How often we lament ‘When ___ happens my life will be better’. The blank may be a job, marriage, new baby or even divorce. What you can count on is that your life will be altered; but will it be better?

My experience has been that my life gets better when I work on me. If I rely upon external events or people for my happiness; I will be in for a disappointment. We can’t wave a magic wand and instantly transform our life into happiness.

There was a time when I was on the hot pursuit of happiness. I had a good life; but I did not appreciate what I had. I always looked at what I didn’t have. The results is that I was addicted to ‘more’. I was looking for that next ‘thing’ that would have me living life happy ever after. I never found that ‘thing’. I know today that it doesn’t exist.

Don’t misunderstand me. There were times I was happy: my wedding day, birth of my daughter, purchase of my townhouse. However, that happiness was not sustainable as it was Day One since once attained it just became part of my life. It was just a matter of time before the happiness subsided. Then once again, I needed to find something else to pursue. I was insatiable; I was not happy. I was always looking to fill a hole within me that I could not explain.

What I had to learn is that happiness is an inside job. Happiness is a by-product of right living. I need to be true to my beliefs and values. I need to live the Golden Rule. I need to accept that life events will happen. Life is a series of ups and downs; it is my choice on how to allow those events to alter my emotional and mental well-being.

Most importantly, I needed to appreciate what I currently have in my life. When I live in the moment; I come to appreciate the simplicity of life.

Watching my daughter spin and laugh as she dances to a favorite song brings joy to my heart. Enjoying the simplicity of walking down a sidewalk hand in hand with Grand Dude gives me gratitude for the love of a wonderful man. Listening to birds chirping in the quietness of a new morning reminds me the beauty of the Big Guy’s creation.

Happiness for me is defined by serenity and peace in my life. Getting that next ‘thing’ in my life will not bring me sustained happiness. Living my life the way I believe the Big Guy wants me to live has brought me more than happiness; it has brought me joy.

Author's Bio: 

Debbi Dickinson is a professional woman. She understands the challenges of balancing work, home, children and carving time out for you. She has developed techniques that integrate the various aspects of her life so they work in harmony. Debbi coaches women to thrive where they are at; nurture their inner goddess and step into a life of joy. For additional information, please join her at