This is a guest post by Susan Loraine Barker. She is a certified life coach and has co-authored the book Pearls of Wisdom; 30 inspirational ideas to live your best life nowwith Jack Canfield and Marci Shimoff. You can find and follow her on her at The Mandala Coach website.
Do you remember being asked that question when you were a child? What was your answer?
There was a story going around recently that when a teacher asked one of her students what he wanted to be when he grew up, he answered: “happy.” To which she replied that he didn’t understand the question.
Is That Truly Success?
Webster’s says success is defined by wealth, favor and eminence. We, our parents, their parents and our culture has indeed defined it this way. But is it true? The evidence would suggest that it is false. How many people do you know who have achieved the abs, the education, the promotion, the wealth and are a success by all our standards, but are unhappy and unfulfilled. Is that truly success? Or does the child have it right? Success is happiness.
I define success as happiness. The only reason we want wealth, favor and eminence is because we assume we will be happy once we achieve it. Maybe we will, maybe we won’t. I suggest we just go for the happiness.
What brings happiness is probably subtly different for everybody, but I think there are some major commonalities. Being true to yourself, loving yourself and loving what is, are three major players in achieving happiness. I believe if those are your priorities, you will be pretty happy. You may also be wealthy, favored and eminent, or you may not, because that isn’t important to you, but you will be happy.
Are You Listening to Yourself?
Being true to yourself means listening to your heart’s desires over what your family, friends, TV or culture tells you. It means trusting that your heart’s desires lead to your AND everyone else’s highest good. It means you give yourself the freedom to be you and everyone else the freedom to be them. It means you NEVER go against yourself. You are impeccable with your word. You understand that your heart’s desires are leading you in the only direction that is right for you, and that leads to happiness and success.
Loving yourself means that you accept your body, mind and spirit as is and trust that you are all that and a bag of chips just as you are. That you esteem yourself, honor and trust yourself no matter what you are told you should look like, be, do, have or make. When you love yourself, you love everyone else too, only you do it with respect and honor and without giving up any part of yourself. Love does not diminish; it expands. If you feel diminished you are mistaking love for something else, most likely need or guilt.
Loving what is means you do not resist change and circumstances. Rather you ask what opportunity or lesson each change and circumstance offers you. Loving what is means you trust that you live in a benevolent universe that has your best interest at heart, always, and everyone else’s too. It means you trust that you can handle what shows up for you with dignity and grace and therefore you don’t bother with the struggle. Life offers you several opportunities to go the easy route before it starts knocking you upside the head. If you trust yourself and life, then you can choose to accept things while they are easy.
Question: What do you want to be when you grow up?