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Excerpt
The following is an excerpt from the book Life Lessons for My Sisters
by Natasha Munson
Published by Hyperion; May 2005;$11.95US/$15.95CAN; 1-4013-0805-8
Copyright © 2005 Natasha Munson

KNOW YOUR DEFINITION OF HAPPINESS

We often hear, but don't always comprehend, the truth that happiness lies within. So I want you to hear yourself as you say out loud: "Happiness is within me, happiness is within me, happiness is within me."

Where's happiness? Exactly, it's within you. That means that in order to be happy and fulfilled, you have to fill your own needs. You have to follow your heart, pursue your dreams, and listen to yourself. We can make some of our most foolish mistakes based on the advice of others. You have to do what feels right for you. Don't let anyone mislead you or talk you out of your dreams. Happiness is your choice. Your decisions, your choice in friends, everything will decide your happiness.

Someone once told me, misery loves company. I was like, whatever. I knew his intentions were good when he tried to give me this advice. But I had no idea of what he was really saying until I was out of the situation I was in and could look back on it. I realize now that not everyone in this world wants to be happy. That's right. People will keep themselves in the same situations and keep making the same foolish choices. Your life can go around in circles as you do the same things over and over, or it can keep moving forward and getting better. It's all up to you. This is your life.

So for your happiness, decide who you will and will not be around. Don't waste your time thinking you can change anyone in your life, especially a man. Don't love a man for his potential, love him for who he is. You will get your heart broken and maybe your wallet busted if you love a man for what you think he will one day become. There are some exceptions out there, I guess. But don't rely on it. Love the man for who he is now. If you can do that, then you are in love. If you're saying, "Well, things would be better if he was just this or that," -- uh-uh, get out of that situation, ASAP.

The way you spend your time and the people you spend that time with directly affect your happiness. There are people who bring nothing but negative energy to a situation: "We can't do this and, we can't do that." You need to drop them quick-fast. Then there are those sister friends that you love, but you're loving them for their potential too.

Sometimes we give our friends even more benefit of the doubt than our men. We think they're definitely going to make it. All I can say is, don't get drawn in. Don't get caught up in the whims of others. Don't get focused on other people's problems. It's not about not caring. It's about self-preservation. You will lose your mind trying to figure out what some people are thinking. Girl, let the drama go. Don't let anyone add to your stress level. Anyone stressing you or making you unhappy constantly has got to go!

The reason I say most people don't want their own happiness is because at any moment everybody has the power to change their lives. The catalyst for changing your life lies in your attitude. Whatever you believe will be your reality. You are empowered each and every day to make this a life you will enjoy. You don't have to be miserable. You don't have to get caught up in day-to-day drama. You don't have to live paycheck to paycheck. Don't settle. Don't think you can't go any higher. You can have whatever you want in this life. You just have to believe and then place that belief system in action.

LESSON
Happiness is your choice. If you want it badly enough, you will find ways to achieve it.

Copyright © 2005 Natasha Munson