How to be happy in life – Why can’t others make me happy

Haleh Banani


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Salam aleikum. The question I hear all the time is Why can't my spouse make me happy? Why can't my children make me happy? Why is it that my friends are not able to get me out of this rut and make me happy? And this is so common people wondering, why is it that other people are not doing their part? The people that they love? Why aren't they doing their part to make them happy. So I'm on a call, my name is Hala banani. And today is going to be fabulous Fridays, I'm going to do this on a regular basis in sha Allah, where I'm going to share with you psychological tricks on how to be the best version of yourself how to overcome some of the obstacles, and really just get to enjoy life and

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have that sense of happiness within. Now the question is, why can't others make me happy? And the answer is that the happiness has to come from within. Now, how is that, and it's easy said, right, it's easier said than done. And we need to find out that those individuals who rely on others to make them happy, what ends up happening is that they're extremely disappointed because no one seems to be doing enough to making it making you happy. And they take the power out of their own hands and kind of put it in other people's hands. And it is a very dysfunctional way of living because you are waiting, you are expecting others to come maybe to your rescue, or to constantly fill your cup. And

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this leads to just this endless Battle of you demanding, and others falling short, right? That this can happen within a relationship, it can be in your marriage, where you're waiting and waiting for your spouse, they need to cheer me up, they need to make me feel pretty, they need to make me feel handsome, they need to make me feel appreciated, and it's natural to have those needs. Okay, I'm not saying that this is an outrageous need. However, you need to do your part in order to get the happiness from within first because I have seen individuals who may even have very healthy happy relationships, but because they don't feel good about themselves, because they feel empty because

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they have like a insecurity in different areas of their life. No matter what the spouse or what the friend what the parent says to them. It never fills the cup. It never fills the void. salaam aleikum ideal, we have ami and we have let's see a friend and how Allah Mashallah very good to have you here. Now, the thing is that when, when a person spends time in understanding what is this void that they have inside, and it's different for each person, each person has a different sense of insecurity. And that insecurity could come from something that happened to them in childhood, it could be a lack of education could be maybe just letting themselves go, maybe it is about not

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developing their personality, whatever it is maybe not pursuing their career, maybe it's a lack of spiritual fulfillment, they don't feel like they're as good as they want to be. Now, whatever that is, you have to pinpoint it. And you need to try to fill it with the right things, because what ends up happening is that people have this void. And they start filling it with the wrong things. You know, I have clients that will go and they will spend 1000s of dollars on a monthly basis, because they want to fill this void, they feel empty inside. There are others who want to try to fill that with whether it's with possessions, it could be with titles, it could be even with wanting more

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kids, it's like they feel empty. So it's like maybe if I have more kids, maybe once I get married, I'll finally feel fulfilled. And it is really critical to evaluate that and recognize what it really is right? Because sometimes when we are told that this void needs to be filled with something more meaningful, the person doesn't want to hear it, right, it's a lot easier to just go and just swipe that credit card and says or add to the Amazon and just keep adding keep buying to feel to fill that but it is a lot harder to see yourself in the mirror and recognize that there is a void there is something within myself that I need to fill in if it's not meaningful. If I don't put in the effort.

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If I don't really do the deep internal work, then nothing is going to fill it and no one will be able to you know I have individuals that come to me and they're they're married and the husband might be just completely enamored by them and feels that they are really does happen. You say Who does that? They're enamored and they think that the spouse is really attractive that they're smart and they always get caught.

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compliments. And because the wife has maybe not spend time in developing the self esteem hasn't, doesn't feel good about herself. Any compliment she receives, she just dismisses, right just dismisses it as Ah, you just, you're just saying that to make me feel better, you don't really mean it, right. So a person with low self esteem, what ends up happening is that they dismiss any compliment any sense of achievement, they dismiss it and just base it on like, you know, it's just luck, or it's just, you know, you're just doing that to make me feel good. And when you have a sense of confidence within yourself, you can take a compliment and not not to feel egotistical about it,

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but just feeling grateful, right, it comes from that sense of gratitude, that whatever, whatever that we have is from Allah. And it's about gaining humility, actually through that, by feeling grateful that Allah has given you whatever blessing that it is. Now, this, this happiness that we're talking about, you need to focus first of all on what is it that you have, many people wake up in the morning, and they're dreading the day, they wake up, this is what I hear from clients all the time, I wake up in the morning, and I start reflecting on what on what I don't have, you know, someone may say, I don't have a house, but someone may say, I don't have that child, I didn't get

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the job, I have horrible family members, whatever it is, they are just counting instead of counting their blessings, they're counting all the things that are wrong in their life. And what does that end up doing is that a person ends up becoming miserable, they are miserable at 8am, because they woke up, and all they thought about is what I don't have, I want you to switch that around, I want you to start asking, what do I have? What am I grateful for? What is it in my life right now that I'm really appreciative about. And you know, when you do that, it's really powerful, the impact the psychological impact that it has on you, because you start searching for all those things that you

