At the last Live Your Authentic Life seminar, one of the attendees struggled to define happiness. She said, "I find this hard and it might be because I can't recognize it in my own life." This struck me as a deep and profound statement.
We can't define what we don't possess. If we are not happy, we don't even know what we are missing. Awareness is always the first step toward change and growth.
I had no idea that I wasn't happy until I began to recognize that I did not know myself. My identity was for sale to the highest bidder, and it was only when I started to own it for myself that I noticed the clear connection between authenticity and happiness.
As I grow into the person I've always been but didn't have the courage to be for most of my life, I am allowing more space each day to be happy. I can arrive at a place of stillness, deep in my being, and as I breathe in and out I feel calm and peaceful, and happiness blooms in that spot.
We tend to focus so much on our passions, but most people don't have a clue what they are passionate about because they don't know themselves. If you focus on your own identity, and get to know and love who you really are, your passion flows from that place. As a culture, we have it ass-backwards. How can you know what you want to do until you are fully comfortable with who you are?
I love the Authentic seminars because I can actually watch people find the key to unlock who they are. It is exciting to see a person connect with the idea that their life is built around making others happy, and they have neglected to take on the responsibility for their own happiness. They have given it away, but the good news is that they can take it back. Every one of us has the ability to be happy, and I am coming to believe that it's not a privilege but a responsibility.
If each person on the planet took the time to get to know who they really are, and began living from that place, I believe they would feel happier. When you feel happy, you are much less likely to pursue unhealthy addctions which have the power to derail your life.
Happy parents lead by example and create happy children who grow into adults who make better choices for the next generation. Every parent in the world wants to do the best job possible with their kids. The place to start is by taking full responsibility for your own happiness. It's not selfish. It's hedging against disaster.
Society needs more happy people; the kind who think for themselves because they know who they are and they do not feel compulsively driven to impress others. Happy people pursue their unique passions, those things which flow seamlessly from their identity, and they are the ones with the power to change the world. We need more people living from the true place of who they are, for that is real and holds enough depth to weather the storms which come to all of us.
We are responsible for our own happiness. There are steps we can take to get to know ourselves, dismantle our disguises and begin to live more authentically in the world. The choice is in front of each of us. Do you want to be happy? We only get one shot at life. We can live it hiding who we are to make others happy, or we can grasp control of our own happiness by knowing who we are and living from that authentic place.