“You can keep happy those people who want to be happy, and you can’t keep happy those who don’t want to be happy. It’s as simple as that. The notion of you keeping someone happy is a myth, a dysfunctional agreement, a social-sanctioned illusion. No matter what you do, people will find their own reasons to ecstatic or miserable. You can tell people exactly what they need to hear to save them grief, and still they will make painful defeating choices. You can show people how to achieve their goals, but if they are not motivated, they will pay no attention. You can remove people from self-defeating situations, and the moment you turn your back, they will return to them. Then, when you finally throw up your hands and shout, “I give up!” they may take their life into their hands and stop into their next rung of power. They had to do it in their own way, in their time.
The only person you have the power to keep happy is yourself. Do that, and you will be an extremely positive force in the life of everyone you encounter. You will also know how to deal with them when they have a problem. You can model behavior for others, influence, encourage, and inspire, but you cannot choose for them. Glory Hallelujah! You are free!”
Alan Cohen, in “Why Your Life Sucks…And What You Can Do About It”
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