Happiness Is A Choice, Not An Unattainable Goal
“There is no passion in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela
“The givens of life are gifts because they are the ingredients of character, depth and compassion,” writes author David Richo in The Five Things We Cannot Change. There is celebrated wisdom in that simple message, when overlooked results in life’s ensuing dramas. Being irrational creatures, we fail to see past our tragedies to realise life gives us encouragement even though it may not appear in the form we expect. Our time here is not meant to be a cycle of pain and suffering. It is within our power to choose how we respond to life’s unfolding events. Contained within that choice lies our greatest lessons if we withhold judgement on how life should develop.
To concede defeat, we award power to those unpleasant events by perpetuating the victim role, which is an easy trap to fall into. It is with restrained patience we remain vigilant to how we respond to life’s ups and downs. Happiness is a choice, not an unattainable goal. We move toward happiness the moment we declare our intention to do so. Equally, we may be content, yet happiness may elude us. When happiness entails our material and emotional needs being met, we allow it to permeate our lives with unbound richness. With our basic needs fulfilled, we want nothing more than the comfort of being present within our own body. Even unwanted thoughts fuelled with fear or anxiety are powerless over us since they are transitory states.
Our obligation is to abide by something deeper if we wish to live the life we deserve. We must stand for something which commands power and a reason to attend to the day. We receive what we ask of life. What we claim equates to our self-worth. Our self-worth is in direct proportion to the sum of our life’s experiences. We cannot demand more if we are undeserving on some level. If we have issues with receiving, this is likely to show in how much life affords us. However, if our beliefs coincide with what we deserve, that becomes our reference point. Does this make sense that your conditioning determines your level of success, not something outside of you?
Unresolved childhood wounds are often related to unworthiness issues that perpetuate through maturity. Perhaps our main caregiver convinced us of our unworthiness when we were young and we have held onto this all this time. In his book, The Mind Body Code, author Dr Mario Martinez affirms this point stating: “You were never robbed of your power or your worthiness; you inadvertently disowned them.” For that reason, we must avoid responding to limiting thoughts to what is lacking in our life. We mustn’t concede to disempowering thoughts based on an internal script. With enough energy, these learned beliefs sooner or later transform into negative states.
Life Happens At The End Of Your Comfort Zone
“Sometimes you have to forget what you want to remember what you deserve.” – Unknown
Reality is shaped by aligning with our deepest values, not by reciting worn-out childhood inner dialogues. This is not who we are, any more than choosing to associate with our childhood toys. Reality is reflected in our thoughts, desires and beliefs on what we deserve and are willing to accept. Therefore, we ought to be bold in our willingness to commit to our dreams. We cannot be pushed by life’s failures since they often redirect us to a better-suited destination if we allow the journey to unfold. We can be motivated by our passion and our heart’s desires instead of operating from a place of fear and worry.
There is discussion these days on the merit of visualising a purposeful future. Whilst much of the advice comes from well-intentioned life coaches, the guidance invites us to call on our imagination to bring reality to life. You have to believe it before you see it maintains the saying. To embrace the life we deserve, we step into our greatness not cower from it. There is nothing to fear other than fear itself, which holds us captive by playing small. Spiritual author Marianne Williamson reminds us of this in her famous passage: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” Just like a double-edged sword, if we shy away from our magnificence, it has the potential to impair our growth if we fail to use those gifts.
Therefore, be present and alive in each moment instead of floundering in the past or focussing on an imaginary future. Many people prevent a promising future from arriving due to negative thoughts and a belief they are undeserving of goodness. To create the life we deserve, we need to take inspired action and move out of our comfort zone. “Life happens at the end of your comfort zone,” declares Neale Donald Walsch. I opened this piece with a quote by the prominent psychotherapist David Richo Ph.D. who asserts that life’s gifts are the ingredients of character, depth and compassion. To affirm these endowments, we must face our challenges with binding conviction and a resolute heart. For in striving, we attain inner freedom and as the Buddhist nun Pema Chodron says: “No matter what the size, colour, or shape is, the point is still to lean toward the discomfort of life and see it clearly rather than to protect ourselves from it.”