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WILL SMITH – U Can’t Make U Happy Anymore

Please excuse the few words of profanity in this video. Otherwise, it is very challenging and informative.

In our pursuit of happiness, it’s common to hear advice like “just be happy” or “choose to be happy.” However, the reality is that happiness is not simply a choice or an item on a to-do list. It is a complex state influenced by a variety of factors beyond immediate control. This blog explores why the notion of “making” oneself happy can be misleading and what we can do instead to foster genuine contentment.

Understanding Happiness

Happiness is a dynamic state that encompasses a range of emotions and experiences. Psychological research suggests that happiness is partly determined by genetics, life circumstances, and our personal choices or behaviors. While we have some influence over our happiness through our actions and attitudes, it’s important to recognize that not all aspects of happiness are within our direct control.

The Limitations of “Making” Happiness

  1. Biological Factors: Genetic predispositions can influence how we experience happiness. For some, a natural inclination towards positivity makes happiness more accessible, whereas others might have to work harder to attain the same level of contentment due to their genetic makeup.
  2. Environmental Influences: Circumstances such as our living environment, social stability, economic conditions, and relationships play significant roles in shaping our happiness. While we can strive to improve our situations, some factors are simply beyond our control.
  3. Emotional Complexity: Emotions are complex and often reactionary. They can be triggered by external events or by our interpretations of those events. Simply deciding to be happy does not address the underlying causes of unhappiness, such as unresolved trauma or mental health issues.
Happiness between a couple

Shifting the Focus: Facilitating Happiness

Instead of trying to “make” yourself happy, a more effective approach is to facilitate conditions that are conducive to happiness:

  1. Pursuing Meaningful Goals: Engage in activities that are meaningful to you. Whether it’s pursuing a hobby, advancing in your career, or volunteering, meaningful activities provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
  2. Building Strong Relationships: Invest time and effort in nurturing relationships. Strong social connections are linked to higher levels of happiness and provide a support network during tough times.
  3. Practicing Mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep-breathing exercises, can help manage stress and enhance overall emotional well-being.
  4. Seeking Professional Help: Sometimes, the barriers to happiness are deep-rooted, such as depression or anxiety. In such cases, professional help from a therapist or counselor can be invaluable.
  5. Adopting a Growth Mindset: View challenges as opportunities for growth. Embracing a growth mindset can lead to greater satisfaction as you learn from experiences and adapt to life’s changes.


Happiness cannot be simply made; it must be cultivated through a combination of self-awareness, effort, and sometimes, acceptance of things we cannot change. By understanding the limitations of controlling our happiness and focusing on actions that enrich our lives, we can create a supportive environment where happiness is more likely to flourish. Remember, the journey to happiness is personal and unique, and it’s about finding joy in the process as much as in the outcome.

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