Most people sabotage themselves because they aren’t mindful in the moment. Let your daily actions be governed by your goals and dreams. Whenever you are making an important decision, first ask if it gets you closer to your goals or farther away. If the answer is closer, pull the trigger. If it’s farther away, make a different choice. Conscious choice making is a critical step in making your dreams a reality.
Aristotle said that the ultimate aim or purpose or human life is to achieve your own happiness. You are the very happiest when what you are doing on the outside is congruent with your values on the inside. When you are living in complete alignment with that which you consider to be good, right, and true, you will automatically feel happy and positive about yourself and your world.
Know What You Really Want
Stephen Covey once said, “Be sure that, as you scramble up the ladder of success, it is leaning against the right building.” Many people work hard to achieve goals that they think they want only to find, at the end of the day, they get no joy or satisfaction from their accomplishments. They ask, “Is this all there is?” This occurs when the outer accomplishment is not in harmony with your inner values. Don’t let this happen to you.
Trust Your Intuition
Self-trust is the foundation of greatness. Self-trust comes from listening to your intuition, to your “still, small voice” within. Men and women begin to become great when they begin to listen to their inner voices and absolutely trust that they are being guided to a higher power each step of the way. Living in alignment with your true values is the royal road to self-confidence, self-respect, and personal pride. In fact, almost every human problem can be resolved by returning to values.
Watch Your Behavior
How can you tell what your values really are? The answer is simple. You always demonstrate your true values in your actions and especially your actions under pressure. Whenever you are forced to choose between one behavior and another you will always act consistent with what is most important and valuable to you at that moment. Values, in fact, are organized in a hierarchy. You have a series of values, some of them very intense and important and some of them weaker and less important. One of the most important exercises you can engage in to determine who you really are and what you really want is to organize your values by priority. Once you are clear about the relative important of your values, you can then organize your outer life so that it is in alignment with them.
Determine Your Hearts Desire
The spiritual teacher Emmet Fox wrote about the importance of discovering your “hearts desire.” What is your hearts desire? As a friend of mine asks, “What do you want to be famous for?” What words would you like people to use to describe you when you are not there? What would you like someone to say about you at your funeral? What kind of reputation do you have today? What kind of reputation would you like to have sometime in the future?
Your Past is Not Your Future
Many people had difficult experiences growing up. They fell on hard times and became associated with the wrong people. Some were convicted and sent to prison for crimes. But at a certain point in life, they decided to change. They thought seriously about what kind of person they wanted to be known as, and thought of, in the future. They decided to change their lives by changing the values that they lived by. By making these decisions and sticking to them, they changed their lives. Remember, it doesn’t matter where you’re coming from; all that really matt
Our lives are inundated with practicality and productivity. We think that if there’s no purpose to something, there’s no point in doing it. In reality the best things in life have no purpose.
We sacrifice our time and our sanity doing what we don’t want to do, so at some future point we will create the freedom to do what we love.
We seek happiness in things. We seek happiness in the acceptance of others, in material possessions, in social status. We even search for happiness in some future-promised afterlife. We sabotage ourselves and our entire lives because we fail to understand a very simple but easily overlooked fact.
The Search for Happiness is the Single Greatest Cause of Misery
You can’t find something that’s already there. Happiness exists now. It’s not something you have to find. That’s like trying to find your breath.
It’s the grasping of the mind that causes unhappiness. If you’re not happy, it’s because your mind doesn’t allow you be happy. And the reason your mind doesn’t let you be happy, is because you’re stuck in the vicious cycle of productivity, judgment and purpose. That’s not to say productivity is bad, or that doing things that have a purpose is wrong. It’s basing the reason for your existence on them that causes so much anguish.
When we place our happiness solely in “getting” something, completing a certain number of tasks on our to-do list, or achieving a goal, we’re fooling ourselves. We’re like a rabbit with a carrot stick attached to our heads. We keep chasing the carrot, but we never get there. We never stop to think that it might be the chasing that’s causing the problem. We’re too distracted trying to find a better way to beat the game. As soon as we reach one level of success, we’re hurrying to upgrade our search and move on to the next level of the chase. We never stop to think that it’s not the failure to win the game that causes our grief, but the game itself.
We neglect to realize that sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to stop participating in the problem. Sometimes the best way to to solve a problem is to just stop caring (see: not giving a damn).
- The best way to solve the problem of not having a lot of cool friends is to stop caring about having cool friends.
- The smartest way to be happy with the place you live is to stop caring about living in a two story house with a pool, a fireplace, central air and satellite TV.
- The simplest way to be content with yourself is not to achieve greatness and praise, but to accept yourself fully for who you are now.
- The quickest route to happiness is to stop caring about finding happiness and to start being happiness.
By not caring, we immediately release ourselves of the grasping of the mind. But it’s not easy to stay in this mindset (the mind loves to grasp); it’s something we have to constantly cultivate.
It’s especially difficult when our society tends to place more value on things, than on experiences. We value what we do more than how we feel.
