It’s so important to stop every once in a while and think, really think, about what you want to get out of life. Standing tall and living your truth may be frightening, but it’s time to work out what you need to make you happy… and then do something about it.
We all have responsibilities. Of course we do. We have people who rely on us and bills that need to be paid. So we’re not suggesting that you hand in your notice at work tomorrow if you're not currently in your dream job. But, know that you have a responsibility to yourself to live your most authentic life. You only get one. Take time to discover your true talent and take steps to carve out changes that reflect the real you. The first step can be as simple as trying the Morning Pages technique to bring some clarity into your life.
No matter how much material success you have, your intrinsic value doesn't change. No matter how much money you earn, you are still you. Sports cars don’t change that - and they don’t bring true happiness. Now, we're paraphrasing here, but the Dalai Lama once said that people spend too much time losing their health in order to make money, then have to spend that money in later life to try to buy back their health - if that's even possible at that point. Does that sound like a good investment to you?
We are all guilty of hiding behind something or someone at times. Maybe it’s easier to let someone speak up for you if you are feeling shy or insecure. We all have those moments. But you have a voice and your views and opinions matter just as much as the next person's. Maybe you find yourself hiding behind a corporate suit rather than walking into a room wearing the bright clothes that make you feel more ‘you’. Stop hiding and walk into that room as your authentic self. You might not feel comfortable with a radical overnight makeover, but breaking free, one step at a time, will feel empowering. Have fun and enjoy the process.
It’s a cliché, but it really is your life and noone else’s, so it’s up to you to choose what you do with it. Don’t live the life other people expect of you. It’s not about what your mother, partner or colleagues want you to be. It's not about pleasing or impressing other people. It's about living a life that fulfils you. It’s great if you can make other people happy along the way, but you are not responsible for their happiness. And they shouldn't be able to dictate yours. You can support and guide the significant people in your life, but never forget that you - and only you - are the headline act in your life story.
How many times do you say ‘yes’ when what you really want to say is ‘no’? Sometimes there’s no avoiding tasks that have to be done, but there is always a choice over how, where and when they are done. When we say yes to things that annoy us it can cause us to feel resentful, when in fact we could have simply said 'no' or 'not right now'. It’s ok to prioritise what you are doing first. You don’t have to constantly drop everything to prioritise other people's to do lists. Your happiness is important too.
Money can’t buy happiness. Yes, it's another cliché, but it's also a true statement. Here’s an example. Maybe you dream of owning a holiday home abroad. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But take a moment to break it down. What is it that really appeals to you? If what you really want is a relaxed, slower pace of life and the freedom to escape your day-to-day life for a few weeks or even months every year, a second home in Spain could tick those boxes. But it will also bring with it more life admin, more bills, more ties. It’s possible that a holiday home could give you the freedom you crave, but think about it and be sure... don't let reality suck the life out of your dreams!
We’re all guilty of thinking about happiness as a future concept that we are reaching for. ‘When I have this, then I will be happy.' Right? How long do we spend waiting for the next 'when'? That's why it is so important to focus on what can make you happy today - and stop doing the things that don't. Standing tall and living your truth may be frightening - especially for those of us who are in such a routine, we haven't stopped to think what actually makes us happy. So let's all stop to take the time to celebrate what we love about ourselves and take steps towards living our most authentic lives, right now. Pop it on your To You list this week.