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How to Create Our Own Happiness

Ask yourself each morning, “What am I going to sculpt today?”

Key points

  • We're capable of choosing what to think about and what to do in our lives.
  • These choices will have a significant impact on our happiness.
  • Each person has the opportunity to make their days happier.

There is a myth that happiness is only accessible through luck. If you’re lucky in life, you’re able to feel more happiness than most. I’m here to tell you that this is not true. We are all capable of creating our own happiness, even if it takes a bit of hard work and effort. Today I want to talk to discuss how we can change our mindset to achieve happiness no matter our circumstances.

Photo by Jianxiang Wu on Unsplash
Source: Photo by Jianxiang Wu on Unsplash

Let’s use a metaphor to explore this. Michelangelo created the David, which is considered one of the most beautiful sculptures ever done. Before this masterpiece came to be, it was just a large chunk of marble. But, with Michelangelo’s skill and hard work, he turned the large chunk of rock into a world-famous piece of art. We’re all capable of doing the same thing with our lives.

The first step of this is simply acknowledging the fact that we are all capable of creating our own happiness. We must let go of the thought that our circumstances affect our happiness, and we must tell ourselves that we hold the power to our own happiness. In other words, every thought or action we take affects the sculpture of our life. I ask myself throughout the day, what am I sculpting? Am I creating things that bring beauty and peace? This could be by reading a good book, helping a neighbor, or checking in with a friend. I also ask myself if I’m engaging in things that tear my sculpture down? This could mean thinking negatively about a friend, becoming frustrated by things that are out of my control, and the list goes on. Just like there are opportunities throughout the day to welcome peace, there are opportunities to welcome frustration and negativity.

I challenge you to ask yourself each morning, “What am I going to sculpt today?” I hope you’ll tell yourself that you’re working on your own David.

This kind of work and effort doesn’t happen overnight. Remember, Michelangelo’s statue took years to sculpt, but the end result was exquisite. We can get more out of our day when we recognize that every choice we make affects our overall structure. This includes what we watch on our phones, what we listen to, our thoughts, and how we treat others.

Step number two is to examine what kind of sculpture you are creating throughout the day. Is it one built on positive thoughts or one built on negativity? We have many opportunities to make decisions throughout the day, and the best thing we can do for ourselves is to examine these decisions and make changes when needed. The brilliant thing about this thinking is that we hold all the power to make changes to our lives.

Maybe today you choose to reach out to a friend, find a volunteering opportunity, or simply go for a walk. All of these decisions add up to a more beautiful sculpture and a better version of yourself.

Some of you listening to this may think back on the worst things you’ve done in your life and believe that there is no coming back from those mistakes. I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong. Let’s stick with our sculpture metaphor—there is a sculpture called the Winged Victory of Samothrace, and it is regarded as one of the most incredible sculptures ever created. One thing that stands out about this artwork is the angel that was sculpted doesn’t have a head. This example teaches us that beauty can still be created when we’ve lost pieces of ourselves.

If we truly want to achieve happiness and joy, we must embrace forgiveness and kindness towards those that hurt us, but also to ourselves. It’s hard to go through life without hurting someone else. If we can tell ourselves a different story that doesn’t include shame, we can replace it with a story that says, it’s okay to make mistakes, I’m only human. Once we replace the narrative, it’ll be easier to access inner peace and forgiveness.

It may feel daunting if you’ve never tried this practice before. I suggest checking out my extensive library of podcast episodes to explore how we can live happier lives. And if those don’t suit your fancy, I recommend finding a different teacher or mentor to help you on this journey.

Every person can have a beautiful life if they want. For most people the only thing that is holding them back is themselves. If we learn to take an inventory of our inner dialogue and how we spend our time, we can gain a deeper understanding of what we need to be happier. When we learn what those things are, there is nothing that can stand in the way of sculpting ourselves an exquisite life.