As The Happiness Warrior, my mission in life is to help create a world where we are kinder to each other, more accepting of others who are different, unafraid of change, and secure with our authenticity. A place where we feel safe to be who we are and unashamed to reveal our true selves. A world where we all have opportunities for expanding our mindset with a sense of community, fulfillment, and gratitude.
I believe that this somewhat idealistic vision is achievable if only enough of us believe in ourselves and the universal right to create and live in more happiness. When we rise others can see the truth for themselves and find meaning in self-awareness.
I believe that happiness is a basic human right and one that grows when we respect ourselves enough to demand better for our lives and those of others. It feels like an uphill battle at times, but I believe that each day we can be better and create a more joyful dynamic that we all deserve and which our upside-down world so desperately needs.
From a very young age I knew that I was different and needed to adapt to expectations. Early on I learned that I needed to hide who I was and create defenses. I was too smart for my own good and extremely sensitive to the wrongs that I saw every day in my conservative Southern upbringing. Although I didn’t always understand why, I knew that much of what I saw and heard in my daily life was wrong and it made me angry and want to rebel.
My parents put up a strong façade and I honestly believe they did their best, but beneath the surface the dysfunction and lack of morality played a pernicious toll on our family and those around us. We didn’t share feelings, there were many lies, and I never felt safe expressing who I was. Guilt and shame were constant companions, and I kept my true thoughts hidden, built emotional walls, and kept my dreams to myself out of fear of rejection and abandonment.
When I look back now, I think of all the things that I maybe could have done, but I know in my truth that I would have only been met with scorn and indifference. I wanted to be loved but always felt that I was somehow lacking and often felt the shame of not being my authentic self and living in my truth.
It took many years of beating myself up with destructive behaviors and abusive relationships. Somehow, I made it through and found my way to the light that I had always suppressed. I became happy from within and let my carefully built walls crumble. I found the happiness that comes from within and felt my life at one with the universe. I knew in my heart that the only person who kept me from being happy was myself and my insecurities. Blaming others is the refuge of the weak and simple-minded.
So many of us get by in life by hiding who we are out of fear of shame or rejection. It’s almost like we’ve built a world where those who are different and proud to be themselves are to be disparaged and maligned. Why hide who really are in hopes of pleasing someone else that we don’t even like or respect? I believe that we are often our own greatest enemies without any cause or reason.
The first step to creating a happier and more authentic life is removing the negative words and emotions that hold us back. Stop telling yourself that you aren’t good enough and ask yourself why you don’t demand more? Life will pass us by unless we create the inner dialogue that empowers and fuels our intention and dreams.
Be your own warrior and create the super-power of self-awareness and feel the happiness that comes when we learn to love who we are and shine in our internal light and connection with the energy of the universe.
Studies have shown that when we focus on values we have in common with others we can more easily connect and find common ground. Why focus on that which divides us when we have so much that can help us unite and connect through our shared humanity?
These are sure ways to start feeling happier and more connected with our authentic self and create more empathy and self-love:
1. Stop judging and comparing yourself with others
2. Stop calling yourself bad names. Are you really that dumb or do you make yourself feel stupid? Chances are you are more amazing than you’ve allowed yourself to think.
3. Emotional reasoning is a trap that keeps us from momentum and growth. We are not always going to feel like going to the gym or writing in our journal, but self-discipline is how we get through the highs and lows of life. There will never be a perfect time to do anything if we keep our mindset closed to different experiences and imagined struggles.
4. Stop guessing what others are thinking, the only one that knows is yourself. Most likely they are taking up unnecessary space in our mind and feeding unnecessary fears.
5. The future is never as we imagined. Start living in the present and watch your happiness and contentment rise.
6. The way we talk to ourselves creates our attitude and determines how happy we’ll be.
MEANING CREATES HAPPINESS
Since the beginning of time humans have contemplated the meaning of life and what it means to be happy. To begin we need to examine the four elements of a successful life. These are not exclusive but when separated they lose their greater power.
- WEALTH—I’ve always stood by the belief that when we’re doing the right thing we can make a money, but true wealth comes when we create lives where we have time to pursue our passions and make our dreams reality.
- HAPPINESS—I believe that true happiness comes from acts of unselfishness and empathy for others. When we serve the greater good, we connect with our higher consciousness and live in a state of fulfillment and purpose. Happiness becomes a lifestyle when we’re connected with the world around us and can love ourselves for who we are.
- WISDOM—Learning is the beginning of everything. It helps us love better, take care of others, lead when we are needed, and helps us find more happiness in our lives. When we are wise, we can see the big picture and pass down our knowledge to help others navigate their obstacles and struggles in life.
- HEALTH—Good health comes when we decide to take control of our self-care and increase our happiness. It comes from creating an awareness that the choices we make not only impact us today but have lasting consequences in the future. Choices that can significantly impact our happiness, physical being, and mental acuity. Being healthy isn’t just a state of mind but the realization that all our actions have an impact on our wellbeing and happiness. Everything is connected both physically and socially.
LESSONS AREN’T REGRETS
Too often we’re programmed to feel shame for our failures and poor decisions. We have choices to make to guide our path. When we listen to our intuition we create our wisdom. Bad choices are not always the easiest, but sometimes they help us come back stronger and more resilient. Intuition is always a guide to rely on in times of confusion and stress. The truth that “all knowledge comes from within” is one of my guides in life.
As The Happiness Warrior, I like to look at aging with gratitude and wonder. Each year is a new challenge to be better than the last. The strength of our character and purpose we create for ourselves is how we provide momentum to grow and be more fulfilled. To be our happiest, we must make choices that shape our destiny.
When we know ourselves well and practice self-awareness, we will instinctively make better choices and show more caution in how we use our time. When we can look back at our lives with understanding we can more clearly see our future. Never look back with regret and be thankful for the lessons of being alive!
Free yourself of self-judgment! You’re not always going to feel good or perfect when doing anything. Nothing is ever accomplished without action. Act for your happiness and stop waiting around for life to happen. Every day is a great day when we believe in ourselves and practice gratitude and self-reflection.
Stop fighting happiness, be bold, and joyfully surrender to the present. We can make our dreams come true when we choose the path of happiness. The best person we will ever be is who we are today!