After working with thousands of people worldwide for more than a decade and a half I have found that there are 4 distinct lessons that people who are truly happy and fulfilled have mastered.
They are to live our life to the fullest, learn to laugh naturally and freely all the time like young children do, fill our lives with love as often as we can, and when we do those three 3 things on a regular basis happiness will happen of it’s own accord.
Let’s break them down to see how we can allow more of each of these qualities into our daily lives.
Life Lesson 1 – Live
No-one can tell you how to live your life as you are a 100% original and unique being. There is no-one else like you and never will be again. Your opportunity is to be true to yourself and live with authenticity in everything you do.
In fact, the moment that someone tries to tell you what you ‘should’ be doing with your life, when you never asked for their opinion, makes it imperative that you do what’s true for you. And here’s the important part, you need to be strong enough to stand up to their emotional manipulations when they try and get you to bend to their will.
If you do that, then you will resent yourself. Then on some level this will become a toxin in your life both internally and in the relationship. Your better off standing your ground up-front rather than having to back-peddle days, months or years later. Who wants to waste time doing that nonsense!
Yes, they may huff and puff and try and blow your door down, but never let yourself be intimidated because these people are not your real friends anyway. Someone who truly cares about you will not try and control you. It’s either time to get rid of them from your life, or set boundaries, and if that is not possible then seek out an assertiveness course to help figure out what you need to do.
We are meant to share our deepest gifts and talents to the world because that is what makes life richer and more colorful. Whether it’s a song, a book, a recipe, an invention or anything at all that comes from your heart – it doesn’t matter.
Being authentic,or true to yourself is how you can live your true potential. Always listen to your heart and follow your dreams and desires, and find a way to make them happen in your life.
Life Lesson 2 – Laugh
Laughter should come naturally and easily. As easily as it does to a new born child or infant. If we can laugh deeply, then we can cry deeply, both of which are necessary for good health and happiness.
When was the last time you had a good belly laugh? If you can’t remember, then this tells you that somewhere along the way you started taking yourself and life too seriously.
Perhaps it’s time to ‘lighten up’ and be less critical of yourself and others. The only thing that can stop our laughter and the joy of life is when we allow judgmental and ‘serious’ attitudes to be more important than enjoying each and every moment for what it is.
There is a way that you can start to bring back more laughter in your life. It may feel a bit strange at first but it actually gets easier with practice. I call it the ‘Laughter Meditation’.
What you do is put aside 5 to 15 minutes minutes each day to laugh for no reason. You can either do this alone or with friends or family members. This is best done sitting down somewhere comfortable and begin by taking a few slow, deep breaths. Then start to think of things that have made you laugh before and keep thinking about it.
Let your thoughts roam from one funny memory to the next and as you do start to make yourself laugh until the feeling comes upon you and starts to spread through your entire body. Then, before too lon you’ll be rolling around the floor. doubled over in deep laughter.
The benefits of laughter are huge. From a deep emotional release, to reduce stress and a deeper inner peace and zest for life. The other side of laughter is sadness. Once you can laugh deeply again, you’ll be able to cry deeply again. Both of which are essential to living a balanced and healthy life.
Just watch your children as they do it naturally. Most adults have suppressed these most beautiful natural emotional states for the sake of pretending to be okay. It’s time to lose yourself again and become more childlike so that your health and vitality don’t stay squashed.
Life Lesson 3 – Love
This is probably the most misunderstood concept of all the human experiences. There are so many definitions of love that I won’t go into them here as they would bore you to tears. Needless to say that we need to find out what loves means to you and then do whatever you can to expand it in your life.
To me, love is the opportunity to open my heart deeper at any given moment, regardless of what I am thinking, feeling or what is happening around me. I have not come across any limits to the amount of love that can be experienced… and by love I mean compassion, peace, happiness & joy. These are the qualities I attribute to love.
Anything that has any pain, judgment, anger or violence in it has nothing to do with love. That is always about the experience of not feeling loved or experiencing love. In the absence of love we are left stranded in a desert of suffering where there’s no light in our life, only the darkness of despair.
What i have discovered is that an absence of love means that I’m stuck in my head – or ego self as it is also known. Your ego is not capable of love because it belongs to your mind and we cannot think our way into love.
Love can only arise from your heart and to go there we have to drop our ego for a moment and feel who we are instead of think it.
This is why it’s so hard for many to give or receive love. It’s because they are always thinking about when they were betrayed or hurt, or how lonely they are, all these things are just mind games to keep us separate from real love.
Love can never come from another, it must come from within you first, only then you can receive another’s gift of love. Otherwise, their love will simply fall on barren soil.
To get back in touch with the love inside you, start by loving yourself more. Just repeat these words to yourself for at least 5 minutes a day, ‘I Love Myself’, anytime and as often as you can remember to do it.
Then start giving love unconditionally to everything around you including people, animals or any living thing, by showing compassion and kindness, and watch as your heart starts to open wide once again.
Life Lesson 4 – Be Happy
I used to believe that happiness came from how much money I made, how many friends I had, and how much fun I was having. These days, I know that happiness is a way of life and not a destination.
Happiness is as natural to our lives as oxygen is. It’s just that somewhere along the way we allow ourselves to become burdened by the ups and downs of life. The reality is that we don’t need to let these burdens define our happiness or misery.
Whether we realize it or not we always have a choice about what mental and emotional state we embrace. To believe anything less than this is to stay stuck in victim hood and believe me that is not an easy place to leave once we setup residence there.
I know when I first discovered that my happiness or lack of it was 100% my responsibility my ego wanted to kick and scream about it. In my mind I had a right to be miserable if I wanted to be. The funny thing is that this is true but if we have a choice to be happy instead of miserable what would any intelligent person choose?
So for now, if you find that you are throwing a tantrum about life and the last thing you want to hear is, ‘Hey, your choosing to be angry so why don’t you just get over it?”
Then, give yourself permission to be what you need to be for say 10 or 20 minutes and then tell yourself that you will put it aside for the rest of the day and revisit it tomorrow if it’s still there.
I find this technique works very effectively to allow acceptance of what is happening for you right now and setting yourself a deadline to let your ego know that it can only keep you away from happiness for so long.
By the way, your ego can never be happy. That’s not where you will find lasting peace and happiness. Your ego lives in a world of duality such as positive and negative, right and wrong, good and bad. They are the two sides of the one coin of your ego mind. If we could think our way to happiness, then it would be easy.
But for every happy thought you have, there’s an equal yet opposite unhappy though lurking in the background. That’s why even though positive thinking is popular, it is not enough to bring inner peace and happiness.
However, more often than not, we think ourselves out of happiness, which is where the challenge arises. The path to lasting happiness comes from learning how to let go of your ego mind and find that place of silent power and peace within.
We all have this place inside us and you experience it every time you forget about yourself and just be. This can happen while you are running, doing something you love, getting lost in a dance or a song, or letting your creativity be free.
It also happens when someone or some thing touches your heart for a moment, and you become overwhelmed with emotion. Like when you look into a baby’s eyes and they smile back at you, or your dog enthusiastically greets you when you get home after being away for awhile, or you are touched by someones kindness or compassion towards you.
Always remember that happiness is your natural state of being. everything else is fabricated by a mind condition to react to the world around it. Drop the conditioning, even for just a moment and you will instantly find your inner bliss.