Today I was listening to a shiur, (which as of this writing I have not finished) by Rabbi Rietti, and he posited, that happiness is my own responsibility. Something that I have known for a while on an intellectual level, but never felt down to my core, and this has had implications in my life in the past. Often times I would feel that I'll be happy when...
I get a new phone
I lose weight
I get married
I get a new job
etc. I am sure you can fill in your own things.
Now, if I am responsible for my own happiness, than that means that Hashem has given me reasons to be happy, otherwise how could I be responsible for it? So, along my reasons to be happy I have come up with, I can see, eat, hear, talk, walk, I have a great wife, I have an apartment, I don't owe 3 billion dollars to the bank etc. I am sure you can also come up with your own things to be happy. So, if I am responsible for my own happiness, than it makes sense if I am also responsible for other things that I have control over, such as what I eat, how I dress, how much I work out or don't work out, how I perform at my job, how I act towards my wife, and how much of a relationship I want with Hashem. Now if I am responsible for these areas, and more, than it is safe to assume that Hashem wants me to grow in those areas, and has given me the tools to do so. After all, I am a human so Hashem must want me to grow, is that is our job here on this planet, to grow. Therefore, our biggest challenges are also our biggest areas for growth. What does this mean? You (I) have to take that first step. Nothing happens until you make a move.