When we are born, we enter a world full of expectations, ideas and beliefs. We are then raised in a fast-paced world, where we are continually striving to achieve and succeed...but with this, we can miss the most important virtues in life.
We can miss the highest virtues that make up love, compassion and empathy, firstly to ourselves and also towards others. With a success-driven mentality and behaviour, our spiritual link can become weakened and we can lose touch of who we truly are. We focus our attention, energy and time on external things and we can forget how to self-manage our internal environment. It is no wonder anxiety and depression are on the rise and that we look to things and people to make us happy. We forget (or have not been taught) that the answer to our own peace and happiness lies within us all and is completely within our grasp, if we choose to look there.
What an amazing thing, to be completely in control of our own happiness and to manifest that within our lives.
I'm not saying that there won't be times where we feel sad, angry or down as we will always be subject to the polarities of love. External factors will continually show up and put us to the test. However, it is our own perception that determines whether our happiness is altered as we can either choose to let emotions come and go or we can choose to sink in them. Our mindset is a powerful thing and with practice and patience, we can strengthen our internal environment to cope with external pressures and lessen the expectation that we need to succeed.
The key to happiness is living by our core values. When we live according to our values, we hold true to our heart the most important things in life and focus on what makes our heart and soul sing. In doing so, we experience what it is like to live a meaningful life and let go of those 'things' that do not serve us.
But what is happiness? As quoted by the Dalai Lama “Success is getting what you want and happiness occurs when you want what you get”.
As mentioned before, many of us today are so focused on success. It is possible that the same thing that is used to create happiness, can be used to create success but so many people today are successful and extremely unhappy. It is not until that person becomes successful and wonders why they aren’t truly happy, that they should turn inwards and ask themselves what do they honestly value in their life. What do they truly value that will fill their heart and bring meaning and purpose to their life.
Through this process of introspection, a new sense of enlightenment can occur and can reawaken internal compassion for ones-self and those around them. This self-awareness can help people realise how their success-driven thoughts and behaviours are getting in the way of true happiness and living a fulfilled life.
To create long-term happiness, our body, mind and soul must be in alignment. We must think, feel and be ‘love’ to ourselves. It is then, that we can have the capacity to love someone else in its entirety. If success is ultimately the one thing that you seek and desire, ask yourself, do you love yourself and do you give yourself entirely to those closest to you? If you can answer yes then perhaps you are living according to your values and are authentic, compassionate and loving in your relationships. If you answered no, then no success will bring you heart-felt joy and all-encompassing love that living by your values can do.
So how do we focus inwards? How do we self-manage our internal environment?
Ask yourself how do you truly feel? What lights up your life and creates a sparkle? What is your favourite thing to do that does not involve money? What qualities and values do you give in relationships and what do others do for you that makes you feel good?
Look at an area of your life that you aren’t happy in and look at how your choices have led you there. Were those choices based on success or on your highest values? From these experiences and reflection we can learn, grow and evolve, to be the authentic person that we are deep inside.
We need to meditate daily, take-time out from the stress of the day and turn our attention inwards. Check-in regularly with your mind and your body and ask yourself did you live according to your values today? Focus on every part of your body and sense any signals. Is it trying to tell you something through any niggling pains or feelings? Is your mind running wild and does it need some tender loving care? Whatever you notice, lend your non-judgemental attention there for a few moments and breathe.
We need to learn to rest with ourselves and be ok with this. It is important to learn how to self-manage the mix of emotions that come and go each day, without looking for people and things to help us feel better. The more you turn inwards and develop self-compassion, self-love and empathy, you create a self-belief that you are enough. With this inner safety and security, you are then more likely to put less value on the success-driven mentality that can often not serve you and you can see clearly the value in yourself, in your life and in the relationships that you have.
Turn inwards to your thoughts and feelings, live according to your values each day and breathe deeply. You are in control of your own happiness and with true happiness, you find true health and peace.
- Bianca xx