The Ultimate Key to Your Happiness

“One of the happiest moments ever is when you find

the courage to let go of what you can’t change.”


What’s your happiness quotient? I’m a fan of Gretchen Rubin and her Happiness Project and her focus on building good habits and a happier life.

hot air balloon, American Flag motif, far away in a pale blue sky

When your happiness feels elusive or distant, look at what you’re holding on to that is blocking you from keeping your happiness close.

Happiness is more than just habits. Happiness begins with some fundamental truths. One of those truths is that to be happy, you must have the courage to let go of what you cannot change.

Sometimes, letting go of what you cannot change means letting go of others who are in your life because their actions – their words, their choices – are not working for you, and you can’t change their actions. You’re not getting what you need from the relationship because the other person isn’t capable of giving you what you need.

Searching for Happiness

In an effort to hang on to the other person, you try to make the relationship work. You start by changing yourself to be acceptable to the other person. You set aside your needs that aren’t being met. You make allowances. You change your boundaries.

And still, your needs aren’t met. So you make more allowances. You move your boundaries some more. You encourage. You give advice. You hope. You wait. And you wait some more. And while you wait, your happiness ebbs away.

Yet all of your changes still haven’t given you what you need, and now you’re miserable and you’ve lost yourself.

No amount of patience, or effort, or encouragement on your part is going to create a change in the other person.

You can’t change others, you can only change yourself.

Taking 3 Courageous Steps to Happiness

When you’re in this situation, then the one thing you must do is that thing you thought you could not do.

You quit trying to change yourself to suit someone who isn’t as invested in the relationship as you.

You unearth your boundaries and drag them back to their proper places.

You change the nature of the relationship by putting it into a different category, one that is farther from your heart. You move the lover to friend. You move the friend to acquaintance. You move the acquaintance to someone you used to know.

None of these things is easy. Each requires a great deal of courage, and each step forward makes taking the next step forward just a little easier. These steps can be taken in relatively quick succession or over time as your courage allows. The choice to do this at all, and the time table, are completely up to you.

Arriving at Happiness

Each courageous step to happiness takes you a step farther away from that person you cannot change, and brings you one step closer to discovering that you can provide those things you need for yourself.

You are a magnificent person. Sometimes your own magnificence gets lost in the detritus of another’s life. When you remember your own magnificence and clear away the detritus, you’re making a choice to be happy for yourself.

Quit trying to hold on to what you cannot get from someone else so that your hands are free to grab on to your own happiness. Reach out and grab it and hold on to it. It’s been waiting for you.

Life Is Honest, Open and True: You only need those people in your life who need you in theirs. It takes courage to let go of those who are not willing or are not able to change to meet your needs. When you quit trying to hold on to what you are not meant to have, you’re free to grab hold of the happiness that has been waiting for you all along, the happiness that is inside you.

Would you share this post? Tweet: You only find your happiness when you let go of what you cannot have. A blog post by D’Anne Hotchkiss

Thanks to my reader who suggested this story idea to me. If you have an idea you’d like me to address, let me know in the comments or tweet me @lifeishotblog with the hash tag #LifeIsHOT!

Related Posts: Finding Your Happiness

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