Who determines your definitions of happiness and success?

Who determines your definitions of happiness and success?

Who determines your definitions of happiness and success?  Are you letting others define happiness for you?

I recently experienced an upleasant interpersonal interaction, the details of which I won’t bore you with here, except to say that it caused me some degree of distress (yes, Dr. Happy does get upset sometimes!).

Now I try very hard to practice what I preach, so as I would encourage my clients to do I spent some time reflecting on the situation as well as talking to some close colleagues and friends.

To cut a long story short, I ultimately came to realise that my distress was partially due to this other person’s accusation that I’d not really achieved anything of note. On reflection what I realised he meant by this is that I’d not achieved in the terms that HE WOULD CONSIDER to be important and/or meaningful.

Once I realised this I was able to stop and think about what I ACTUALLY CONSIDERED TO BE IMPORTANT INDICATORS OF SUCCESS which were clearly very different to this other person’s. Neither were “right” or “wrong”, “good” or “bad”…just different. In his world I might not have achieved much but in my world, and (I’m pleased to say) the world of many others, I’ve achieved quite a lot (and thankfully that involves helping many others find happiness!).

The point of this personal story then, and the “happy ending” is that in simply realising that I didn’t have to accept his definition of success, but that I could determine my own definition of success and happiness and essentially, play by my own rules, I felt much better about the whole situation and have re-focused on my priorities and doing what I can do to live a good life and notably…to help as many others as possible live a good, happy, successful life too.

So who determines your definitions of success and happiness? Are you letting others determine these for you or are you taking control? As always, let us know your thoughts via our Facebook page