Happy Independence Day to my American friends celebrating today!
As you celebrate with your family and friends, consider taking a moment between the hotdogs and BBQ to think about what independence means to you. Is there something inside of you yearning for some form of independence in your life? Maybe you want to be free from a demoralizing job, an oppressive relationship, or maybe you’re seeking financial independence.
Whatever it is, take a moment to get in touch with that feeling and make a promise to yourself to do something about it. Remember that you are the architect of your life. Sure, there are some circumstances out of our control, but for the most part, you have the power to make the change.
Maybe it’s time to fully accept responsibility for the direction of your life and start making small changes that can lead to big changes. Make it so next year, you can celebrate our nation’s independence, but also your own.
Oh! And once you’re done with that, remember to have an absolutely fantastic time!
Recently, I received some frustrating news and I’ll admit, my first reaction was to get angry and start to respond full of snark, potentially destroying a relationship. Luckily, I thought better of it and decided to talk myself out of firing off an angry email.
So how can we honor the emotions we feel and yet not let them control us? I can’t tell you I have all the answers, but I think a good first step is to pause. Just…wait….for a moment and breathe through it. Feel the emotions without reacting to them and then realize you can choose how to respond. That right there is powerful and especially important if we feel like we are a victim of someone’s actions.
OK, so what’s next? Well, if you’re anything like me, you then decide to just seethe for a bit and complain to anyone who will listen! But what does that do for you? Does it make you feel better? I know I certainly don’t feel any better! I start to revel in the victimhood and feel worse! I’m reminded of one of the Keller Williams training course, BOLD, laws “complaining = garbage magnet.”
I’m not a fan of “The Secret” and the idea that you can magically manifest what you want by thinking positively and doing nothing. I do believe that like attracts like and our brains adore patterns. As soon as you start complaining, everything else seems terrible too. And guess what? You attract other complainers! So complaining just leads to more complaining and puts you on a downward spiral.
So what can we do that’s more effective? I think the answer is we look for the lesson. We look for something we could do going forward to prevent it from happening again. Is there some way to take the lesson and even benefit from it? Can you maybe help others avoid it? Is it a wakeup call to make a change? It may not make everything all sunshine and roses for you, but it might just make some lemonade.
You know it’s easy to say “do more of what makes you happy” and that’s not necessarily bad advice. The world would probably be a more peaceful place if we did that. But this means different things to different people. For some, it means $83,000 a year in income, for others, it’s a sleeping kitten, or an amazing trip to an exotic location. Maybe for you, it’s all the above and then some. Most of us have long lists of things that make us happy.
But what if you don’t really know what makes you truly happy? What if you have a long list of things that bring you momentary joy, but you still feel like something is off or missing?
Well, I can’t tell you what will make you happy, but I can tell you the best way I’ve found to determine that for myself is to be a great caretaker of myself, set healthy boundaries, and to identify and live in line with my values. Maybe that sounds complicated or too “new agey” but it’s really not.
The key is to really start to listen to your inner voice. Understand that that having needs and desires is healthy, it’s how we respond to them (or don’t) that can be unhealthy. Take the time to get to know yourself and how certain things, situations, people make you feel. What gives you a feeling of lightness rather than a heavy feeling? What kinds of stories restore your faith in humanity? What makes you feel nurtured and cared for?
When you start to answer these questions, you’re on the path to discovering and living in-line with your values. See if that doesn’t make your attitude a little bit brighter.
Thanks for reading! What are your top 3 items on your list of what makes you happy? Leave me a comment bellow!