Want to be happy? Know yourself.By Shuying KeNov 02, 2015
Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you really need to do, in order to have what you want.
– Margaret Young
How satisfied are you with your life?
Imagine for a moment what life could be like if you spent your days doing things that mattered to you. What if you were able to spend your time completely engaged in your daily activities, consumed by a sense of purpose so strong that you were invigorated, motivated, and inspired?
Why is it that some of us manage to lead lives filled with passion and meaning, while the rest of us suffer through corporate 9-5 jobs, wishing the hours away until we are released from the shackles of triviality and drudgery?
Obviously, something is missing.
Just what is the missing puzzle piece to a good and fulfilling life? To find the answer, you must first answer an important question. A question that can be answered by no one else but you.
Who are you?
You are not who you think you are. You are not your job. You are not the numbers in your bank account. You are not your fears, your thoughts or your emotions. You are not who other people expect you to be. You are not the box society has pigeonholed you into. You are unlimited potential.
Find yourself. Know yourself.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
– Steve Jobs
Only when you know yourself can you get a sense of what really matters to you, what fulfills you at the core, and what makes your heart sing. If you do not know what you truly seek, then you will be condemned to chasing after the wrong things, only to find that the prize was only an illusion. The key to unlocking fulfillment and happiness is to know what really matters to you, and center your life around pursuing those things.
If you are ready to start knowing yourself, here are 3 things you can do:
1. Listen to yourself.
There is a voice inside you that is constantly guiding you. It pulls you in the right direction and urges to make good choices. How often do you listen to that voice? That voice is not the fearful whisper that keeps you in your comfort zone. It is the voice calling you towards your heart’s real desire, towards light and growth. It is the gut instinct you override because you don’t trust yourself. But it is always there, has your best interests at heart, and is always speaking to you. Are you ready to hear what your true, authentic self has to say?
2. Observe yourself.
You are constantly reacting to the world around you. Have you ever stopped to ponder why you behave the way you do? Suppose you walk by an acquaintance on the street. Do you excitedly say hello, or shrink away hoping he won’t notice you? Suppose you promised yourself you would wake up at 8am. Do you hit the snooze button or wake up when the alarm goes off? We are constantly reacting to our environment. Some reactions might be appropriate, others hold us back. Observe yourself. Are your actions taking you in the direction you wish to go, or are you stopping yourself?
3. Follow your bliss.
Following your bliss isn’t about just about doing whatever you like. It is about identifying a cause which you are truly passionate about and putting your all into pursuing it. In doing so, you will unleash your potential, feel yourself come alive, and serve the world in the way only you can. Pursue your true calling and doors will open where none existed before. If you do not yet know what your bliss is, listen to yourself. What excites you to your core? Then act. Take a step towards your dream. Through action comes clarity.
4. Reach out.
Still feeling stuck? There are ways to overcome that. You don’t have to figure this out all by yourself. Sometimes simply having a chat could shine light on your blind spots and bring awareness to your situation, empowering you to move forward. Whether it’s a life coach, mentor, or friend, ask for help and be open to whatever shows up for you. You can also deepen this conversation through coaching.