There’s a huge amount written about how to find happiness—which is not surprising, seeing as it’s what most of us think we aspire to.
But a lot of it seems overcomplicated to me; so in the belief that the best ideas should be easy to understand, here are my six steps to becoming the best possible version of you:
You need to discover your buried wounds/trauma (almost all of us have at least some). Being fulfilled, loving, and happy is our natural state; so if you’re not feeling that way, there must be some reasons. By finding out what they are, you can heal and become free of them. It may take time, and you may need some professional help (maybe counseling), but it’s worth it. It’s like discovering you’ve been driving with the handbrake on! The kind of thing most likely to be holding you back is a false belief about your true value—probably given to you when you were young, maybe by your parents. The good news is—you’re worth much more than you think you are.
By connecting with and understanding where those negative self-beliefs form, you’ll be able to dilute their power in your life, until you can live the rest of your life happily knowing the strong and lovely person you really are. The huge extra benefit that comes from taking this step is the realisation that as you learn to love and accept yourself, you can begin to truly love and accept others, and in turn, accept love from them, It’s a triple win! Without this step, you will likely keep getting the same painful lessons over and over.
There’s nothing you can do to change the past, or how you’ve felt about anything that you’ve gone through, so there’s no point having regrets or feeling shame or anger. All you can do is reflect on what you have learned and try to be grateful for that. I’ve found that a helpful stance is to believe that everything that happened was exactly what I needed to help me grow—because by believing, I make it true.
Anyone who contributed to our wounds had their own blocks and issues—which is why they behaved the way they did toward us. Forgiveness is the essential bridge between fully accepting the ways in which others knowingly or unknowingly caused you pain and knowing they did the best they could. By having compassion for them, you can step away from the trap of blaming and instead become empowered to be supportive—to yourself and to anyone else you choose.
There are many different ways of healing and different paths to the destination of emotional and physical health. Use whatever method or approach works for you, if you think you need it—just take care to avoid being duped, because there are a lot of fakers out there.
Once you’ve worked through the other five steps, the exciting adventure of learning can be at the centre of your days for whatever time you have on this earth. For me, this is the best part about being alive—being curious about everything rather than afraid of the unknown, and growing every day toward becoming our true selves, and helping others to do the same.
One more thing: life never goes in a straight line. Don’t be discouraged if you fumble and stumble on any of these steps; you can start and restart them whenever you want. It’s your intention and direction that matter.
And by enjoying the journey of your life, you can feel awake and grateful, rather than waiting for some imagined—but never reached—destination.