post written by, VanCityLifeCoach.com
Every single person is on the same page when it comes to life. The details of our individual lives probably differ drastically, but the emotional experiences in which we wish to encounter, they're exactly the same.
I’m happy. Perhaps not all the time, but nowadays I can say with confidence that I’m living blissfully most of the time. I’ve walked away from the dark places I had convinced myself I was safe in, and I’ve stepped outside of perception and sought out truth. Many people make the mistake of “searching for happiness” as if it’s some mystical treasure waiting to be found, but I’ve learned now that the key to happiness is much more internal, we just have to face it and let it out. It was the smartest thing I ever did.
To be happy, I needed to...
…accept and be proud of who I am.
This was the most effective contribution to my happiness. I grew up in an environment of expectation, everything from how I was expected to act and what I was expected to achieve in my life. To follow tradition and fulfill a role I simply wasn’t born to play. As my own identity did not fit the criteria of such expectation, it caused conflict within my mind which led to anxiety and depression...and up until a few years ago, it ruled my life. Today however, I feel free and unburdened, I can confidently explore life to seek answers; I am free to do what I want and be who I am. As a result I’ve found purpose and passion, I’ve learned about myself and what it is I love to do. It all began when I decided to live life by the traits of my own identity, it allowed me to define my own aspirations and as I progressed down my own path, I began uncovering a sense of pride and self-respect.
…find joy in not knowing and embrace the freedom of discovery.
If you look at how kids explore life, you realize the fun and joy it is to discover and seek answers. When I went traveling, I would freely ask questions in order to understand what I didn’t know. Each and every time I learned something new, it added a new layer of awareness to my identity. A sensation that made me feel empowered to explore life further, to immerse myself in the unknown so that I could understand and connect with the world a lot better. I’m not saying travel changed me, but it encouraged me to raise questions at home and in my everyday life whenever I had any feelings of doubt and uncertainty.
…place emphasis on mindset and its key role in success.
I reflect back on moments I first shared this blog with my friends on Facebook, and how much I feared judgement and ridicule from those who thought they knew me. Today I share it with the world and also coach individuals into fulfillment. I realized that if I want to be happy, I should stick with what I love to do. Although coaching is an avenue towards bigger aspirations in my life, I love the process. Everyday, at this current moment in time, I feel I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. Rarely do I fear how life will end up, because however long it may take, at least I'm on the right path. Happiness isn’t something you can earn or accumulate, it’s something you contribute to and on this path, I'm contributing to my own happiness.
…submit to fact and adapt my behavior accordingly.
Living blissfully in ignorance is not happiness and personally I think we choose to be ignorant. They say misery needs company, however ignorance actually has it and plenty of it, and it's easy to join a herd to feel like you belong and fit in. However happiness is personal, you won't find it following trends or chasing myths.
I started my own journey for my own peace-of-mind and happiness, for nobody else. The proof is in my own well-being and if whatever I pursue turns out to be wrong, I've learned to move on until I discover what's right. If corporate gigs made me miserable, then I had to accept that to move forward. I did, and I ventured onto something far more valuable. It took me about 5 years to figure it out, but that time is experience, it signifies growth, it means something, it doesn't feel wasted and I already have so many lessons to share from them and I continue to learn.
Perception can be and often is blurred, waking up to reality and adapting my behavior towards the truth, definitely led me to a happier life. If something is factual and proven, and there’s no logical reason to challenge it, accept it and move on.
…take the time to better understand others.
Understanding other people better and getting to know them for who they really are, allowed me to better understand their actions, their perception of others and of me. For example, I realized that malicious intent was more about an internal conflict than it was about causing harm. We all desire happiness and fulfillment, but sometimes our own insecurities and troubles can make us act out in unintended ways. If you work to understand how much a person isn’t happy and fulfilled, you’ll be able to connect with them and reason with their actions.
If you take the time to learn about someone, you can learn to accept and communicate to them. In many cases, you could probably help them. There’s an empowerment that comes from this, because you begin realizing that we’re all more alike than we’re actually led to believe. It helps you ease the pressure of living with what other people think of you and it makes you feel less alone and more connected.
…overcome fear and make it a priority.
I don’t have many fears today and now I’m currently learning to overcome my fear of snakes. However other fears, like the fear of what people think of you, the fear of not succeeding or even the fear of not fitting in, will soon eradicate if you nurture the “law of awareness.” Put simply, you only need focus on being present and in the moment, for it’s the choices and actions of today that impact your future and control your past.
I’ve spoken to enough senior members of society to conceptualize regret, so get your head out of non-existent moments in time, wake up to now and allow your emotions to guide you through your reality. Which is how I made overcoming fear a priority, because overcoming it helped me regain control. Now I feel there isn't much that can stop me from chasing down my aspirations, especially no-one.
…directly challenge those that threatened my vulnerability.
There are a lot of prejudices in the world and a reason why a lot of it still exists, is because many people feel powerless to direct change. However, if you’re unhappy, perhaps change is what you actually need. I personally grew tired of people trying to understand me through the connotations that came with my skin color. I grew tired of keeping my emotions at bay, because of the connotations that came with my gender. I grew tired of having to accept everyone’s definition of success because I had my own ideas. With tiredness came frustration and frustration led to self-doubt. So I decided the only way out of this endless torment, was to face those that made me feel inferior in any way.
We’re all equals, that’s what I grew up learning and that’s what I ended up exploring and accepting. Any opportunity someone had to put me down, I simply asked them why? I’d respond in an attempt to understand rather than with a negative emotion like anger. When you give people the response they want, they win. Don’t give them the response they want, they’ll provoke. Challenge their motivation and intent and in my experience, they’ll back off.
In situations around the workplace, among your social circles and even at home, attempt to understand, educate and hopefully inspire. I don’t have time anymore for circumstances that make me feel worse about myself. I’ve learned to pay attention to how I feel, my emotions are the most honest thing I can rely on, so I’m going to protect them.
As I navigate my way through life, I may come across a more concise way to discuss how to be happy. However, what I realized as I put this blog post together, to be happy, I never really had to ask for or do much, I just had to allow myself the opportunity to be me, to be happy.