I am going to start this blog with one of my beloved quotes from “TUT – A Note from the Universe: People believe what they want to believe, Carmen. And this, alone, explains what they have or don’t have. – TUT – A Note from the Universe”
I think the whole confusion starts with the fact that people tend to believe a whole lot. And what they believe is usually based on surroundings, teachings, social standards and upbringing. Neither one of these beliefs may actually be based in reality, but that doesn’t make them less real for those who are caught up in them.
Sometimes, people have gotten angry and defensive when I would tell them that the power to manifest what they want lies solely within them. They’d insist I was withholding the steps on how to do it. I would get to hear, “yeah, I get that it is up to me, but how do I do it? Why can’t you tell me the secret to happiness?” Nope, this is not made up. I literally got almost these exact words thrown at me on more than one occasion and each time I would repeat myself “it is all up to you.”
In theory this sounds very easy and I think that is why people get so frustrated when it is pointed out to them. There is comfort in not being able to control one’s destiny, which also offers endless excuses to not be able to control one’s own impulses, responses, words, whims, emotions and thoughts. Apparently, we are all just a pinball, knocked around by life and some unseen force no one quite understands; and definitely can’t control or exercise power over.
So the question is how does one change one’s thoughts? It starts with the determination to do so! One really has to want to change, which usually means they’d have to be at the point where they are willing to do pretty much anything to make it happen. They must have hit that proverbial “rock bottom” and being tired of their own inauthenticities, stories and their own BS. For those who are familiar with the tarot, they would have to experience the full energy force of the tower.
Who we think we are, how we view ourselves, what we believe we can/cannot do not only manifests in our lives but also is that which others see about us. This is why confidence is so important and this is why those with low self-esteem work almost as a repellant towards happy and successful people. This is why not only the most beautiful or even most talented person will get the job, deal or awesome partner but the one who believes in themselves the most. Some may whine and say that this isn’t fair. Alas, I never said that living one’s dream is easy. And as I have said a million times before, most things worth getting in life are not easily attained and often consist of an uphill battle; at least for a while.
To demonstrate what I am talking about, let me give you an example. Let’s think about Lady Gaga! Yes, she is talented, but above all, she kept a “f*** you” attitude, no matter what people told her and how often she got rejected or denied. She doesn’t care what people think of her and has no problem sporting whatever strange getup pops in her head. At the end of the day, one doesn’t have to like her or her music, but one cannot help to respect her for her successes.
When one looks at the list of really famous people, we usually find one thing they have in common; they overcame rejection, obstacles and blows, but yet wouldn’t allow anyone to pull them down permanently or tell them “no.” This kind of determination and confidence makes you pretty irresistible to people. It is what some call charisma and has nothing to do with being arrogant or with being obnoxious! There is simply nothing more attractive to anyone than a person who truly knows who they are and stands fully in that realization; without making excuses and without being a jerk about it.
Also, pretty much all of the truly confident and happy people have acquired self-awareness at some point in their life. They are fully aware of how they come across and how they are perceived. They are, in other words, mindful of their actions, words, thoughts and emotions; and depending on what their life goals are they are living them by example. It is one thing to be successful; it is a whole other thing to be both, successful and happy!
If I take a look at one of my greatest heroes, the Dalai Lama, I am inspired by how fully aware he is. I am inspired by his humble demeanor, his kindness and his wisdom. I am inspired by how truly peaceful he is and by the compassion he has for everyone, even those who have wronged him.
When I take a look at Bill Maher, who also inspires me, I am smitten with his honesty, his sense of humor, his awareness and his intelligence; as well as the fact that he doesn’t make excuses for who he is and what he believes. Both one of them strike me as courageous and that type of demeanor will win me over, even if I don’t necessarily always agree! I have tremendous respect and admiration for a person who stands in honesty and integrity; and so do most others.
Most influential people have worked fairly hard for their success, and even harder to be happy. One has to learn how to be inspiring, how to live in integrity, how to do the right thing and how to believe in oneself. It is not a behavior we are born with but one we have learned and acquired; usually, because we chose to learn it and aspired to be a certain type of person.
Success and happiness doesn’t knock on our door while we sit on our butt, whining about the stuff we don’t have and all the things that went wrong in our past. Our weight won’t magically shrink while we sit on the couch and eat another burger with fries. We won’t get that six-figure salary, while doing nothing to improve our knowledge and delivering the bare minimum, expecting a miracle or hand-out.
I know that it sucks that we have to work so hard when others appear to have it so easy. But then I would always argue that one of the most endearing traits of a highly successful person is their lack of bad attitude; they are not complaining or whining. You don’t see dozens of Facebook updates per day that point out what meaningless lives they lead and/or how crappy life is and how annoyed/disappointed/angry (<–insert negative emotion here) they are; yet again. When life slaps them with the most horrible thing, they stand out by remaining kind and still trying to find the lesson in the experience. They don’t hold on to grudges and they know how to forgive, sometimes make the first step and how to say “I’m sorry.”
It is human to get beaten down, disappointed, depressed, discouraged, sad, and angry or maybe act unkind at times. But what defines a master of his/her own destiny is the fact that this is not their main mode and they don’t remain that way; alas, they are not stuck but free to create what they truly want to manifest. They don’t keep making excuses for why they can’t do what they need to do, they don’t complain about how hard it is and how bad they have it; they simply do. And when they suffer or hit a slump, they do so with grace, kindness and dignity. You can always tell true character by how a person handles pain.
I aspire to be that person. I want to be that person so much that I have undergone not only severe changes in the past years but most importantly, have worked my butt of. I have been privileged enough to have had (and still do have) friends, managers, co-workers, or other inspirational people in my life that encourage me to live the life I wish to create.
I am still working on it and I still get it wrong at times; after all, it is so easy to fall back into my old and learned behavioral patterns. So, “being happy,” truly is an everyday choice and sometimes, still an uphill battle. What can I say, “happy” has not been my default mode and joy was often short lived. But as I keep striving each day to think the right thoughts and make the right choices, namely with integrity, honesty and courage, I find it is getting easier. With that frame of mind comes more patience, kindness and compassion for others. I have finally learned that one can be kind and compassionate, but still can choose to not tolerate certain behaviors or types of people. I have learned that in order to be the person I want to be, it is not only OK but absolutely necessary to set boundaries.
I guess one could say that true happiness and success is achieved when one finds peace and love for oneself without being a doormat or without taking abuse. In the end, it all boils down to balance within you. Balance is the key to it all.