This is completely ridiculous when you think about it. Because the way you feel should be more important than anything else. Isn’t the purpose of everything you do to feel good? Isn’t the purpose of that new car, that promotion, or college degree to give you a feeling of accomplishment? Isn’t that supposed to make you happy?
The problem with this is we’re basing our happiness on temporary things. We’re deriving our joy from an achievement, or an attainment. This isn’t true happiness; it’s an addiction. We get a short burst of endorphins to our bloodstream from our new TV/television, or new iPod, and then what happens? It disappears. It leaves us feeling empty and we begin looking for our next fix.
Our advertising and consumer culture doesn’t help this much. We are constantly bombarded with messages that we need this, or we need that. Incessantly, we hear: “Buy this and it will solve your problem!” If only we could solve that problem we may finally be happy. Wrong. It’s not the problems that are the problem. I mean, buying a more efficient vacuum or sowing on that button you’ve been meaning to for seven years is great. You may feel a sense of achievement for a few moments or days. But you’re still looking for happiness in a thing.
It’s the same with productivity. If only we could finish all of the things on our to-do list, could we be content. If only we could accomplish all of our goals, could we finally be gratified. This thinking is based on the illusion that you’ll reach a certain point where everything is done. You finally made it! There’s nothing left in your inbox, all your projects are complete and your lifelong goals are achieved! Now you can rest easy.
But this point never seems to come, does it? That’s because there will always be things to do. There will always be challenges, because everything in life is constantly changing. If you reached a point in your life where you had no more problems, no more struggles, no more worries, life would stop. The game would end and there would be no point left in playing.
So… what can we do about this?
We Need to Stop Caring
That doesn’t mean we stop trying to achieve our goals or striving for personal growth. It just means that we no longer base our happiness on fleeting, semi-permanent things.
There are obviously some situations where not caring may have serious negative consequences (see paying your rent). Excessive caring, however, is likely to make you miserable.
The reason caring too much can be detrimental to your health, is you’re so focused on the future. Your identity is too attached to outcomes. If something does, or doesn’t go your way, it will likely have an enduring effect on your mood for the rest of the day.
Instead, we should base our happiness on permanent things. Things that don’t change. Desires that don’t shift from moment to moment. We choose to find our happiness in living. In life itself. In fact, we don’t even need to “find” happiness. We can be happiness.
So stop searching. You can’t find something that’s already there.
Your life is a journey ahead of you.
Each day is a new beginning.
Yesterday is a friend that will guide you.
There will be good times and bad times;
Cherish the good, because they make life sweet,
But be thankful for the bad,
For through them you come to know
The important things in life
And the meaning of life.
There will be times when you face
And you won’t know which way to turn.
The important thing is that you make a choice,
And move forward.
There will be times that test your strength and endurance,
But don’t give up;
Refuse to accept defeat,
For perseverance is the key to success.
there will be times when you are hurt by love.
Forgive those who hurt you
So that your heart will be free to love again.
There will be times when you make mistakes.
Remember that mistakes are not a reflection of your self-worth,
But of your humanity.
Nor do they make you less of a person.
Because of the lessons you’ve learned,
You’ve grown and become wiser.
There will be times when your search for happiness
Leads to frustration and disappointment,
But don’t stop believing in happiness.
Being happy with yourself goes a long way toward
Knowing happiness in your life.
There will be times when life seems unfair,
But don’t allow it to make you bitter
And steal your joy.
Nothing is worth this.
When fear stands in the way of reaching out for your dreams,
Confront them and you will conquer them.
There will be times when your faith is shaken,
But don’t despair,
It will rise up and carry you above the storm and to victory….
We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren’t old enough and we’ll be more content when they are. After that we’re frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are able to go on a nice vacation, when we retire.
The truth is, there’s no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when?
Your life will always be filled with challenges. It’s best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. Alfred D Souza said, “For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.
This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have. And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time … and remember that time waits for no one…
So stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school, until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning, until you get a new car or home, until your car or home is paid off, until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter, until you are off welfare, until the first or fifteenth, until your song comes on, until you’ve had a drink, until you’ve sobered up, until you die, until you are born again to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy…
Author: Crystal Boyd , 1998. From the book: “Midnight Muse.”
Imagine there is a bank which credits your account each morning with $86,400, carries over no balance from day to day, allows you to keep nocash balance, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course! Well, everyone has such a bank. Its name is TIME. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the records of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is no drawing against the “tomorrow”. You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success!
- that when you’re in love, it shows.
- that just one person saying to me, “You’ve made my day!” makes my day.
- that being kind is more important than being right.
- that you should never say no to a gift from a child.
- that I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him in some other way.
- that no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.
- that sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.
- that it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
- that under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
- that to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
- that when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
- that love, not time, heals all wounds.
- that everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
- that no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.
- that opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.
- that when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
- that I wish I could have told my Dad that I love him one more time before he passed away.
- that one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.
- that a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
- that I can’t choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.
- that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.
- that it is best to give advice in only two circumstances; when it is requested and when it is a life threatening situation.