Stop Outsourcing Joy

Would you give a stranger your wallet? No.

Would you hand them the keys to your new car? Also no.

Then, why do you blindly give away your joy, peace and happiness without thinking about it? Be greedy with that shit!!!

If time is a commodity, then emotions are our currency. The way you feel from moment to moment determines the quality of your life. Why give away the good stuff . . . in traffic, when you miss the elevator, when you’re slightly inconvenienced at Starbucks?

Have you ever noticed how quickly a sweet morning sours with a few unfortunate sequences? The kids spill cereal in the car, there’s an accident that slows traffic, you don’t get the promotion you wanted . . . 1, 2, 3 and the next thing you know you’re flailing about like a fool in the parking lot.

Did you know that you don’t have to respond?

You don’t have to engage.

You can receive the information and let it pass without assigning meaning.

You see, it’s the meaning that we attach to things that hook us into the downward spiral. If you let the cereal be an accident – which it is – it’s less personal than a reflection of the child’s blatant disrespect and inability to listen . . . even though you told them 5,972 times. Yes, it’s an inconvenience to get the carpet cleaned so the milk won’t spoil, but that’s all it is. It isn’t a reflection of horrible parenting. It doesn’t mean your littles won’t function as a part of society. Do you see the difference?

And this applies to everything – from the stuff your boss says to your partner leaving their socks on the bathroom floor. It’s not personal – it’s information. It doesn’t mean that your boss doesn’t appreciate your hard work and contribution – it means there are areas for growth and improvement. It doesn’t mean your partner doesn’t love you. It means you’re receiving feedback – there’s an article of clothing on the floor.

When you get the information, decide if there’s anything you can do about it. If you’re willing to do something, do it. If not, skip it.

Do not hand over your happiness.

Do not let joy slip through your fingers.

Do not slam and huff and act like a child.

Claim responsibility for your life. Use your words. Share your concerns. Brainstorm and implement solutions. But, do not, under any circumstances, put your happy on someone else’s to-do list. It isn’t their responsibility – it’s yours. Happiness is an inside job that does not rely on a set of outside circumstances.

That’s hard sometimes, because yes, life is frustrating. People will be late, traffic will slow, the internet will drop your connection.

But you, alone, are responsible for your happiness – not the weather, the socks or the cereal. Slap a smile on your face and let that shit go. Let it go!!! It’s not your job to perfect everyone and everything. And it’s not their job to put a smile on your face. It’s YOUR job to seek out and truly enjoy the delights of the day.

Why not just say “fuck it,” step over the socks, pour yourself a coffee and read your favorite book if that’s what makes you happy? Work on the engine, learn a new skill, paint the picture, sit in the sunny spot, host a party, play hide-and-seek with the neighbor’s kid, call a friend . . . do the happy things before your time ends.

Just – whatever you do – don’t put your happy on someone else’s to-do list.

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