“Happiness is when what you think, what you say,
and what you do are in harmony.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
We are all beautiful human beings here in this world trying to find our way. Every day we seek to better understand the meaning of our lives. We long to discover our gifts and release them fully into the world, and we hope to find happiness and peace along the way. For some of us the key to these desires rings loud and clear, driving what we do and how we do it. For others, these deep seeded needs are buried below the noise of daily life, below ego, below fear, below the pressures and norms that we face in society… and thus, they are rarely addressed.
Along my own journey of self-actualization, I’ve witnessed dozens of great people discover their own paths to happiness and self-fulfillment, and I’ve noticed many common themes emerge. In all cases, the happiness they discover and gradually develop internally is seeded by the realization of certain fundamental truths.
It seems we are all here to realize these truths, in our own way, in our own time. And once they resonate fully, not just intellectually, but emotionally and spiritually, we are then able to find the happiness and peace we seek…
1. It’s impossible for anyone else to define YOU.
You are indefinable. You are the only one in this world who gets to say who you are. Circumstances and the opinions of others can only define you if you allow them to. Do not give away your power and the magic of your essence by putting weight on negative situations in your life or the negative words of other people.
2. You were born with everything you need.
There is nothing you are missing. There is no need to frantically become more, be more, do more, or get more. You are whole and complete, and were gifted every talent and insight you needed to thrive in this world in the moment you were born. Your only job is to accept this truth and then allow it to unfold. Some gifts don’t become apparent until later in life. Some insights only become clear to you once you have life experiences that unlock such wisdom from within you. Trust in this and relax.
3. Perfection is a man-made illusion.
We are beautifully imperfect beings, operating in a very imperfect world, and that is just the way it is meant to be. Striving for perfection is a hollow goal, one that can never be achieved. Society shows us doctored images of perfection constantly in marketing, media, opinions and expectations. Do not buy into this illusion; it will only lead you into darkness. Embrace your quirks, your flaws and the fact that life is a roller coaster at times. Strive for excellence, have high standards… but never confuse that with the crippling behavior of perfectionism.
4. You are NOT your thoughts.
You are the witnessing essence and consciousness behind the noise in your mind. Your mind doesn’t define you, nor does it control you. It is not who you are. As soon as you recognize this, by watching your thoughts like an intrigued third-party observer, you will create instant distance from those thoughts and therefore no longer be identified with or enslaved by them. (Read The Power of Now.)
5. Your beliefs can be modified to lift you up.
Whatever you believe to be true about yourself and life in the long-term becomes your reality. Your beliefs are ingrained patterns of thinking that you build up over a lifetime. They are habitual ways of processing the world around you. If those beliefs don’t work in your favor, you can change them. How? In the very same way the negative beliefs formed in the first place – via repetitive thoughts that you accepted to be the truth. Ingrain new beliefs by consciously choosing and repeating messages that lift you up.
6. The past and future don’t exist.
Now is the moment. The past is just a memory. The future is a mental projection. You can choose to dwell back in the past for learning and joyous reflection. You can choose to dwell in the future for visualization and practical planning. However, any time your awareness floats away to the past or future frequently for negative purposes, you are suffocating your ability to thrive in the only moment you ever have… the now. Past and future literally do not exist right now – feel the freedom in this truth. (Read The Untethered Soul.)
7. Your calling in life is to fully express who you already are.
The world will never see another human being like you. There is no one on the face of the planet that has what you have. Your uniqueness, in every respect, is your gift. Life asks one thing of you… to be the full expression of yourself so that you can leave your unique imprint on all those you encounter and upon the world. Never underestimate the power of your energy and how it ripples outwards to affect everything and everyone around you – IF you are being your full, authentic self. Honor your intuition and act upon all your inspirations.
8. Challenges are gifts for your growth.
Without challenges you cannot unlock your full potential. Obstacles are opportunities for growth. The world needs the fullness of who you are, and it is through your experiences in life that you unfold into that fullness. How can you demonstrate willpower and strength if your resolve has never been tested? How can you role model love and compassion if you have never faced the opposite? Knowing there is a higher purpose within dark times, is what leads you to be at peace in the midst of those storms, knowing that you are a diamond being forged under pressure.
9. Forgiveness is choosing happiness over hurt.
We do not forgive others in order to free them of the situation, burden, guilt or regret. We forgive others to free ourselves and walk into compassion and love by doing so. It is in freeing ourselves that our energy level rises, our consciousness rises, and in doing so those around us benefit too. The words of forgiveness have a positive impact on those we forgive, but ultimately forgiveness is a choice that allows us to be happy again. This goes for both forgiveness of others and forgiveness of self.
10. Surrender is the essence of a happy life.
Letting go is not giving up. Letting go is surrendering any obsessive attachment to particular people, outcomes and situations. Surrender means showing up every day in your life with the intention to be your best self, and to do the best you know how, without expecting life to go a certain way. Have goals, have dreams, aspire and take purposeful action, but detach from what life must look like.
The energy of someone aspiring to create their dreams, teamed with surrender, is far more powerful and creative than someone determined to create outcomes with a desperate ‘must have’ mentality. Surrender brings inner peace and joy, and lest we forget that our outer lives are a reflection of our inner state of being. (Read 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
The floor is yours…
What would you add to this post? What’s one realization or truth you’ve learned that has helped you find more happiness in life? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Photo by: Frank Wuestefeld