ago when you were a small child.

Our Internal Map

We all have an internal map of what we expect from ourselves, from others and from the world.  We don’t know that we have this map, as it is buried deep in our subconscious mind.  But it is there and it controls us to a large degree all through our life.  If we are really astute we recognize this inner director through the things we do, especially when they seem a tad irrational.

Perhaps more than a tad.  But it takes a very savvy and determined person to examine their thoughts and feelings, to be willing to explore what is going on after “How could I ever say that?”   If we are very brave, we come to realize that it is possible to change our internal map for the better, no matter how old we are.

What Change Requires

Change is difficult.  But not impossible.  All it takes is determination.  The first step is to realize that it is possible for you to be a happier person.  Unfortunately this is too uncomfortable for most people.  But if you are willing to explore ways to be happier, then take the next step which is to start the work.  Read up on the subject, go to lectures, attend groups, form a group, find a good therapist, make a list of necessary changes.  These are just a few.

If you really want to be a happier person, you might want to read this book “The Happiness Handbook”.

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