Happiness cannot come from without. It must come from within.
Helen Keller

You hear it all the time: happiness comes from inside you. Not from anything external. That means that although money, buying things, and going on adventures are enjoyable, they won’t actually make you happy with yourself. Friends and family add a great deal of value to your life, but they will not alone make you satisfied and energetic about it. So what does it mean? How does happiness come from you?

Theodore Roosevelt

To actually be happy and have a sense of fulfillment in your life, you need to know who you are. That means know what you stand for, know the type of person you want to be, and actively pursuing being that person. It means acknowledging where you are at in your life. Identifying those things you dream of doing and going after them. Realizing that you don’t need others’ approval for being who you want to be. But it’s being honest enough with yourself to admit where you have room for improvement. Not as a bad thing, but as something exciting to be better. Being satisfied with yourself even though there is always someone that has one aspect or another better than you.

Being happy and fulfilled is greatly influenced by feeling that you are adding something of value to the world. It may simply be taking care of your parents or coaching neighborhood soccer. But what are you truly passionate about? Are you adding that to your life in one way or another? Turning your dream into a job isn’t always the right choice. And you can enjoy your work while making your passion happen on the side. But are you making it happen? Your passion will add value to you and to your sphere of influence.

Finally, you need to know that you deserve to be happy. You may or may not be used to that. But you get to laugh, you get to have a good time, and above all you get to smile. Do you actually think you deserve the good things in your life? Only you can make that answer a yes.

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