Yes, it's an inside job.
You have to be happy... TRULY happy inside. You can't rely on other factors, people, places, things to make you happy. YOU have to make yourself happy. Things happen when you are a happy, good person. People want to be around you. People appreciate things. People want to do things FOR you. Nobody wants to be around the sad sack who is having a pity party of one. They want to be happy. Happy people attract other happy people.
It's all about perspective. Or introspective (is that even a word?). My homework assignment last month was to stop the negative self-talk. While it wasn't a whopping success, I have become more AWARE when I am doing it and I make an effort to turn those negative thoughts around. That, my friends, is progress.
For example: I was meeting a totally awesome, amazing friend over the weekend for some much-needed girl time. I left my house with plenty of time to stop at an ATM and arrive about 15 minutes early so I could pick out my polish color. Then traffic happened. Like, epic Sunday afternoon out-of-nowhere traffic. It was bizarre - we were not moving more than 5 miles per hour on the highway. I texted my friend, who was fortunately on a different route and slightly ahead of me. I called the salon to tell them I was going to be late. The receptionist snootily asked me "Well... when do you THINK you will be there?" Usually, I would have responded very defensively. This time, I told him, "Well, sir... I have no control over what is happening in front of me, nor do I have any idea when the traffic will start moving again." He asked if I could get there within 20 minutes, and I calmly repeated "I have no control over what is happening in front of me. I will do my best to get there, but I cannot predict what will happen." The negative me would have told the guy he was an asshole and cancelled my appointment never to return again. Instead... I was nice. Yes, I was late but they did wait for me. Our pedicures were slightly rushed but we still got to spend time together and then have lunch and gossip more.
I am really doing what I can to cease the rude, bitchy inner me who comes out when I lose patience. I have to accept that there are certain things that are beyond my control and stop stressing about it. For instance... TRAFFIC. I can't do anything about what goes on in front of me, so I can't get too anxious about being late for something if I know I have done what I could to be early or on time (I am always at least 15 minutes early for everything... one of those OCD things).
I am a much happier person when I stop listening to that negative inner voice. I even went shopping one day, and at least 3 women stopped me in Macy's to compliment either my hair, my makeup, or ask me for style advice. It was so flattering, and awesome because that NEVER happened to me before. If I am in one of my negative mindsets, I am totally unapproachable and keep my head down. Happy me walks with pride, I own it, and apparently I look like a nice enough person for strangers to come up to me. I even find that I am dressing better when I'm just running errands on the weekend. No yoga pants and schleppy hoodie, but actual clothes that I wear to work.
So, my homework for this month is to stop relying on outside factors to make me happy. I have to figure out how to just BE happy without relying on compliments, gifts, money, or anything else to make me happy. When I'm happy, good things happen. I strongly recommend it... it's incredible how much a little perspective adjustment can change your whole world if you let it.