As we make our way through the adventure called life, we all go through rough patches where the best thing for us is just a little inspiration. I created the Boyce Manifesto to give you that motivational boost everyone needs now and then. There are my twelve mantras to live by, and today I want to share a story about one of them.
#6 You are Responsible for Your Happiness
This one can be misinterpreted, but I promise it comes from a place of love.
There’s no finger-pointing here. No “suck it up” message.
Let me explain.
And just a warning, but this story gets a little heavy.
In fact, I considered scraping this post with every new paragraph.
I mean, I celebrate light. Love. Life. Magic. I write to bring people joy and adventure. Everything I am screams that I have to stay positive for you, to show you how much I appreciate you for reading my books and my blog. I savor the positive aspects of life, but I can’t write about this post without featuring some of the darkness… in both the world and my life.
This post hits home with me.
There’s some serious darkness in our world. It’s true that there are terrible atrocities committed around the world throughout history. Genocide. Murder. Famine. We have blood diamonds, child hunger, government corruption, scandals, dog fighting, cartels, riots, racial tension. I could go on.
But there’s also a lot of good. People love each other. Millions of happy families grow up all over the world, supporting each other every step of the way. Best friends complete us. We find true love. You have incredible charities like the Make a Wish foundation. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Kiva.org. Thousands of other charities throughout the world who fight to right wrongs. There are entire online collections and libraries of content dedicated to showcasing the positive, powerful aspects of human nature.
Despite the darkness of our world, there is also light. So to focus on the darkness strips you of your power.
That’s what I mean by “you are responsible for your happiness.”
Folks may disagree. That’s fine. We don’t all have to agree on everything.
I’m quite comfortable saying our happiness starts within us. I’m no therapist or psychologist, but I’ve come to this conclusion after going through therapy. Yeah — that’s not something I readily admit, but there’s nothing wrong with seeking help when you need it. The therapy I’ve gone through has made me stronger, more able to adapt to the world I live in. It’s given me confidence and healed some serious scars I accrued despite my loving and safe childhood.
We all have scars. We all have fears. We all screw up. And we’re all worthy of happiness.
The first time I scheduled a meeting with my college therapist’s office, I cancelled at least three times. When I actually arrived for my appointment, I hesitated outside, debating whether or not to go in. In the rain. I stared at the door. Counted the stairs as I walked up to the second floor. Stared at the handle as my heart raced.
And though he didn’t help me as much as I’d hoped, I eventually found a therapist who has done wonders. She has helped change my outlook on life for the better.
I’ve gone through depression. I’ve survived emotional roller coasters and mood swings. Close friends have betrayed me. Mentors have lied to me and made me massively… uncomfortable. I could have developed trust issues, stayed in my shell, and hidden from the world. And for a long time, that’s what I did.
But that’s not brave.That’s no way to live.
Happiness is in large part a mindset. It’s the way we perceive the world and the people in it. It’s savoring the little things like the scent of pine on a breeze, or the smile your nephew shoots thorough FaceTime. It’s embracing every little flutter of your heart and loving that sensation of butterflies when your true love kisses you in the morning.
Happiness starts small. It’s accrued bit by bit, grain by grain, until you have so much that you don’t need the darkness any more. That darkness will never go away — but you don’t have to languish in it.
When I stepped out into the world, I was vulnerable. Hell, I’m still vulnerable. But I’m learning to live with it, to like it, to show it off a little. This is me. Not broken… just a little squishy.
And happy. Very, very happy.
What does this mantra mean to you?
Leave a comment below with your story.
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