Arnold Counseling
Michael Arnold, MS, LIMHP, LPC
8031 W. Center Rd., Ste. 303
Omaha, NE 68124

Inner Directed vs. Outer Directed

The illogical notion that someone else can make you happy is prevalent in our society, in our songs, and inherently in holding faulty beliefs... It basically consists of this magical belief- "if the world and all the people in it would only change, then I'd be happy." In other words, this belief suggests that somehow, in some way, someone other than you is responsible for your happiness. Thinking such as this brings personal growth to a grinding halt and makes contented living all but impossible. 

A committment to inner directed living is the most satisfying and eye opening endeavor one can take. I encourage all my clients to do so, and to catch themselves when they start to blame others for their unhappiness, or that someone other than them is responsible for "making them happy." Typical of this is the unhappy housewife who drags her husband in for therapy, only to find that the husband has no interest in therapy or the notion of changing. When I suggest the wife take responsibility for their own happiness, even to the point of ending the relationship, I have become the bad guy since I can't get their husbands to change. 

Looking for and finding fault with another will do nothing in the long term to make your life better. Focus on what you and only you can do and what you have control over, which is your actions. Since I am action oriented, the shortest route to happiness is acting like you are happy, and recognize that you do not have to entertain negative thoughts in any way, and for any length of time. In actuality, one of the keys to happiness is to disindentify with your mind altogther, as our conditioned mind is like a sentry on a ship and its job is to warn of danger. As Mark Twain once said "I've had thousands of problems, most of which never happened".