THE PHILOSOPHY OF HAPPINESS AND FULFILLMENT
“The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem.”
- Captain Jack Sparrow
Life truly is an adventure in and of itself. There was a time many years ago when I naively thought that if I just searched long enough, I’d find the perfect path that was both pretty easy and very rewarding. Are you laughing too?
It was a hard realization just how far from the truth this really is. Anything that has worth or value is going to be a struggle at times. But, that’s actually a really good thing! As humans we tend to value things the most when we strive for them, sweat for them, and dream of them before we finally earn them.
On the other hand, we tend to value things minimally if they were simply handed to us.
HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT PATH IN THE FACE OF UNCERTAINTY
My sister was the first person to tell me that anything worth doing would be hard. I’m ever so grateful that she did. In a way, this notion gives you a sense of freedom. After all, if every path is full of obstacles, you might as well choose the one that excites you.
Don’t look for the easy path. Look for the one that makes you feel alive. If you feel excited, nervous, and a bit scared all at once, that’s a good sign that you are onto something great.
Once you’ve identified the path or lifestyle that makes you feel excited to leap out of bed in the morning, it’s time to begin taking the steps to get there. If you can conquer the following three requirements for greatness, then you can do anything.
You probably already “know” that your attitude has an impact on your happiness and success in life, but do you know it on a personal level? Are you living it? Have you learned from experience how your attitude affects your outcomes in life?
Attitude is a powerful thing. It affects your belief system, and what you believe is your reality. If you love art but believe that no one can make a living being an artist, then guess what- that becomes the truth for your life. You’ve just opted yourself out of the path you most desire.
Attitude is all about getting yourself in the right mindset from the very beginning.
Here’s something you can do right now. Make yourself a commitment that you will show up to life ready to work and ready to learn, every day.
“No matter how you feel… Get up, dress up, show up, and never give up.”
The second part of living a happy and successful life is vision. But what does vision really mean? We’ve all heard that word before, but I think that sometimes it’s meaning gets a little lost in translation.
For me, I interpret vision in a very literal sense.
When you think of your dream career or your dream lifestyle, what is the actual picture that shows up in your mind’s eye? Where are you, what does the scenery look like, what are you doing, what are you wearing, who is there with you, and how do you feel?
Conjuring up an actual picture or movie clip in your mind about your ideal outcome is an incredible way to help yourself achieve a goal. Why? Because it’s nearly impossible to achieve something that you can’t see. This all ties back into limiting beliefs. If you can see yourself living a certain way, then you believe that it is possible. If you believe that it is possible, you have the opportunity to achieve it.
A couple years ago I watched a fantastic Ted Talk by Angela Duckworth on grit. Angela makes the case for a person’s tenacity, or grit, being the single most important piece of the success puzzle.
She has done a ton of research on this particular topic and has since written a New York Times best selling book by the same name.
Perseverance and grit are absolutely critical to success. But you know what? The amazing thing is that these things tend to come naturally when you find a path that excites you and motivates you. Sure, there are going to be hard days and days where you don’t feel like pulling through.
Generally speaking though, if you find a career you love or a person you love or a lifestyle you love, the great days will far outweigh the bad days. Having the right attitude and vision and grit suddenly becomes very doable when you are in love with the process. So get to it already!