You are responsible for your own happiness

I feel as if I have already written this post in a variety of different forms at least a thousand times. So, one more time won’t hurt. And, honestly, it probably won’t be the last.

After all, its all about happiness, right?

And you are responsible for that. You are responsible for your own happiness.

Your employer is a jerk? Your consultants screwed something up? You’re tired of working for that client?

I don’t really care what it is. It’s still your fault.

It’s your fault that you’re unhappy. Not your employer’s fault. Not your co-worker’ fault. Not your clients’ fault.


So, instead of focusing on what pisses you off, why not try focusing on what would make you happy?

Is the job almost perfect except for a few little things? Then change those things. Is the client never going to get it? Fire the client. Are your consultants irreparable? Find new consultants. Is it not worth the struggle? Find another struggle that is worth it.

Fact of the matter is that none of these problems is going to miraculously fix itself. It’s up to you. You have to take responsibility for solving the problem.

And I really like you, so I thought I would tell you. Maybe wake you up a bit. (Maybe wake myself since I often persist under similar delusions of maybe this will resolve itself.)

Not happy? Fix it.

(Wow. I almost feel as if I were channeling a positive version of Alec Baldwin’s character from Glengarry Glen Ross. (NSFW))

About Rick Turoczy

More than mildly obsessed with the Portland startup community. Founder and editor at Silicon Florist. Cofounder and general manager at PIE. Follow me on Twitter: @turoczy
This entry was posted in Change, Happiness, Perspective, Responsibility. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to You are responsible for your own happiness

  1. Isaac says:

    I tend to agree. It’s sort of an obvious answer to everyone’s problem. I wrestle with this all the time.

    But how do you tell whether you’re unhappy with your client because of something they’re doing or because of something you’re doing that makes you unhappy working with them?

    Like — am I sick of them, or am I just sick of the type of work I’m doing for them?

  2. Rick Turoczy says:

    My Objectivist response to the question is “What matters most is your ensuring your happiness.”

    If the client is any way impacting that happiness, fire the client. If you’re having the same exact other problems with other clients, maybe the problem is you or the work you have chosen to do.

    Find a way to fix that and see if those annoying clients aren’t so annoying any more.

    My Zen response is “Don’t start with the problem. Start with the happiness. Then, find your way to the answer from there.”

  3. Toby Lucich says:

    Well put, Zen master. 🙂

    I agree – most folks I know ask, “how can I enjoy what I’m doing [professionally] more?”

    When I think about those I know who love their work, they have all – all – started with, “what do I love to do?”

    Sometimes we grow in a way that merges the two. And then we spin out of the corporate setting and become consultants…

  4. Steve Peterson says:

    On the other hand, I’m also convinced that the pursuit of happiness is a chasing of the wind. Whenever I hear parents say that they hope their children grow up to do “whatever makes them happy,” I cringe. What they’ve essentially done is set their kids on a crash course for “never satisfied-ville.” I think if we seek to Love and to live putting others first, happiness is a by-product of this. Try reading Dennis Prager and his discussions on happiness.

    I completely agree that we are responsible for our own happiness, but I think it’s dangerous to make happiness the goal — we’ll never get there that way.

    (SPORTS METAPHOR ALERT) You can’t start coaching a soccer team and telling the kids their goal is to win the championship. You do all the little things like teach them to dribble, to pass, to play the sidelines, to see the field, etc. When the little things get put together and the talent is there, the championships come.

    Happiness is not as elusive as a championship, but it requires little things like serving, loving, sacrificing, etc. to get there.

  5. Michelle says:

    I agree to that! we are really the one responsible to our own happiness..

  6. Pingback: You are responsible for your own happiness « My Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s