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that will make you happy, right? We have in our mind, the reticular activating system, the RA s. So you have a thought whatever that thought is, as outrageous as it is, your mind will search for proofs right for the liens to back that up. So as outrageous, you could say, my life is worthless, right? And what ends up happening is that that RA, yes, will come into work and start searching for all the reasons why your life is worthless. And what's going to happen is you're going to say, See, I have all this proof that so and so said I'm worthless, I didn't get that job I wanted, the relationship broke. And then what ends up happening is that thought becomes a belief. And then

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again, that belief, you get the RS activating, looking for, you know, evidences up, and then it becomes a conviction. And once it is a conviction, it becomes so difficult to change. And that's why we have to be so careful about the input, the input is the thought. And so if we take that input, and we are cautious about what we are getting our RS to focus on, when we talk about, what is it that I'm really happy about what am I so grateful for? What am I excited about? What if I just what can I learn today? How can I be a better person, whatever you pose, to yourself, to your mind, whatever your thoughts are there going to be backed up, it's going to be backed up, and that RNAs

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can work for you, not against you. And that way, when you wake up in the morning, and you ask those questions to yourself, instead of feeling just like you know, gloomy and feeling like you have absolutely nothing and you you just lose sight of this amazing blessings that you have, it will suddenly shift where you will be empowered, right. And it's so important for me, my mission is to empower other people. And when you feel empowered, that's when you take the responsibility in your own hands. And I could want to give you an analogy to help you understand that let's say you're not driving, okay? And you're waiting for a ride. Maybe you don't have a car and you're waiting for a

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ride. How difficult is that when you're always having to ask someone and you have to you know, humble yourself to ask for a ride, then you have to wait and you have to kind of you know, according to their schedule, and they may be running late, they may cancel on you. How much more empowering is it to be able to get into the car and drive yourself to a destination, right? And that's what I'm talking about. When you take responsibility for your happiness. You are in the driver's seat. You're not waiting around for your husband to come home or for your wife to make cheer you up. You're not waiting around. When is my son gonna call when is my daughter

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In a call, if they don't come, and I'm going to feel unhappy, who are taking the power out of your own hands, and it's time to reclaim that, it's time to be a true adult in a relationship and a true adult within yourself, where you don't focus on what is it that you don't have. And you focus on what it is that you do have. And it's like, your mind is a camera, and you need to zoom in and focus on the things that are just amazing in your life. And when you do that, you will find that everything will bring about happiness. And when that happiness is from within, then others have a winning chance of making you happy, right? Because, you know, I remember, once I was doing a

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marriage counseling with a couple, we were talking about love languages. And you know, I asked the man, you know, what is your love language, right? And he was saying all of them, sister, all of them. I am a romantic, my love languages, you know, words of affirmation, a gift giving, you know, and it's, and it's about physical touch, and it's about acts of service. All of them are my love languages, and quality time. Then I asked the wife, I said, What is your love language? Is it acts of service? She's like, no. And it's like, is it? Is it quality time? No. Is it? words of affirmation? No. I mean, I went through everything. And she was like, No, there was nothing. And

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he's like, you see, sister, you see what I'm up against. And he was really frustrated. And what we came to the conclusion in that session was, she did not know how to make herself happy. She did not work on herself. She didn't know even what makes her happy. So how could he actually make him happy? make her happy, right? So we really need to recognize what it is that brings us fulfillment, search for it, and take responsibility for it. So if you have any questions, now I can take a I can take a few questions, you're saying is this going to be saved on Facebook? Actually, what I'm going to do is I will, I will post this on my group, there's the mindful sisters, it's a free group, if you'd

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like to join it, it is for sisters. So for the brothers joining in, it won't be it won't be available, but it is on the mindful sisters group and it's a free group you can join inshallah. All right, is it this is the first time I'm listening to you, thank you for everything you're saying it is useful? Well, inshallah, it's not the last time you listen, and I'm going to be doing this on a regular basis, inshallah, it'll be fabulous Fridays, and it'll be around either 1230, around 1230 or one o'clock. And, and I'll try to put up a post and let you remind you about it. And it's just about being a better version of ourself, right. A lot of times, we're focused on home improvement, we're

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focused on making the kids better or making, you know, the community better, but very few people are putting the time and effort into making themselves their personalities, doing internal work to overcome some of those obstacles. And unless we do that deep cleaning, right, we need we need deep cleaning, sometimes the the house needs deep cleaning, sometimes a car needs deep cleaning, we need deep cleaning, internally, right, we need to do that. And we need to overcome a lot of those obstacles. And once you do it, you're going to see that my God, everything in my life is better. Whether it's my work, I'm able to focus better, I'm able to have more fulfilling relationships, I'm

