When it comes to finding happiness, many of us seem to be looking for it in all the wrong places, wasting time and energy, not realizing that the root of happiness is within each and every one of us, in our hearts. Allowing ourselves to experience genuine happiness is to become happiness, it is wanting happiness to be a part our lives with all our hearts and being open to receiving it no matter what form it might take.
Today I would like to share with you the five steps that will help you on this journey toward experiencing the real happiness you have been searching up until this very moment
1. Surround yourself with people who love and accept you
Surround yourself with people who allow you to be you, for who you are, not for what they want you to be.
You know those people who are always eager to help you change, even if you don’t want to change? I believe in change, I embrace change, but when a person doesn’t want to change or is not ready to change, forcing her to do just that is quite disturbing. You simply can’t “help” somebody who doesn’t want to be helped.
I can tell you from my own experience that, when you accept and love people for what they are, and you treat them, not as if they aren’t complete or whole, not as if they are inferior to you, that is when you are in fact helping them.
Goethe said it so beautifully, that “When we treat a man as he is, we make him worse, but when we treat a man as he should be, as he could be, we promote him to what he should be and could be, we help him grow, and you help him become more than he already is.” and this is what I call THE POWER OF NON-INTERFERENCE!
2. Cultivate new, positive and empowering habits
It is said that negative habits are easy to form but hard to live with, while on the other hand, positive and empowering habits are harder to form but a lot easier to live with. Just think about how easy it is to form the habit of procrastination for example, which is a negative habit, in case you thought otherwise.
Now let’s try to cultivate a new and positive habit. We want you to wake up every morning an hour earlier to exercise, meditate or I don’t know, you could pick whatever positive habit you want. You will tell yourself that you must do it, you want to do it, you have to do it, and in the morning, when the alarm clock rings, what do you do? You turn it off and you continue sleeping saying to yourself: “I will wake up earlier tomorrow. Yes! Tomorrow I will definitely do it!” Is that O.K.?
3. Invest in yourself
The way I see it, there is no greater investment than the investment you make in yourself, because, just like Eckhart Tolle said it “you can lose something that you have but you can never lose something that you are.” You are your most precious treasure, and if you choose to dig without instead of digging within, you will never find real happiness, you will never find long term happiness, only short and superficial happiness. Learn to see yourself as your most valuable possession, work on doing just that.
4. Lighten your load
You know how people always complain that they don’t have enough, and that they need more, they want more, they must have more? Well, let me ask you this question: Right now, do you really need more? More clothes, more shoes, more money, more stuff, more of everything? I mean, do you really need more than you already have, right this very moment, not in the future, not in an hour, not in a week, a month or a year, but now!
Take time to think about it, if you need it, but chances are that the answer will be NO. According to the 20/80 rule, we only use 20% of the things we have, only 20% … and even so, we always complain that there isn’t enough and that we don’t have enough.
I am not against having money, I am not against having beautiful things, stuff, etc., but the idea is to look over those things you no longer need, to look over those things you no longer use, and give them away, make room for new things, better things to come your way. I am 100% sure that you feel better now, knowing that you don’t just have to give stuff away just to lighten your load, but because you need to make room for new stuff to come your way, right?
5. Take time to recover
People nowadays work way too much and whenever they take a break, that is if they take one, whenever they take a vacation, some time off, instead of enjoying themselves, instead of being present in whatever it is that they are doing, they are thinking about what needs to be done at work, what they should do when they go back to work, whether it was a good idea to take a vacation or not, whether they should go back to work earlier, etc. And of course, this isn’t only about those people who have a job, but for all those people who are always so “busy”.
I want you to read these incredible words that came from no other than Leonardo Da Vinci, who clearly understood the importance and power of resting and recovery, the importance of taking some time off from your work: “Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.”
You see, if we could all take some time and think about what truly makes us happy, we would come to the conclusion that our own happiness is not something that depends on how others treat and look at us, but rather on how we treat ourselves, how we love ourselves and how we treasure and work with the time we have been given here on this amazing planet.