Inc. Magazine published an article recently called "5 Reasons Why Most People Never Discover Their Purpose" by Dr. Shelley Prevost that could also be called "5 Reasons Why Most People Are Limiting Their Own Happiness" or "5 Reasons Why Most People Have Unknowingly Accepted Not Giving Their Best" or any number of other titles. The point is, to live your truly best life - to be so happy both within yourself and to also be giving your best to the world - you absolutely must do these five things.
Here's my take on a couple of the five. Please do read the original article as well.
You live from the outside in, not the inside out. Prevost writes that social norming is an important part of childhood, and it's true that it's a process that happens naturally. Most of us as children look at those around us, identify commonalities, and adapt those characteristics in order to fit into the majority. That's how introverts end up acting like extroverts, which are more accepted in society. It's why there's a kid in this video who claims that being gay is bad for you, but he can't explain why. (He would probably say anything that is different than what he knows as "normal" is bad for you. Being green is bad for you. Eating breakfast for dinner is bad for you, etc.)
This process that's mostly positive in the development process of a child is mostly negative in the development of an adult. Yes, the development of an adult, for we are always developing. Begin to see "normal" adults as those who know themselves the least, and strive to be nothing like them. Make your own rules, discover what makes you feel like your shiniest, happiest, most authentic self. And live that way, despite looks or comments or any fear of judgement. If society rejects you to an island by yourself - holy crap! You own an island! (That's the introvert in me speaking.)
You Hate Silence. Oh my gosh what a brilliant addition to this list! It was several years ago while doing The Artist's Way that I was first challenged to a week of silence. No TV on while doing the dishes. No radio in the car. But, how will I pass that time? I thought. What will entertain me? Um, my own thoughts! Yes, it's true. We are completely capable of thinking enough interesting things to occupy more time than we even have available to us. In fact, it's in avoiding silence by adding noise throughout our day (and even some people sleep with the TV on) that we are silencing our own thoughts and therefore ourselves. Now I rarely seek out noise. I work full days from home in silence - no TV or Spotify. I can meditate for 5 minutes without making chaotic lists of things to do in my head. (Stay tuned for a guest post I have coming up about meditation for beginners!) Get comfortable with silence and you'll get to know yourself. If silence is a new concept to you, watch this amazing video called "How to Be Alone."
The other of the five are, "You look for a career before you listen for a calling," "You don't like the dark side of yourself," and "You devalue the unconscious mind." All are really well said. Read it here!
In what way are you limiting your own happiness, or what change have you made in your life that's opened you up to seeing yourself differently? Share in the comments below!