Key to Happiness: Take Ownership of Your S#*!

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Key to Happiness: Take Ownership of Your S#*!

Often times, whether it’s my clinical work or my consulting work, I see that people are having a hard time taking ownership of the crap that’s in their life. Maybe your spouse is saying to you that you you’re impatient with the kids or you’re mad, whether it is in your personal or business life, maybe there’s some negative behavior.

1.What Do Friends And Family Say

What do your friends and family say about this when you’re not in a healthy place? If you’ve had a stressful day at work, you come home, you know you’re stressed and you’re impatient with the kids. You have high expectations for what’s supposed to have been done at home – so when that happens let’s label that first behavior as impatience.

2.What Fuels This

What is the situation that fuels this the negative behavior? This isn’t an excuse, it’s just you’re saying ‘here’s what’s going on’. Because if we understand the situation that surrounds this negative behavior it’s a lot easier for us to work on it. So for example when you have a day at work where you feel like you don’t have any time to go to the bathroom or to eat lunch and you’ve worked really hard, now you come home and the house is a mess, you’re frustrated and you’re impatient.

3.What Actions Should You Take

You need to ask yourself what actions you should take in that situation. If you come home and the house is a disaster, you should probably get your own behavior under control. You should take some deep breaths, maybe on the drive home, say to yourself that whatever state the house is in, you can take action as a family. You realize that you being impatient is not going to help the situation. Do some positive self-talk on the way home – you look at the house when you walk in, things are a disaster, in this situation what other actions should you take?

Maybe you should ask some some non-biased questions like:

  • How was the day?
  • What’s going on?
  • How can I help?

Approaching the situation in a way that actually builds connection with those that you love. Then think forward to how you can help this problem in the future. Maybe it’s that you teach your kids to blitz with you. In my house we do something where our girls will go in one room and I’ll say ‘go put this in Mommy’s pile, go put this in Daddy’s pile.’ Then everyone puts their own piles away and the house looks clean really quickly. It may not be deep clean but it’s somewhat clean.

Taking Ownership

Coming up with these actions where you can take ownership is vital. So often we point to our spouses, our kids, to other people in our lives and we say that if they change then we’re going to be happier. In reality you’re always going to be with you. Whether you stay with your spouse, get divorced, have a new spouse or have new kids – that happiness is going to follow you. One of the biggest keys to happiness is that you take ownership for the kind of life that you want to live. You have to take those actions and don’t expect other people to change.

There’s a great book called the Scream Free Marriage, where the analogy that they use is your family life is like a campfire. If you change one element it’s going to diffuse everything – so if you change the oxygen, the fuel or the sparks, that’s going to change everything. The more you take ownership of your own happiness and you work on your own self, where you can be more grounded and centered within your family,  within your business, within your relationships, the easier it is going to be to be happy.

4.What’s Going To Get In the Way Of These Actions?

You should now think about what’s going to get in the way of these actions and. It might be that you need to set up reminders for yourself,  maybe the last thing in your calendar for the day before you come home is that you take a deep breath, you come home grounded,  you come home happy, take a deep breath and enjoy your family. It’s important to have some sort of triggers that really help you make the best decisions.

What Are The Results Of Regularly Taking These Actions

What would your life look like if you actually took these actions on a regular basis? The way that we look at your future self is the same way your brain looks at strangers, it’s a totally different person. They found that with retirement planning, if they put the picture of a person now at the top of their retirement planning they don’t take any extra actions. But if they have an aged version of the person, where they see themselves as an older person people, they take take more actions.


We need to be able to visualize what’s going to happen as a result of us taking actions to improve our lives. When you think about that, put that in your calendar on repeat. Remind yourself that if you feel connected with your kids or spouse you’ll be happier. If you do all these other things that are going to impact your life, if you take different actions in your business, these are the results that I know will happen.  That’s going to  fuel this entire thing.

Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC

joe-sanok-private-practice-consultant-headshot-smaller-versionJoe Sanok is an ambitious results expert. He is a private practice business consultant and counselor that helps small businesses and counselors in private practice to increase revenue and have more fun! He helps owners with website design, vision, growth, and using their time to create income through being a private practice consultant. Joe was frustrated with his lack of business and marketing skills when he left graduate school. He loved helping people through counseling, but felt that often people couldn’t find him. Over the past few years he has grown his skills, income, and ability to lead others, while still maintaining an active private practice in Traverse City, MI.