But, then your world is rocked by a job loss, an unfaithful spouse or a child making some bad choices. How do you find happiness here?
There are three variables in this equation: Happiness, Reality and Entitlement. You have the power to manipulate only one of these variables: Entitlement. Happiness is a result of your reality compared to the level of entitlement you feel.
Reality, well, it is what it is. Let’s assign reality a value of, say, 10 (for easy math). Let’s say your entitlement level is pretty high, a 10, then your happiness level is going to be a 1. Now, let’s say your Entitlement level is pretty low, a 2, then your happiness level is going to be a 5! Basically, the lower your expectation of being entitled to things, the happier you will be!
Before going further, I should clarify that in some extreme cases, time is an added variable. For example, in the case of a death of a loved one, you may not be able to find happiness until a significant amount of time passes. However, this post will help you even in extreme circumstances. This equation is not a silver bullet but it is another way of thinking about your life. I know when I find myself throwing a pity party I think about math, the variables and my part of the result.
You may believe that you are entitled to good health because you eat right and exercise and yet you face a life-threatening diagnosis. How do you stay happy?
You must realize that just because you do all the right things, you are not entitled to anything. Once you are able to change and control your attitude of entitlement, you can control your level of happiness.
I am happy because I am not focusing on the life I feel I am entitled to. I am accepting what God is choosing to give me and because of that, I stay happy. If you are in an unhappy frame of mind, you may need to re-evaluate what you feel entitled to and recognize the blessings in your journey.
When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.
Rather than feeling that you are entitled to the place of honor at the party, just be grateful that you were invited. Looking for blessings in whatever situation you find yourself in will increase your gratitude and lower your level of entitlement. That is the key to happiness!