Gretchen Rubin put a really gorgeous interview up on The Happiness Project with Tina Roth Eisenberg. Tina is a designer and blogger on SwissMiss, which is a cool compendium of sleek new products, furniture, and websites. Tina quotes Goethe in the interview, and for some reason it particularly struck me today:
Is there a happiness mantra or motto that you’ve found very helpful? (e.g., I remind myself to “Spend out.”) Or a happiness quotation that has struck you as particularly insightful?
I have this Goethe quote I find myself going back to:
“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”[I love that passage too, and in fact, quoted it in The Happiness Project.]
I try to remind myself that I am the decisive element. I try hard not to be a complainer but a problem solver. If I don’t like something in my life, or think something is missing, I try to create it, actively go after it.
It’s good to remind myself that while I can’t control a lot of what happens in life, and even can’t control my feelings about it, I do control my response to the situation and that can make all the difference.
Read the interview HERE
Tina’s blog is pretty cool too. SwissMiss