Do you find yourself waiting for happiness? Do you think that if you are patient enough, it will come knocking on your door? Or do you believe that once you have it, it will last forever as though it were a permanent state of mind?

To understand and manifest happiness, you need to shift your thinking about it. If you say to yourself, “I have a lack of happiness” or “I don’t know how to find happiness” or even “Happiness is elusive,” you won’t see all the possibilities and potential right under your nose!

You have as much happiness available to you as anyone else on the planet, and there is an endless supply of it.

Why do some of us ask for a thimbleful of happiness when we can have so much more? We’re forgetting how powerful we are, and we get stuck. You may be absolutely terrified to identify with being powerful because, if you do, “they” are going to come and attack you or reject you. “They” are the parts of you that you don’t believe in. Learn to accept who you are, as you are.

Desires Breed Discontent

Begin to disconnect yourself from desiring more and more possessions and money and start wanting what you have. And when life brings experiences that cause unhappiness, trust in the balance of life. Happiness can and does return, and the cycle of life continues.

When you understand this, you can begin to take responsibility for everything in your life. You’ll be able to let go of what you no longer need and begin to create what you want. We all have the ability to fill an empty cup—or an ocean—with happiness. Lasting happiness has little to do with wealth, places, people, or things; it has a lot to do with loving and believing in you.

What can you do, right now, to be happier? Ask yourself an important question:

In this moment, right now, what is preventing me from experiencing deep and lasting happiness?

Do your best to avoid blaming outside people, situations, or events and instead look inward for the answer to that question. In most cases, you’ll find that it is a desire for something you feel that you need but don’t have. What do you find yourself chasing, and what are those desires based on? Have you staked your happiness on gaining something or achieving a goal that you think reflects well on you? Your mind creates everything. In the search for happiness, if you’re convinced that you need more and more things, you’ll be met with obstacles that take you further from your goal. “Things” often become burdens and never satisfy the yearning for a deeper happiness. If you acknowledge and genuinely accept that happiness is, in fact, within you, the journey to lasting happiness will begin.

Start Your Day Right

Go deeper and explore how your mind works. Hundreds of thousands of thoughts travel through the average brain in twenty-four hours. Perhaps even millions. How many do you suppose are negative, and how many are positive? That often depends on how you choose to start your day. Your first thought in the morning will likely determine the weight of positive versus negative thoughts you have for the rest of the day. If you wake up going “Aw, not another day!” the Universe is going to greet you with “Yes! It is one of those days again!” If you wake up with “I am so grateful to be still breathing on this dimension!” the Universe is going to point you toward beautiful things. As the day goes on, the energy of that thought is probably going to evaporate. You’ll have to make a conscious effort to have another positive thought to continue the cycle!

Take Responsibility

Only one thing and one thing only will bring you happiness, and that is the acceptance that you are 100% responsible for who you are.

The reality of this world is that grief and happiness exist side-by-side, one taking the lead at times and then shifting. If you come to this knowledge and embrace it, you can stop chasing empty, fleeting sources of happiness and let understanding and joy enter your life.

Derek O’Neill is an internationally acclaimed psychotherapist, author, and motivational analyst. Through his practical motivational workshops, tireless humanitarian work, and as an advisor to high-profile celebrities, business leaders, and politicians, Derek continues to be a major draw and inspiration for people from all walks of life. He is also the founder and CEO of SQ Worldwide LP, a multifaceted company committed to teaching individuals and corporations how to utilize untapped potential to transform themselves and the world around them.

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