The joy I have – the world didn’t give it,
the world can’t take it away.”
– Shirley Caesar, gospel singer
Sally, age 35, has true clarity that happiness comes from the Inside Out and she makes it her highest priority to be happy regardless of circumstances. The more she practices looking inside for her happiness, the more happiness, freedom and empowerment she feels. As she continues to develop her capacity to be happy on the inside regardless of conditions on the outside, the more her external conditions bring her reasons to be happy. While Sally knows that happy circumstances cannot make her truly happy, she proves every day that being happy can and does create happy circumstances.
Sam, also 35, is externally focused. He seeks gratification from the environment and other people. This works well when he receives the external gratification he desires, but this is not a good long-term strategy. As he continues looking outside for his happiness, he is becoming less happy, less free and less empowered. His attempts to impress other people by driving the hottest car and wearing the trendiest clothes lead to mounting debt and increasing stress. As Sam becomes more dependent, needy, and uncertain, he tries to fill the emptiness inside with drugs, alcohol and sex.
These are extreme examples, to be sure. However, some form of these stories is actually the way it plays out for most people. When you realize that you can be happy whether you’re rich or poor, married or single, healthy or ill, you realize it’s not the stuff, it’s not the other people, and it’s not the circumstances that determine your level of happiness.
So, if “the stuff” won’t make you happy, what to do? Feel Good First! It’s happiness you really want anyway. And, when you’re happy, all the stuff comes as a nice byproduct.
It was this quote that woke me up and enabled me to create a successful coaching business:
“The standard of success in life is not the things
or the money. The standard of success is
absolutely the amount of joy you feel.”
I had been working with an Outside In perspective, mistakenly believing I would be happy when I had a full schedule of ideal clients and was making good money. With this guidance, I was able to quit waiting for external circumstances to make me feel the way I wanted to feel. When I made it a priority to feel good from the Inside Out, my circumstances shifted to match my vibrations. Then, and only then, was I able to attract the clients and the business I desired. It was simply not going to happen as long as I needed the circumstances to change before I could feel good.
“The happiness of your life depends upon
the quality of your thoughts.”
– Marcus Aurelius
The one and only thing that determines the way you feel is the thoughts you choose to think. It’s your thoughts that make you feel good or bad. Nothing else!
You can choose thoughts that make you feel happy and empowered or thoughts that make you feel sad and powerless. You have the choice in every moment. And, as you choose your thoughts, you choose your life.
Happiness really IS an inside job. When you take care of the inside, the outside takes care of itself!