A happy person is a person who is fully integrated, i.e. living a life where all outer and inner circumstances are in harmony with each other. This is certainly not easy. It requires that after careful reflection you are aware of your values and succeed in living them. But it also requires that you “clean up” your life so that the external factors – home, work, partner, friends – do not go against what is of fundamental importance to you.
What do you want to accomplish? A first step towards becoming an integrated individual is to know what you really want to accomplish with your life, that is, identify what gives meaning to your life and to find your higher purpose. This requires self-reflection, but also that you take the time to ask yourself a number of important questions – and then try to answer them in a completely honest way. What is it that really matters in your life? What would you like to change? What makes you happy? What gives you energy? When do you feel happy and content? What are you good at?
Take the time to write down the answers to these questions as best as you can, and try to be as concrete as possible. With this as a starting point, try to formulate for yourself how you want your life to look like in 2-3 years, i.e. formulate a life vision for you.
What holds you back? Knowing what you really want to achieve is necessary to be able to take the next step in identifying the obstacles on the way forward. Start with yourself. Often you are the biggest obstacle to change with your habitual and well-known life. What inner resistance do you have and what mental obstacles do you have to overcome? What is it, for example that makes you prefer to sit down on the TV couch rather than to start realizing yourself? What is it that makes you act against your own values?
But you also need to consider your external life situation. Is your current work compatible with your life vision? Do you have a life partner and friends who will support you or keep you back on the path to change? What people or circumstances are the ones that drain your energy? Is your current apartment or house optimal?
Now try to write down all the inner and outer obstacles as concretely and honestly as you can. Also try to evaluate how important each of these obstacles is. You will find that some are of a rather marginal importance, while others may constitute fundamental limitations to the life you really want to live.
Start changing your life. The first two steps are not easy as they require complete honesty and sincerity to provide clarity about your current life situation. But since these steps are no more than mental exercises, they are still much easier than the third step, which is to draw the full consequences of the vision of your ideal life and the obstacles you have identified to achieve it.
It is now that you step by step need to change your life. Work from the lists and start with the bigger changes. If your life vision requires a new job, a different place of living, a spiritual journey or that you break loose from a relationship that holds you back, this is where you should start. This requires a great measure of courage and that you get out of your usual comfort zone.
You will surely experience that there are many factors that hold you back; fear of conflicts, convenience, concern for your future finances, fear of the opinion of others, etc. It is now you must be absolutely true to yourself. If you feel in your inner core that something or someone stands in the way of your ability to become a happy, harmonious and integrated person then you need to have the power and courage to say no to these circumstances or people.
If you succeed in these larger life choices, you will also find that it will be easier to overcome the minor obstacles and the many habits that limit you, as these are often in one way or another linked to the larger pieces of your life puzzle. Thus, change in one area of life often leads to changes also in other areas.
What can we do without? You are now well on your way towards being an integrated individual and fulfilling your vision of life, but there remains another important aspect and it is to get rid of everything that is not necessary to live your new life. We live in a materialistic world, where we are constantly indoctrinated to believe that happiness comes from consumption and buying new things. However, the truth is often the opposite.
Certainly, there is much we need in order to live a good life; tasty and nutritious food on the table, an place to live which is adapted to our life choice, things we appreciate and often use in our daily life, the possibility of transport and travel to different places, etc. But beyond what we really need and what gives us joy, we often have a lot of things that only fill up the spaces, and burden on us without giving us any added value.
This can also apply to our house or apartment (do we really need all the space we have or are we living in a small city apartment instead of a more spatious and convenient house in the country side) and the people around us (who are our real friends and who are merely superficial acquaintances who take time from us without giving us any quality of life?). If we can also be true to ourselves here, it is possible to find a middle way that fulfils all our needs without weighing ourselves down.
This whole process of changing your life is not easy, and your path will be both winding and contain many dead ends. On the journey, you may also discover that you need to revisit and rethink your previous thoughts and views, but if you succeed with full honesty to yourself you will see that your life becomes more meaningful.
Illustration: Pixabay.com – rawpixel
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