Personal Responsibility Equals Happiness

szilvia basso happiness

“Happiness occurs most often when we are willing to take responsibility for our behaviour. Irresponsible people, always seeking to gain happiness without assuming responsibility, find only brief periods of joy, but not the deep- rooted satisfaction which accompanies responsible behavior.”  Dr. William Glasser 1965


Sit with this quote for a few minutes and think about all the times you were not happy. Now ask yourself, was I being responsible and in control of my life? I bet if you really look at it you were waiting for someone else to do something to “make” you happy.  Much of the time we live with what I call the “if only’s”  If only he would vacuum or if only she would watch the game with me…if only the kids would behave, if only the pandemic was over. Is it possible to be happy while waiting for someone to do something that is your picture of what you want? I could be but it would be temporary.


Now sit with this quote and think about the times you were the happiest. What were you choosing to do?  Did you give someone else the power to “make” you happy? Or Did you take control of your life and start doing the things that you like to do? You see really happiness is about being able to meet your needs daily in such a way that you feel good yourself.


Yes, love and belonging is important and we all need at least one significant person in our life that we have the relationship that that we enjoy. This relationship is one where both are meeting their needs, not expecting the other to “make” them happy!  Happiness is an inside job. What you say to yourself and how you go about your day determines your level of happiness.


Does this sound difficult to you? Would you like to gain the tools to impact your own happiness and thus help others do the same? Would you like to learn more about the Basic Needs and how we satisfy those needs?  Consider joining me Feb 3, 4, 5 when I do the first level of Reality Therapy and Choice Theory Certification online.

Yours in growing awareness


Maureen has been teaching this ideas for over 35 years. She is a Senior Faculty Member with William Glasser International, A Licensed Counselling Therapist and Certified Personal and Executive Coach.