Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself. ~Alice Walker
We have been programmed in many ways to feel that our ability to lead a happy life is dependent on outside influences. Validation of self through others, the accumulation of stuff, conformity to the norm, are just several of the ways in which we anchor what should arise from the inner core and be a part of the fabric of our being to the physical world.
It is not as if we have not been bombarded by these concepts from the time we are able to comprehend the concept of cause and effect. Through our families, media, advertising, friends, or any other human interaction in which some type of worldly worth is placed on whatever circumstance we are facing, we become conditioned to placing a value on things. We have to have so much money, this type of job, these amounts of savings, this sort of build, a certain look, to a point where the senses are overloaded and we accept this as the way it has to be.
Many of us stay content walking or running in place until a jarring event or circumstance forces us to face and at times question whether we are truly content with our lot in life. Once we are forced off the treadmill, the Universe either nudges or pushes us to seek our own individual path and we then start to become more aware that our happiness can never be of the outside plane, but resides within our individual souls. As a concept itself, happiness has a circular definition completely relative to where you are in your life in a given moment.
When I was furiously arguing with a driver in Honduras on the cusp of a pitch black field to return to a safe place after he indicated we would be picking up a friend of his for the ride, I was not happy. Once the windshield lit up from the refraction of the red beam attached to a rifle scope which danced between my forehead and that of the driver as it streamed from the “empty” field, I was happy when the car backed up and we sped down the road.
1. Depend only on yourself for happiness
We have to listen to ourselves and we will be guided to do what we need to do. We cannot base any part of our happiness on another person. It is unfair and no one should be placed in that position and have that type of responsibility hoisted on them nor should we want to be with someone who craves this to be their role. We can wish someone happiness, but happiness cannot be forced, manipulated, or faked. We take actions that are thoughtful and mindful because we want to and not out of a sense of obligation.
Only when we have inner peace and a healthy respect and relationship with ourselves, can weattain a sense of happiness that is in balance.
2. Live in the Present Moment
When we spend the energy to reflect on the past, we sometimes get caught up in scenarios which we play out in our heads that are not true or exaggerated truth. If things were really so great, we would still be in situations that were weighing us down and at times sucking the life out of our souls.
A set of unique events brought us each to this exact moment of time and where we are in our lives. We had to undergo constant change and movement in our lives to be the people we are this instant. If you were to change one decision in the past, the present would be completely different That is why if we are unhappy this instant, we have an incredible power to change the course of our lives so that what occurs now impacts the what happens in an hour or tomorrow. If you feel happy in this moment, decisions will be made this instant that either enhance this state of bliss or take you on a different path.
Regardless of where we are, living in the Now and allowing all things and people to just Be, opens the door for the Universe to work her magic for the good of all. The minute we try to force or control the Universe, is when we go out of balance and start spiraling into a state of chaos in our lives. Just Be.
The minute we try to control, we lose control.
3. Embrace Change as an integral part to Happiness
What is exciting about the notion of impermanence is discovering what the change will be and what the now just became. We and everyone in our lives is blessed with the ability to change, to grow to blossom and to live out our bliss. We should embrace our potential and bravely accept the challenges we face which become the vehicles that carry us to who we are to become.
The tip of the iceberg, but a least we see the iceberg…
Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:
1. Give up your need to always be right
There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?
2. Give up your need for control
Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.
“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu
3. Give up on blame
Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.
4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk
Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.
“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle
5. Give up your limiting beliefs
about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!
“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle
6. Give up complaining
Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.
7. Give up the luxury of criticism
Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.
8. Give up your need to impress others
Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.
9. Give up your resistance to change
Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell
10. Give up labels
Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer
11. Give up on your fears
Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
12. Give up your excuses
Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.
13. Give up the past
I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.
14. Give up attachment
This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another, attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.
15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations
Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves. You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.