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able to, you know, be a better example for my kids. So the internal work you do in building your self esteem and building who you are and having happiness, right. I mean, our goal in life is not just the pursuit of happiness, right? I mean, our, our life mission is, is to worship Allah. But one of the ways in worshiping Allah is through gratitude, when you're grateful, you are going to be a better servant of Allah. Because what happens is when we are ungrateful, what are we saying? We are we you and I never have the we wouldn't have the audacity to say that we know better than a loss to hold a law, we would never claim that, but we claim it right? We can claim that by the by the way we

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act, right? We are if we are unhappy, if we are thinking that I don't deserve this, I should have better why does this person have this and I don't have it and what is it and if you are unhappy with your situation, in a way you're implying that you know better than Allah because this is

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A master plan. And the true way of worshipping Allah is to be to be content with the other of Allah, right? That is one of the pillars of the mind that we need to accept the patter of Allah. And when we do that, then that happiness comes in, we really, really recognize that everything that is unfolding as difficult as painful as an unappealing, it is good for us. And when you understand that, you're no longer struggling, you're no longer angry at your cutter, you're no longer fighting, you are surrendering to the master plan. surrendering does not mean giving up does not mean that you just are, you know, a hopelessness or helplessness, it is about actually, you know, understanding

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the situation, accepting it, accepting it with a smile, and moving forward. So, sister Amara saying you came up with a very crucial topic. This has been a practice in our society since long time, and we need to realize this for our better, especially being parents. Absolutely. You know, if you go around being unhappy, and unhappy mother and unhappy father, and you're just walking around, complaining about society, complaining about the oma complaining about work and the people and all that all that you do, what are you instilling? What are you instilling in your kids to search for the negativity? Do you know that we are hardwired to search for negativity, we are hardwired, this

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is our survival mechanism. And this is what I mentioned in the mindful Hearts Academy, I had a whole lesson about this, how we are hardwired, Allah has made us this way to be able to recognize the dangerous This is a form of self defense, because when you you know, when our ancestors walked into a forest, or they walked, they, they couldn't just enjoy the scenery and look around, they had to really target Where are the places where I could be injured, or I could be in danger, right? So that hard wiring takes a lot more effort to overcome, you need to overcome that obstacle, right. And it takes more effort. And that's why it's a lot easier to be around people who, you know, it's it's a

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lot easier actually for the negativity to rub off on others. So someone's negative, it's like that one bad apple got one bad apple, it could just take that whole bucket, that whole bucket of apples that kind of help become bad, but the positivity, you know, we have to work a little bit harder, we have to put a little bit more effort. And if you take that initiative and you become committed, so choose your thoughts, make sure that you choose the right thoughts. Make sure that you take responsibility for your own happiness, don't give that power to anybody. Don't Don't do that to yourself. It's dysfunctional. It's going to make you frustrated. And you are just going to sit there

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and be in a state of just discontentment. So take on the power sister Deanna, sing some holla thank you for doing this live. Could you please give us some tips on how to accept bad situations and have patience on all those plan? Even if things keep going wrong? It's quite difficult sometimes the cycle of failure amazing. sakala here, thank you so much for your kind words. How do you deal with difficult situations? Right? We're all in different situations. And I can guarantee there's no one out there that doesn't have a test. Right? And if you if you think about it,

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the first thing the Brian has said, I let the halaveli Maota. Well, hyah Talia, Bella coma, Yocum, San Juan Allah, wa Houma, la zizo local food. So it is a law Who has created death and life to do what to test you. This is your test, right? And whether that is financial issues, whether that's a marital issues, your child is your biggest tasks, you have health issues loss, right? And we we all know that these are the different kinds of tests that we have. And it's just to see who is the best amongst you, right? So if we recognize that, you know, if you have a chemistry test, if you have organic chemistry, if you have if you have a biology test, if someone is taking the MCAT or the GR

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II, these are difficult tests, and we have to focus on what passing you got to pass the test. Right. And so just look at it as what could I do, how could I pass my test a lot of times, it means sucking it in, not losing my temper. It

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means being like accepting the other with dignity, right? Because some people go around on the unit and there's just like, there, there's no ounce of gratitude on their faces because gratitude, acceptance has to show on your face, on your body, on your, on your posture on your tone of voice, right. And so you find that a lot of people are just, you know, it's just talk, it's just talk, but they're not internalizing it. So we've got to really work on that. And when you recognize that this is my test, and I'm going to, you know, I'm going to hit you there, man up, I'm going to woman up, and I'm going to take this challenge, and I just want to pass it. And that's when you're able to,

