It’s not the situation; it’s how you react to it. In society today, we are quick to place blame on anyone and anything other than ourselves when things don’t go as planned. Life moves fast and we are generally not in control, except how we react to what comes at us. And that is exactly why I believe reaction is the key to happiness.
In your job or at home, you can only control your actions and reactions, not what others do, say, or think. And if you can accept that truth, you would be infinitely happier in your everyday life. Don’t like your job or boss, find a new one or new career. Don’t like how your friends view your opinions, find new friends to hang with. Don’t like the way you feel, change your habits. We as humans have choices and the ability to think and feel how we want, and this is a very powerful tool. However, harnessing and using that tool is something many people don’t take advantage of enough.
Reactions defining happiness is very apparent in the current political climate. Half the country is anti-Trump and against most everything he does and says, which can cause feelings of anger. If you fall into this camp I ask; why not turn the channel and remove the negativity from your view? Your negative reaction is directly affecting your key to happiness. Additionally, if a friend or family member brings up politics and it causes a negative feeling, react positively and remove yourself from the conversation. I don’t know about you, but I want to be happy and not angry.
Have you ever been cut off while driving your vehicle? I certainly have and I know I’ve unleashed some colorful language immediately following the incident. And was it useful in any way? Absolutely not. My reaction caused instant anger and probably ruined the remainder of my day, or at least the next couple hours. Even small reactions to situations can impact happiness.
One of the greatest examples of reaction impacting happiness is Viktor Frankl, the author of Man’s Search for Meaning. Frankl was a prisoner in the Auschwitz concentration camps during World War II and survived to tell his story. He chose to react and identify with a purpose to give him the best opportunity to survive and be happy long term. In his words, the meaning of life is found in every moment of living, and suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning.
You can find Man’s Search for Meaning here or check out your local public library.
Being present every day regardless of situation can make all the difference in you being truly happy. Every day will not go as planned. People will let you down. Bad things will happen to you and those you care about. In these times of heartache and frustration, your inner self will lead you to happiness. Embrace the challenges and find meaning in the struggle. Your reaction is the key to happiness.
For more information about us, check out our happiness story.