Are you happy, truly deep down happy with your life right now? This is a question not to be taken lightly. Deep contemplation is required.

Most of us go through life on autopilot being passive observers in our own lives. Short-term focus on to-do lists tends to dominate our lives, and we lament the quick passing of time. At the end of the line there will be regrets for some of us. Most often, those regrets reflect lost opportunities regarding experiences or connections in life. A person’s regrets are rarely about a lack of acquisition of material riches. Day to day, we tend to put importance on the acquisition of material things – nice car, big house, big salary, new coat, luxurious vacations. But if you were to take away all of those material things, would you still be happy?

We have all gazed upon the lucky, wealthy few, who are blessed with the opportunity to experience all the material gifts one can wish for – winning the lottery, a big salary, or gaining a large inheritance. Short-term excitement and the thrill of the windfall are often evident, but are these “wealthy” folks really happy? Is that happiness sustainable? Is it real? What about when those riches are lost; the lucky recipient left with nothing but their unhappiness settling back in. Why didn’t that person stay happy?

Perhaps happiness isn’t what we have, but WHO spend our time with… But then, what about those who are unhappy despite having others, such as a loving spouse, healthy kids, secure job? Why aren’t they universally happy?

Money and possessions do not create ongoing happiness.

Others cannot MAKE you happy.

So, what is happiness then, and how do we find it?

Happiness comes from within, our hearts, our souls and our intuitive being. We have it; we were born with it. It has never gone away. We lose touch with it – our true self – hidden by the burdens of our civilized world, our daily obligations, and our to-do lists.

So then how do we find it again?

Think for a moment about the last time you were truly happy and content just as you were. Maybe the last time you truly felt happy was when you were ten years old on a family camping trip telling stories with the family around the campfire. It has been so long that you can barely remember what it feels like. How does it feel to have that deep down belly laugh? Where did it go? Let’s find it! Let’s take an adventure to get back the rest of your life!

1. Self Talk.

The first point of interest on the agenda is understanding how you talk to yourself. What do you tell yourself every day? Begin a log and write down the conversation you have with yourself every day, all day long. You may notice lots of ‘I should have’ or ‘what if’ or ‘I can’t do that’ or ‘I’m not good enough’ and on and on. These are the limiting beliefs that create roadblocks to you’re a full and passionate life of happiness.

2. A New Script.

The next stop on the ‘Discovery of You’ is to create a new script. Think about what you tell a friend when they need a shoulder to cry on: ‘you are awesome’ or ‘you deserve that raise’ or ‘you are kind and giving’ and so on and so on. When was the last time you talked to yourself that way? Consider that every cell in our body has “ears,” that are listening to everything we say. So speak kindly to others AND to yourself. Our bodies respond to the negative and the positive. If you spend all day long telling yourself how awful you are, of course you are going to feel awful, and do things that make for an awful life.

3. Commit to Redirect.

There is always time for a detour on the adventure of life, why not take it now? If you have been struggling to find true happiness, redirect. Take that detour and find the new and improved you. The happy, successful, passionate, giving, and joyful person you are and want so desperately to be is in there somewhere!

4. Your First Assignment.

In my coaching practice, I present an assignment that goes like this:

  • Imagine you have everything you need, no financial worries, no constraints. It helps to do a short meditation and breathing exercise first to wash away the tension and center yourself in the moment as you contemplate this question. Then consider, what would you do with yourself? How would you spend your days and with whom? Write down what comes to mind. Be thoughtful about this process but let your ideas flow with no judgement.

Once you have a complete list, take a look and see how many of the items you already incorporate into your life. How many of the items do you only dream about doing? Wake up! Time to stop dreaming!

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Breathe it in, and begin in this moment to discover your true passion and calling and go for it!

5. Make a Change.

This next step requires change (which is an entirely different article!). But to get started with one baby step into lasting change, choose one item on your list and begin doing it. Maybe that one item is to try a yoga class, or commit to taking a daily walk, or open that awesome cook book you got last year for your birthday, and commit to making a new recipe once a week. Whatever that one small change is, incorporate it into your daily routine. In time, that one addition will become part of your new script!

Being a therapist and life coach, I do a lot of self-reflection. I practice these steps personally, and I help others do so on a daily basis. The process can help lead you to a fulfilled life of happiness if you are willing to give it time and energy. I encourage you to take a moment of reflection and consider whether you are ready to begin creating your own personal happiness. Sit in front of the mirror for inspiration and look yourself straight in the eye, and think about your life and how happy and fulfilled have you made it. Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Are you ready for YOUR life? If not now, when?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

– Marianne Williamson