The Happiness Connection  

Did your mom tell you this?

Robustly happy people take responsibility for their own happiness.

This is a powerful statement, and not one that I was ever introduced to by my mother.

I don’t blame my parents for withholding this vital lesson from me, and I would like to state that I’m not here to mark Mother’s Day by sharing all the things I wish my mother had done differently.

My mom didn’t teach me that I was responsible for my own happiness because she had never been introduced to that principle either.

It’s not like I made a conscious decision to hand over the key to my happiness to someone else, I just copied the behaviour my mother modelled for me.

Without really considering who should make me happy, I grew up thinking that happiness came from a loving partner, the circumstances of my life, and by doing my best to be a good person.

That strategy may work for you; it worked for me for many years, but the happiness it provides is fragile. Remove your partner, or other relationships, throw in some daunting challenges, and you may find your feelings of well-being slipping away.

Your mom is one of the greatest influences you will ever have. Children learn by observing, and copying. Similarly, you are one of the greatest influences your children will ever have.

In the early years of life, many of us spend more time with our mothers than anyone else, so we are bound to start copying some of her behaviours, beliefs, and values.

In the book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, T. Harv Eker tells the story of a woman and a ham, that illustrates just how powerful the behaviours of our mothers are.

A woman bought a ham to cook for her family. When the time came to get it into the oven, she started by cutting off the ends.

Her husband was in the kitchen with her, observing her technique. Curious as to why she cut the ends off before cooking it, he questioned her. She thought about it for a minute, and then realized she didn’t have an answer.

She did it because her mom had always cut the ends off.

Intrigued, the woman decided to contact her mother. The resulting phone call was no help. The woman’s mother didn’t know why she cut the ends off either. She did it because that’s what her mom had always done.

It wasn’t until they talked to the woman’s grandmother, that the mystery was solved.

The pan that grandma owned was too small for most of the hams she bought. The only way she could get them to fit in, was to cut off the ends.

Each generation observed the action and copied it, even though they had no understanding of why.

Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate not only your mom, but all the maternal, and feminine influences you have observed and copied in your life. It is also a time to pause and think about the role of influence, and responsibility you have.

You don’t have to a mother to be involved in this responsibility, nor is it just your own children who may be observing, and copying your behaviours.

My parents have neighbours who are well into their 90s. They still live in their own home, and walk together most days. That is something I have observed, admired, and hope to copy when I am older.

Their behaviour has inspired me to take a more active interest in my health. I may be fine now, but how will I be in a few more decades?

I am blessed with a wonderful, long-living mom who I have always loved, and have a close bond with. She may not have modelled taking responsibility for her happiness, but she showed me how to love unconditionally.

Enjoy celebrating, and being celebrated this weekend, but remember, with influence comes great responsibility.

Are you modelling the beliefs, values, and behaviours that you want to see in others?

Are you modelling how to take responsibility for your own happiness?

It is never too late to start.

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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