I have come to thoroughly dislike this question over the last few years. The answer used to be so easy. Then I found out what was truly important in life and the answer got complicated, or so I thought.
For the greater part of the first half of my life, the answer to this question was so simple... "I want more success. I want more money. I want that Mercedes. I want that person as my spouse. I want that promotion. I want to start my own business. I want kids. I want, I want, I want.... the list could go on for hours. All of these wants, when I got them – were going to ‘help me be happy'.
I, like so many of us, was caught up in the myth that 'stuff', circumstances or others would help me feel happier - and because of that false belief, I was stuck on the treadmill of life striving to get them.
We already know the end to that story - none of those things, life circumstances or people truly make us happy for any meaningful length of time. They simply can’t.
Hopefully by this point in our lives, we all have realized that the only person that can truly make us happy is ourselves. Since I had that realization myself many years ago, I have been on a constant search for the answer on what I do want that would truly make me happy, fulfilled and joyful while at peace on a daily basis.
After many years of searching, experiencing, achieving, suffering and growing – I have finally ‘stumbled’ upon the answer to that question. After many years of growing myself to be a better person for my own life and for that of others…..the answer came to me during a bicep workout in my basement, of all places.
While grunting, sweating and curling super heavy amounts of weight (ok, I made that up), I discovered that though I had been close for many years, it was a small shift that was holding me back from being truly joyful as a natural state - each day…..
That small shift was this realization……
“How I feel about myself directly determines the level of my joy or suffering in my life.”
In any given situation, when we feel good about ourselves, whatever we are doing or whoever we are with feels good too. When we feel great about ourselves, we feel great about whatever situation we are in….and when we feel bad about ourselves, we feel bad about whatever is in front of us.
I’m in the middle of writing a book about this which will go into significant detail on how to cultivate feeling better about ourselves, how we know when we do, or we don’t, how it applies to people, things and situations in life and so on. Until then, let’s keep it as simple as possible and give it a test in our own lives.
Right now, check your feeling – from 1-10, with ‘10’ being outstanding and ‘1’ being terrible, ask yourself the following question, “How do I feel about me as me right now?” If that answer is a ‘6’ or below, you may be having a tough time enjoying reading this blog or whatever else you are doing. If that answer is an ‘8’ or above, chances are you are enjoying what you are doing or who you are with at this time.
So, try this out for a few days. As often as you can remember, check in with yourself and ask how you are feeling about you at that time. If the number or the feeling are not where you want them to be, find a way to feel better about yourself and then come back to whatever you were doing and check in again. And as you do, enjoy how feeling better about you changes how you feel about what you are doing or who you are with.
How we feel about ourselves is the key to our happiness and joy.
So now I know what I want.... To feel great about being me at all times.
Keep Goin’… And enjoy the greater beauty in your life as you feel better about you.