Today we want to share with you three of the most important principles that I’ve learned about authentic happiness. I hope they inspired you.
1. We live the feeling of our thinking.
As William Shakespeare famously wrote, “Nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”
Being authentically happy starts with the realization that you are both the source and the cause of your own well-being.
We never get to experience the world as it really is; we only get to experience our thoughts about the world. It wasn’t actually other people’s disapproval that made me unhappy; it was my mistaken belief that happiness is something that comes from outside of me in the form of approval.
Even when it looks as though your emotional state is being dictated by your circumstances, that is never true. Your thoughts are the root of your emotions. Just get curious and ask yourself, “If I weren’t thinking this way, how might I feel differently?”
2. Everything good is inside.
We each walk around with two versions of ourselves. One is our unconditioned self, which is innocent, flawless, and untouched by any trauma, criticism, or injustice we may have faced in life. The other is a learned self, more commonly known as the ego.
The primary role of the ego is to separate you from the truth of who you really are—a human being who is already complete, whole, and mentally and spiritually healthy. The ego believes that happiness is attained through material success, achievement, striving, earning, and deserving. I’ve often heard it described as “everything good outside.”
But your unconditioned self is the much bigger, wiser you. It already knows that you are what you seek; that real happiness is what naturally happens when you dare to show up unedited.
All the happiness you have been looking for outside of you can finally be yours when you stop chasing and start choosing.
3. Our relationship with ourselves determines our relationship with everything else.
One of the standout moments on my journey of self-discovery was hearing Dr. Robert Holden say, “No amount of self-improvement can make up for any lack of self-acceptance.”
Every time I had tried to improve the persona I was presenting to the world, I moved further away from the inner satisfaction I was seeking. As soon as I started treating myself with more kindness and compassion, everything in my life got better.
The more we are willing to love ourselves, in all our messy glory, the less we go searching for happiness in the wrong places. When we are comforted by our own self-love, we no longer need to find comfort through external fixes.
Forgiveness is key. Start by forgiving yourself for all the times you have allowed your ego block your joy. And understand that the only reason you need to forgive is to restore yourself to the authentically happy person you are here to be. (By Paul Dalton)