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It’s Time to Take Part in Your Own Happiness

By Linda Ward September 01, 2023 Mindset

Let’s look at the following few examples.


Julia just knew that when she met the right man, things would click in her life. Loneliness would be a thing of the past, and she’d finally have a chance at happiness at age 62. Her experience with men so far was miserable. Her first husband cheated on her and ended the marriage.

Julia dated a few men after that, who just weren’t interesting. But, in the depths of her heart, she desired true love and consistently told herself she wouldn’t be happy until she found a great relationship of trust, love, and fun.

Time kept ticking away, where she spent days upon days being unhappy and moody over being alone. She watched friends her age celebrate their anniversaries and even went to a few weddings. Why was she still alone and her heart’s desire not met?


Bill really wanted a job that tapped into his creativity. He was stuck in a well-paying job that he hated. It was scary to look outside of this safe job to seek a new one and try to sell himself to other employers in an interview. He stayed stuck and unhappy, complaining everyday with coworkers about the lousy job.


Lisa’s daughter hadn’t responded to her text or calls for over a year. It seems that she had moved on in life without her mom. This caused endless anxiety and pain for Lisa, robbing her days of happiness. If only her daughter would reach out.

Can you find yourself in the above examples?

Take Part in Being Happy

The title of this article is a quote I found in a small book called Life is Beautiful by J. Gleason. At first glance I thought, “Well, of course I take part in my own happiness, it’s my happiness after all, right?”

But as I thought it over, I got a glimpse of the wisdom of this statement. Are we passively waiting for happiness to come through other people, waiting for dreams to automatically fall in place, or for events to happen for us to be happy? Are we “waiting for our ship to come in?”

Delayed Happiness

I remember years ago talking to my husband about how when certain events would happen, we would be happier. This included life events like his pay raise, paying off our bills, getting pregnant, then looked ahead to when our kids started school, how life would get better when they graduated, when they moved out… the list was always a delayed happiness for something in the future.

Time was wasted where I could have created and taken part in my own day to day joy and happiness. I didn’t realize I was putting my happiness in the hands of someone else or in the off chance something good would happen. I just didn’t know how to find my own happiness within. Chances are you don’t either.

What Can You Do About It?

Here’s a few simple steps to “take part in your own happiness” without relying on others to supply it.

Don’t Look for Happiness to Others

When you find yourself looking to other people to make you happy, take time to pause and rethink. Today, I’m in the happiest relationships of my life. My husband is warm and compassionate, loving and kind. He is not responsible for my happiness though. I am.

Try to ease up on your friends, your husband, and others to fill voids within. Think good thoughts, guide your day, and practice enjoying life all on your own without others’ input.

Find Inner Calm Inside Yourself

What about when life goes wrong, and things look sad, bad, or scary? Find a quiet place to slowly make your way to inner calm and a slightly happier state. This thing called LIFE is full of twists and turns. We are going to experience the good with the bad, the scary and the exhilarating.

I fully believe we have the ability within us to navigate them. When we press forward, we can take part in turning events and things around, sometimes into profound happiness.

Redefine Happiness

Does it have to be a 9 or 10 out of 10? Is being “just ok” enough? In the past I think I’ve been spoiled. I wanted everything to be perfect. When it was, then I was happy. Well, that’s a bit crazy and self-defeating, isn’t it? Life can be happy at a 3, 4, or 5, can’t it? Yes, I’m here to say. Live in your normal happy range and begin to draw your attention to how good it is to live right there.

Perfection orliving every day at a 10 on the happiness scale doesn’t exist. Enjoy life’s moments by moving up the scale, through doing simple steps. (Excerpt from Crazy Simple Steps to Feeling Happier)

Living the Good Life

Some people who experience clinical depression or anxiety are faced with the question, “Why can’t I be happy even when life is going great?” My son is one of these people. He is highly successful and from the outside looking in, he is living the good life. He is bothered by his subconscious mind that sabotages even his best efforts to live a consistently happy life.

In an article by Arlin Cunic called, Why Can’t I Be Happy Even When Life Is Going Great? she states it like this:

People with conditions like depression or anxiety may find difficulty in feeling positive emotions no matter how successful their lives become; this is because these conditions can cause brain chemistry imbalances which make it difficult to experience joy.

…find ways to work through those feelings to learn how to accept and appreciate the good in life.

If it seems overwhelmingly difficult to be happy in the simple things, or anxiety and depression are robbing you of this, please seek help with a professional coach or a counselor. Life is short. Let’s find a way to take part in everyday happiness.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Have you overcome the need for others to make you happy? How did you do it? What keys can you share with us to help us live at a 3, 4, or 5 on the happiness scale?