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you're able to perform, because you feel you know what this is what's expected of me. And you know, it's really comforting is that in a lot law, you can live long enough son in law was a hot that I was not going to burden you with anything that is too much. And that is really comforting. And I remind myself of that, because sometimes I'll have some really challenging test, and you're tested according to your level of demand. And if you think about it, when you have hard tests, yeah. Congratulations. All right, congratulations, because that means Allah sees you as being able to tolerate this. So a first grader is going to get a test. One plus one, right? But who gets the

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calculus test, it is the person who is in high school or college level. So if you're being given that calculus test, the equivalent of a calculus test in your life, whether it's with your health, your wealth, your family, then congratulations, because that means Allah sees you as worthy and and capable of passing this test. And that's, that's the most comforting things. Salaam is it useful sisters, you said, it is called mindful sisters is the free group that I have that is on on Facebook, you can join it and there is you know, lots of discussion. And I have a mindful Hearts Academy. This is a whole curriculum, it's a one year you know, curriculum and not to be overwhelmed

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by it because you can just go at your own pace. But if you really want to do the internal work, if you really want to change and become a better version, I read the best version of yourself. That's the Academy. And inshallah, let's see, what else do we have? I love the topics are mellower, can you give some advice about toxic positivity and how to overcome challenges with gratitude? You know, the I have a

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i a little bit challenged with that, you know, the toxic positivity, some people like to throw that around as a way of just seeing, oh, you know, maybe a person who is more inclined towards pessimism, they find it actually repulsive to hear positivity. And I've heard that I've heard people say, Oh, my gosh, like so positive, or all she can do is, say the good things. And I think you have to have, obviously, you always have to be balanced. And it's not about like a Pollyanna mentality, like, overlooking what is actually happening. You have to be grounded in it grounded in reality. But it always has a moment. I love saying this as a moment, you have no choice but to be optimistic. So if

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someone has a problem with optimism, the you know, we got to kind of look into that because optimism when you are optimistic, you're affirming the names and attributes of Allah, you are believing that anything is possible by the grace of Allah. Right. So Giving that a negative twist,

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I feel is a little bit concerning. And what we can do what was the other question? Let's see how to overcome challenges with gratitude, how to overcome challenges with gratitude. If you're unable to see what you're grateful for, then maybe you need to you need to help have someone help you with it in this process, right? Like whether it's with sitting with your spouse sitting with your family members, maybe having a discussion because sometimes we do get blocked, right? You've talked about negativity, so much that it's hard to see beyond that, right.

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And it but if you look at sorry, as far as like the toxic positive positivity, sometimes people hide or mask their true feelings, which that is not good, right? We don't want to just pretend everything is good. We want to actually recognize and part of like mindfulness training is about recognizing that all

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Feelings are valid, right? It's not about good feelings, bad feelings, you know, brush away the negative feelings, because you cannot heal what you can't feel right. So we definitely don't want to be putting on a show, we don't want to be fake. And that is what I would say is like maybe toxic positivity, and trying to just get on with it without really addressing the issues, right? You don't you want to be able to see a situation and handle it without without dismissing it or just pretending it doesn't exist. Okay. All right, any other the test analogy is really perfect. It really keeps me going good. Yes, you gotta, you gotta pass that test just like a lot hair for your

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lovely way of teaching us how to improve ourselves with the best possibility. Great. Any, any other questions?

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All righty.

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Children are one of the main tests for many people it is sometimes it's the way sometimes it's the children, sometimes it's the spouse. And we just need to recognize it as this is this is our,

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you know, this is how we can get to Agenda if we pass it. And that is what's motivating. You know, with a lot of people, it is about getting into law school, getting into medical school, getting into the graduate school, they want to pass that test so they can get in right? Our excitement is being able to enter into China. And so we need to use every ounce of our energy to be able to achieve that inshallah, by likoma. Salam as SR de are joining in from Philippines. Sister Nancy is saying an older teen wants to marry a non Muslim in near future is that a test even if he knows marrying a Muslim girl more fits causes Muslim girls can only marry Muslim girls can only marry a Muslim guy.

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You know, that's, that's a tough one. And I don't know if we have time to get into that right now. But

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the best way that you can affect your children is not by you know, forbidding not by yelling, not by screaming not by doing it, you have to befriend so that they can even like they can open up and actually take advice from you. And that is my advice, right? Because a lot of times when situations like this happen, whether it's like with with marriage, what ends up happening is that

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the parent just wants to like control the situation and the person could be 25 years old. I mean, they're, they're a full fledged adult. And and so you you really could, you know, you may want to react by controlling it and for bidding and doing that, that actually makes them more insistent on getting what they want. Okay, I've seen that on many occasions, so just try to befriend, but just like a lot Hayden for, for tuning in. Let's see. I'm glad that this was helpful to you. So inshallah, I will let you know when I do more of these live lessons. And thank you for tuning in Salaam Alaikum.