- Who am I?
- What does “happiness” even mean?
- How do I get there from here?
Knowing yourself – is “self” something you find or something you create? In my opinion, you must first learn what is, accept what is and value what is. Know yourself, as you really are. Accept yourself fully and know – really believe – the benefits of being uniquely you. “I cannot be him or her. The only person I can be is me. And I have a lot to offer.”
“Once we accept our limits, we can go beyond them.” – Albert Einstein
With that foundation, you can build the best version of you. How can I use who I am, the strengths and skills I have, to become the best version of myself? What life do I want to create? How will I develop the confidence to respond to external pressures or criticism? What about the internal pressure and criticism – the “not good enough” internal voice? Decide what you want to accomplish and get there YOUR way. You don’t need everyone else’s permission or approval. If they doubt you, prove them wrong. If YOU doubt you, prove yourself wrong – and don’t be so quick to doubt next time.
Defining happiness – we tend to let happiness be defined as “getting what we want.” The job, the car, the house, etc. Problem is, once we get one thing, we just want more. Happiness needs to be based on being more than having.
It is the chiefest point of happiness that a man is willing to be what he is.— Desiderius Erasmus
What if happiness is based on who you are? What if you goals are built around what gives your life meaning and purpose? “Trying to become someone else is a waste of who you are.” Whether you believe you were put on earth for a reason or you just realize that you have unique potential as a unique person…what do you want to contribute to the world? What means something to you? When you look back, is this something you’ll be proud of? Did it match your goals, your values?
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. - e.e. cummings, 1955
Getting there from here – Realize that separating yourself from the expectations, opinions, norms of others is very difficult. It’s constantly being on the road less traveled. It means being strong enough and certain enough in who you are and what you want to keep going – to face the challenges and uncertainty with confidence. Being your true self and being true to yourself (and what is important to you) despite the external pressures and expectations is an accomplishment in and of itself. “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” Spend it being authentic and modeling authenticity for everyone around you. Every day, every moment, you have a choice. You can let the chaos and pressures of life distract, discourage or dissuade you, or you can use every small opportunity that presents itself as an opportunity to be true to you.
When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other. Originality is deliberate and forced, and partakes of the nature of a protest—Eric Hoffer (The Passionate State of Mind)
“Can I get there being me?” If you can’t get there being you, you probably shouldn’t be trying to get there at all. Be where you are valued, not tolerated.
To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. - Oscar Wilde
Other Words of Inspiration
· People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, and they pass by themselves without wondering. - St. Augustine
· If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self. - Napoleon Hill
· To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.—Baruch Spinoza
· It is never too late to be what you might have been.—George Eliot
· Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in ones own sunshine - by Ralph Waldo Emerson
· The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers, but above all, the world needs dreamers who do. - Sarah Ban Breathnach