[quote style=”boxed”]If there has ever been a better time to show the world who you really are, that time is now…[/quote]
At a certain stage in someone’s life, there comes a point where they’re at a crossroad and do not know where to go in order to find the correct path towards their personal growth.
In the beginning it seems almost insurmountable as given the opportunity, we would rather sit on the sofa and watch a weekly episode of our favorite sitcom rather than think about the arduous task of really taking our future by the horns and truly going for it.
The sad truth to all of this is that we’re often misguided by the wrong sources (mainly television, pop culture and the media) about what we’re supposed to look for in order to find true fulfillment in our lives – We’re literally told what to do, where to go, how to dress and dare i say it, the type of person we should be dating.
It’s a process which never seems to end and was something which put me through a downward spiral of depression, self-doubt and negativity. Often not knowing a solution to my problems.
Was i really to blame or was i looking at the wrong places?
When we watch television and listen to the radio, we’re often inundated by a plethora of advertisements, telling us what we should buy in order to influence us to make a purchase. Psychologists have discovered that it takes approximately 5-7 repeat exposures of an advertisement for a person to finally make a purchase due to increased familiarity.
Looking at this in perspective, it’s all designed to get us to simply part with our cash and to make a person believe that the very thing that’s being advertised is the exact thing they need in order to find happiness and fulfillment.
While i don’t disagree with buying things for pure pleasure purposes, what i really want to emphasize is the idea that there is a clear distinction between pleasure and the actual feeling you get when you’re completely in line with your core identity and your overall happiness. Many people (myself included) seemed to have mistaken this for happiness when it actually wasn’t.
Have you ever bought an item that you’ve never actually used or put to use?
Many people are suspect to this and have impulsively bought something without actually needing it.
Now let me ask you this question… Did that purchase give you happiness and fulfillment? if so, how long did it last?
Having thought about this personally, it had given me a realization and a window as to why i was always unhappy. I seemed to have all the things i wanted – A healthy body, a good job, a loving family, a car etc.
Yet i always seemed to find an excuse as to why i shouldn’t be happy. Then i went one stage further:
“Once i achieve X, Y and Z in my life, then i’ll be in a position where i’ll be completely happy.”
This never works. See the problem is, i often looked at society’s idea of what happiness and fulfillment was and failed to see the real cause as to why i was thinking the way i was thinking.
Having understood this. I then started to change perspectives.
My fulfillment wasn’t something i had to look for. This was clearly established due to not finding it whenever i bought a shiny new object or achieved a certain goal. If anything, new problems arose, forcing me to go through the same vicious cycle.
Take a look at the following illustration as an example:
Looking at the above image, it illustrates the typical thought patterns of the modern day consumer. As i established in one of my previous posts about finding yourself, the basic human need which is universal to everyone is the quest for obtaining love and happiness.
If you look at the illustration carefully and really study it, it starts to make clear sense. The things we’re pursuing isn’t really making us feel any better in the long term. This is due to our thought patterns and beliefs which has been built up and acquired over the years through negative influence. Our anchor for happiness (in this case) is placed on the object of desire, or the very thing that we’re going after (expensive car, house, fame etc.)
As a result, the feedback loop we’re given is often short lived and a temporary source of pleasure.
What if we were to turn this around?
What if we took that anchor of happiness and fulfillment and placed it directly at ourselves:
What will happen is interesting – If we changed our focus and realized that the key to happiness is in understanding that it all stems from within. Then we will no longer care or worry about the external sources around us that tell us what we need. Because in truth, we’ll already have it.
Whats more, we’ll then begin to refocus on looking for experiences which will further enrich our lives, giving us yet even more happiness.
This is also a crucial step for building strong self-esteem, self-confidence and a positive outlook.
So what steps should we take to make this change?
Here are 3 basic steps which i think will help get you started and some questions to ask yourself:
1) Understand who you are
– What truly makes you happy?
– If you had to do one thing right now, what would it be?
– What are the things that really excite you?
– What are your strengths and flaws?
– Do you accept your limitations?
2) Be willing to do the things you really want to do
– Do you live your life for other people or for yourself?
– Are you afraid of what people might think of you?
– Are you willing to be different without fear of being judged?
3) Live your life on purpose
– What would be your ideal job?
– What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
– Could you do it for free?
I believe that in order to make the change, we will all need to firstly identify who we really are and to understand that all it takes is a clear definition and a set path to guide us towards our ultimate goal – To find fulfillment in the present and by living in complete bliss with ourselves. This can only be achieved by living the life we want to live and to understand that the only way we can ever really do this is by slowly chipping away at our negative patterns, and to eventually realign ourselves to our destined path.
All of this is completely under our control. And we all have a choice…
Which one will you take?