I know so many people who are so talented, so intelligent, so blessed... and who are so unhappy or angry, so lost, and so lonely - even when they are in relationships or have good jobs, great kids, a beautiful home or any number of attributes socially considered successful. I recognize this because I was there myself. If we're honest, we all have been at one time or another.
Yep - I didn't know what I had, couldn't see the damage I was inflicting on my own life and mind, and focused only on tomorrow. My favorite phrase was "as soon as..."
I thought I had all the time in the world to "get there..." It never dawned on me that "THERE" was already present with me. I forgot what it was like to be in The or Any Moment. I really didn't even know how to be happy and got exceptionally annoyed with anyone who was chipper or dared to suggest I learn how to be happy again... who were they to tell ME anything? They didn't know my circumstances, couldn't possibly understand my stress or pain, and could never tell me HOW exactly to BE happy.
As if happy was a state of being rather than a momentary feeling... hmph.
What happened? Why did I feel that way?
As a child and later as a young woman, I was taught two things among many about how to "be successful" which I was told would make me HAPPY: 1) don't depend on anyone; 2) perfection is attainable if you try hard enough.
How? You could make straight A's; hit a homerun if you concentrated; score the winning basket if you took the shot yourself... while these are seemingly individual achievements, the first requires good teachers and the opportunity to learn, the latter two are team sports. Hmmm...
Those two premises are fundamentally flawed because both invalidate the joy of the journey and deceive you into thinking you can be an Island - A Tower of Strength - mistaking independence with being alone while setting perfection as the only acceptable goal, leaving you feeling disappointed no matter how much you attain or obtain in life.
The Island Theory lulls you into believing you can do it all , all by yourself; don't need help; and really shouldn't even ask for it because that would be weak... when in reality true strength is exemplified in vulnerability, humility, and selflessness - all of which can only be experienced with others.
So in your journey toward your Vision, your Dream, Yourself - consider your thoughts and the words you speak. Are they positive - encouraging you or inspiring others and allowing you to embrace the beautiful journey? or are they negative - holding you back from BEING, let alone Being Happy or Loved; feeling grounded or connected - keeping you on your own island?
Think it through, write down the thoughts you have and the words you speak. Then determine for yourself if they are helping or hindering you from achieving your state of Being that embraces happiness and empowers you to reach your dream.
THINK. WRITE. BELIEVE. ACT.
I really enjoyed your post. It made me think....How do we know when we are happy? Sometimes unhappiness (I don't know if that is really a word) makes us change for the better. If being happy means being content, then I don't know if I would actually accomplish half the things I have. If I was happy, and satisfied, I may have not strived for something better, sought that other college degree, or applied for that other job. If I was satisfied with my life in Philly, I would have never moved to NJ, I would have never met Mandy, etc....
Would you separate professional happiness and personal happiness? For example, I would be pretty happy with my personal happiness, I have two wonderful kids, a wife that keeps me in line, I have everything a man could ask for. However, professionally, I am not happy. I haven't been for some time. I really strive for something better, something more rewarding, something more satisfying, something more challenging. But isn't that how we grow? If we are unhappy, doesn't that motivate us to achieve something better? If so, is there anything wrong with that? However, would we ever know happiness when we get it???
Interesting topic with more questions than answers.
Good post....keep them coming!!!!
Hey Tom! Great comments! THANKS so much for posting! I love the questions and the discussion!
For me, I think what you're talking about is being dissatisfied and I see that as very different from being unhappy... but similar. You're right, there does need to be some level of dissatisfaction to motivate us to achieve sometimes. But does that dissatisfaction make you unhappy? Depends on you...
I think that's the balance point and why it's important to Write down what you want. Then you're striving toward a positive - your vision - rather than being plagued by a negative. The former gives us the chance to be happy, engaged, and empowered. The latter can lead to the Dark Side.
... and then our being is allowed to be happy throughout the journey toward the goal. Who knows, there may be more to learn and do then because I believe we are more open to new experiences when we are happier and that too can shape how we achieve our dreams. So, it really comes down to attitude and focus, which I think comes from the same themes I've mentioned: Thinking about what you want, Writing it down, Believing you can achieve it then Acting accordingly.
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