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Judith Louise

In 2019 Our home and farm was totally destroyed by bush fire. Government and Charities offered assistance. Immediately following the fire we were moved around the region five times over a ten week period. It was depressing. My husband and I decided to take control of our life. We organised family and friends to meet at our property to help clean the burnt debris off a concrete block where a large shed once stood. With this achieved we purchased a shed kit and spent the following five weeks erecting it. We bought a second hand kitchen for $1. We bought a shower cubicle. We collected “free” furniture. My husband did the electrical and plumbing connections. In less than eight weeks we had a place to call home. Just as well…….Covid hit. The Building trade slowed down and a supply of materials were difficult for them. Two years later we finally moved into our new home which I designed. Living is the shed was not always comfortable. But it was safe and secure. And it gave a sense of freedom from trauma of being homeless. Single handed my husband who has chronic kidney disease erected the 6m x 4m shed. And me, who has a rare spinal disease rebuilt our vegetable garden. Its amazing what inner strength can be found in our need to survive. Having said that – our health greatly declined after this ordeal. But we did it…….we reclaimed our happiness. For 53yrs we have fought many of life’s battles together.

Linda Ward

You are one strong person…your husband too. It is amazing the amount of courage we have within us. Thank you for sharing this inspiring story. Linda

Stephanie Bryant

Not looking for happiness, but some companionship, my husband was abusive, and I’m finally separating grieving the loss of who he was, and ready to move on.
I loved being married(we were happy for most of the marriage, but he got a mental illness that caused the change in his personality). I loved being in a relationship, I am extremely independent and active. Lots of women friends, basically fulfilled in my daily life, it’s hard to find someone at this age, not to give me happiness but to have companionship and a connection, maybe have a date now and then.


The author raises some good points. But I’m struck by the irony of her saying “don’t look to others to make yourself happy” and then she starts going on about how wonderful her husband and her marriage is. That makes an enormous difference, obviously. Sheesh. Yes, if you are single there are still lots of ways you can find enjoyment in your life, but it’s not the same.

Linda Ward

Hello Jan,
Thanks for commenting. You’re right, it makes an enormous difference to have a companion in life. However, the point of bringing in my own situation is that with or without a loving relationship, you are the one charge of your own happiness. Having a husband isn’t always the answer.
If you choose to use the link below my bio, you will be able to read my website and my story. I’ve been through two failed and unhappy marriages, plus was single for 10 years after those failures. My focus in this article is that no matter where you are in relationships or in life, we can find our own happiness. It’s actually up to us to find it. Wishing you the best, Linda


Hi Linda
I’d be interested in reading your story but can only find a couple of lines on your website, is it somewhere in more detail?
I agree with Jan that being happy if you have a loving partner to support you is so much easier than without! You can tell yourself you’re happy but it won’t make it true. I was in a 25 year marriage and a 5 year one. I had to make the painful decision to end the second one but am constantly wondering if I did the right thing. I really struggle with suddenly being single in my 60s but I do count my blessings every day for my wonderful children and grandchildren. Thank you for your article.

Linda Ward

Hello Gill,
The story of my past struggles can be found in the blog pages. You’ll learn about my marriage failures and then my third marriage success in the blog titled, “Tale of Three Marriages,” on August 29, 2022.
Frequently experiencing everyday happiness is challenging, but sounds like you are doing just that. Here’s a quote that has helped me and others, “don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.”
Wishing you the best, Linda


No other person can ever make you happy. That’s your responsibility. They can make it more fun, easier, also more miserable and unbearable. Depending on another to make you happy disempowers you and makes your state dependent on them. I won’t do that again. A marriage therapist told me this, I always use it as a guide. Never look for another person to make you happy or heal your wounds. Find your wholeness first, then a good relationship with another whole person is icing on the already delicious cake.

Ann Crane

As a sufferer of bipolar disorder, I know that “working through feelings” can be less than helpful because, as stated, it is a biological imbalance. Medications can make all the difference, so seeing a doctor can be life-changing. I know because I now lead a life full of happiness.

Linda Ward

Thanks for sharing Ann. I’m proud of you for relating that the biological imbalance is helped immensely through the right medications. I especially love your last sentence, “I know because I now lead a life full of happiness!”


Lovely article. Thank you.

The Author

Linda Ward is a Writer and Life Coach living in Minnesota. She specializes in helping mature women find everyday happiness and a satisfying life. She zeroes in on life after divorce, retirement transitions, and finding courage no matter what the circumstances. Her inspiring new eBook is called, Crazy Simple Steps to Feeling Happier. Linda’s Professional background is Social Work and Counseling.

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