Happiness doesn’t depend on others because happiness is, fundamentally, a choice. Happiness is the choice to cultivate your mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing, and that comes from you, and you alone.
Moreover, the more you depend on other people’s approval of you, the less freedom you will have, the harder it will be for you to feel happy, as freedom/psychic energy flowing freely allows happiness.
Consciously or unconsciously, we have learned that happiness must be found outside, that it has nothing to do with us. In reality, it has everything to do with us and our own decisions.
The key is to shift to a better mindset and realize that, at least in terms of living a happy life, we are a lot more powerful than we think we are.
Why happiness doesn’t depend on others
1. People come and go
There is a philosophical concept called impermanence, according to which all things change, constantly, whether we realize it or not.
The doctrines of Buddhism in particular state that impermanence is one of the fundamental truths of reality.
And that any type of attachment to things (material or spiritual) is bound to cause suffering, because those things will always change and eventually die.
And really, you don’t need to be a philosopher, or a Buddhist, or some sort of enlightened being to realize that everything changes.
Time itself is a flow. The past is in the past. The future is in the future. But even the present moment eludes us. Say out loud “right now”; that moment is already gone.
With that in mind, you want to be aware that happiness does not depend on others, or other things in general, because those things change. It’s that simple.
People come and go. People have busy lives. And then people change. Their idea of you changes. Their views, opinions, and values change.
Now, this isn’t a bad thing by any means. However, any type of obsessive attachment is. If you depend on external things to be happy, and expect those things to always remain the same, you’re on the wrong path.
There is only one thing that never really changes, and that’s you — the real you, your essence, your energy. This is the only place lasting happiness can come from.
Then, once we have found happiness in that immutable essence, we can then experience a higher level of happiness and fulfillment with other people and other things.
But it must be within us first. If not, we will look outside and call happiness what is merely the elimination of negative emotions (e.g. elimination of loneliness, anger, emptiness, fear).
2. Happiness is wellbeing
Happiness is health — mental, physical, and spiritual health. That’s basically all it boils down to. No one can give you that.
You are the one who has the power to cultivate positive thinking, to observe your mind as a separate entity, to learn more about psychology; that’s your mental health.
You are the one who has the power to eat certain foods, to exercise and move your body the way it was supposed to, to breathe, to have good posture; that’s your physical health.
You are the one who has the power to find something bigger than you, to expand your awareness, meditate, and connect with your higher self; that’s your spiritual health.
Other people can certainly help you do that. But ultimately it’s you, and you alone who decides to take action toward better health.
Years ago, when I was struggling with severe depression, I remember hearing a psychologist say: you are the only person who can free yourself (from depression).
At the time, I didn’t get it. Now I do. And I also realize that the phrase, or concept, can be applied to virtually anything else.
You have the power to take care of your wellbeing. Your wellbeing naturally leads to happiness. You could even say that wellbeing itself is happiness.
The decision to cultivate it can only be taken by you. Similarly, the discipline and willpower to do that can only be generated by your mind. Not someone else’s!
3. Happiness is a choice
Breaking news: you can decide to be happy. “If you want to be happy, be” (it’s a quote attributed to Tolstoy).
The thought of reaching happiness once you are, do, have, or experience something in particular is flawed, and it’s the thought that makes miserable people miserable.
Not only that — you’ll find that those who chase happiness as an external thing never actually reach it.
Why? Because their path to happiness, their goal, is merely a distraction to real happiness. It’s a way to avoid real happiness; it’s a form of self-sabotage.
Nothing wrong with the goal of, say, making more money; but you should never confuse money with happiness. Same with material items, relationships, lifestyle, friends, etc.
I think the mind is our worst enemy here. The mind is fascinated by challenges, riddles, and complex things; the mind perceives simplicity as uninteresting.
So naturally, the mind will reject the idea that happiness can be found right here, right now, and that all it comes down to is your own decision to be happy.
This may be why our happiest moments in life are those in which the mind surrenders and we find pleasure in what we are doing in the moment. Intimacy, exercise, meditation, or dancing are examples of that.
During those moments, we stop reaching, we stop planning, we stop trying. We no longer think. We simply do.
Doing can only be in the here and now. Happiness can only be found in the here and now. Not in the past, not in the future. Not tomorrow. Not when… you get the point.
Decide to be happy each day, and in each moment. Make it your own personal revolution.
4. Happiness is freedom
If happiness and freedom are basically the same thing, then how could you rely on others to find happiness?
To depend on others means to not be independent, to not be free. Lack of freedom is the antithesis of happiness.
Think of the word “depression”. What does it even mean? Well, it’s the opposite of expression. Expression of psychic and/or physical energy.
Depression can therefore be interpreted as blockage of energy. In other words, the energy of depressed people (those who no longer even look for happiness) is not free.
The more you depend on others, the less freedom you will have, the more you will be depressed (unable to express your energy).
When you realize that happiness doesn’t depend on others, you naturally and instantly feel happier because your energy is no longer conditioned by other’s thoughts or opinions of you.
And to make it perfectly clear: yes, we need others to feel happy and fulfilled. After all, we are social creatures.
However, those who are unhappy often need others’ approval to be happy. Not only that, it has to be everyone’s approval. That’s never going to happen.
Happiness doesn’t depend on others: quotes
Happiness comes from within. It is not dependent on external things or on other people. You become vulnerable and can be easily hurt when your feelings of security and happiness depend on the behavior and actions of other people. Never give your power to anyone else.Brian L. Weiss
The process of finding happiness within one’s own self may be difficult and slow, but it cannot be found anywhere else.Swami Parthasarathy
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living each moment with love, grace, and gratitude.Denis Waitley
Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you; it can only come from you.Ralph Martston
Don’t depend on other people’s encouragement. It’s never enough, and never when you need it.Sigourney Weaver
A man who, as a physical being, is always turned toward the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him.Søren Kierkegaard
Very little is needed to make a happy life. It is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.Marcus Aurelius
Happiness comes from within you. You’ll never find it by chasing relationships, jobs, beauty, money. Happiness always starts within.Karen Salmansohn
You are responsible for your own happiness. If you expect others to make you happy, chances are you’ll always be disappointed.Unknown
People come and go, and of all the people in your life, you are the one who is there to stay. You are the one who can choose to love yourself, choose to respect yourself, and promise with all your heart and soul that you will never leave you.Kimberly Kirberger
Never search your happiness in others, which will make you feel alone, but search it in yourself; you will feel happy even if you are left alone.Unknown
Happiness doesn’t depend on others: short quotes
Happiness is an inside job. Don’t assign anyone else that much power over your life.Mandy Hale
To fall in love with yourself is the first secret of happiness.Robert Morley
The more you rely on others, the more likely you are to be disappointed by them.Unknown
The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.Marcus Aurelius
Happiness means loving yourself and being less concerned with the approval of others.Owen Campbell Jr.
Find your happiness, in yourself.Albert Camus
Seeking happiness outside ourselves is like waiting for sunshine in a cave facing North.Proverb
True happiness comes from within yourself. Stop searching, start living.Unknown
The true source of happiness is within each of us.Chris Prentiss
You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.Wayne Dyer