We all want to be happy.
A wise spiritual teacher once told me, “If more of something isn’t better, then it’s not the cause of your happiness!”
Like me, maybe you have tried looking for lasting peace and fulfillment in _______ (what's your addiction, food, work, relationships...?)
How’s that working for you?
Now you might be asking yourself, “Why wouldn’t I want ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner? I’m an adult. I can do what I want.”
Or, “What’s wrong with working 16 hour days? I can buy the stuff that makes me happy, right?”
Or, “Why shouldn’t I keep looking for Mr. Perfection? He’s got to be out there waiting for me! And when I find him I will really be happy, right?”
And I’d have to answer, yes, by all means, do it if it makes you truly happy. You’ll know that you have arrived if the more you do it, the happier you become.
On the other hand, if you have tried the path of wanting more and achieving less happiness and you are ready for a different approach, let me show you what I have learned about how changing our thinking can lead to lasting joy and real peace of mind.
Researching happiness and suffering
I was once where you are now, searching for answers out in the big wide world. There were so many places to look, so much research to do. I looked for my happiness in relationships, searching for the right man to love me, admire me and even take care of me. I fell in and out of love many times and never found the eternal love that I craved.
I looked for my happiness in accomplishments. I worked hard, got straight A’s, and attracted scholarships to attend fancy universities. I got one degree and pursued a second one. Yet I was on the path to disappointment because I thought those achievements would make me happy. They did not. I ended-up book-smart but woefully ignorant of how to find happiness.
I next aspired to be a mother. I really knew that having a baby would complete my search for happiness. And darn, it took a long time! The goal of becoming a parent involved many steps. I had to find a husband, earn a living and make a home. I had to completely change my eating habits and improve my health to get pregnant. I did it all because I was 100% sure that I would finally attain lasting happiness with a baby in my arms.
I deeply loved my infant son. And yet from the moment he was born I realized that my happiness was now dependent on everything he did. I stressed myself out wondering if he would keep breathing through the night, if I could afford the best schools, if he would avoid pain and frustration and enjoy a good life. I wondered, would he be happy? I was back on the wheel, distressed and spinning.
Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results?
All the wanting and achieving just stressed me out because it happened again and again and again. Although I always knew exactly what I wanted, what my next move was, I was chasing my own tail. I just couldn’t see the bigger picture. I didn’t know why I wanted what I wanted. I had a bad case of Wanting Disease.
At a certain point I lost confidence in my ability to want what was good for me, to make decisions in my own best interest. So I gave up wanting and choosing. I stopped the striving and ambitions of my youth. Indecisiveness and analysis-paralysis set in and made life chaotic. I was depressed and I felt more out-of-control than ever.
But I kept digging, determined to get answers about why I was chronically unsatisfied with my life. I shoveled away until slowly, imperceptibly, I became exhausted, hopeless and covered in muck. And yet I could not let go of the struggle.
Finally one day, with no real idea why I was still digging, too tired to care anymore, I just stopped. That’s when I heard the new, more practical voice in my head say, “Hey! It’s dark and dank down here. Are you ready to stop digging and climb out of this hole?”
I took a break, clambered up on top of the big mess I'd made of my life, and took in a breath of fresh air.
I got a new view and what I saw astounded me.
I realized that my happiness depended not on what I owned, what I achieved, or whose mother I had become. I understood that happiness was not something I could find outside of my own thinking. Standing atop my own self-created heap of disappointment, failure and dissatisfaction, I knew, that the right thing to do was to stop trying to please others. I understood that it was time to take care of myself. I grasped that in order to get what I want, what everyone wants, – happiness – I had to change my thinking. I trusted that with the right intention, the process of caring for myself could help others as well.
Happiness is an inside job!
The most important determinant of happiness and success is not what others think of us, but what we think of ourselves!
Are you ready to stop digging your hole?
Put down your shovel and look around. Are you ready to come up out of the dark, dank world of procrastination, resistance and denial of your own radiance?
I thought so.
Because if you are ready to find rather than chase happiness, I have an idea for you. Join my community.
Come learn how to want what’s good for you. Learn how to love what’s good for you. Stop the cycle of chasing happiness and clinging to what little you’ve got. Find out how to achieve permanent self-confidence, no matter the size of your personal excavation project. Come up into the light of day, the only place where you can radiate your values, your gifts and your true nature. Learn why taking care of yourself first is the most compassionate act you can accomplish for others.
Is there an obstacle in your path? An unmet dream that doesn’t want to rise to the top of your TO DO list? A yearning that has begun to wreak chaos on your Plan A? Are you in need of a re-frame? Are you ready for an updated perspective? Do you desire a fresh way to look at the situation?
Would finding your own path to self-confidence help you and help those you love? Join me.
Welcome! I’m so glad you’ve read this far and that you’re ready to transform you life and positively affect everyone around you.