Too many “gurus” claim to have the key to happiness.
I’ve been down that rabbit hole before, and all I’ve come back with is a disgusted look on my face!
The true key to happiness is something you already possess.
The secret lies in knowing how to use it.
That’s what today’s article is all about… identifying that key and then putting it to use to get you the happiness you’re after.
First things first, you’re probably wondering what this magical key is.
I’ll let you in on a secret: it’s not magic at all.
It’s just you being yourself!
Maybe this sounds like an easy out, but when you really think about it, being yourself is harder than you realize.
You might even believe you already are being yourself, only to discover that you haven’t been after all after really thinking about my instructions.
So how do you achieve being yourself?
When most people are asked this, they are surprised to find that they don’t have an answer about where to begin. But you’ll know better from now on!
You’ll also know that the process of becoming your best self is called self-actualization.
Self-actualization is the drive ‘to become who you have the potential to be.’
In more detailed terms, this means that you are fulfilling a mission (i.e. working in a career you are proud of, engaging in a meaningful hobby, etc.), living up to your potential, using your talents and capabilities, accepting your intrinsic human nature, and feeling an increased unity and integration within yourself.
It may sound like a lot, but it really is pretty easy to follow if you break it down, which is exactly what I’m here for.
Self-actualization, in a nutshell, means being fulfilled, and accepting your whole self.
It doesn’t mean being perfect (how boring would that be?!) but it does mean being the best version of yourself.
It means pursuing what you are passionate about, putting your energy into doing good for yourself and those around you, and generally embracing who you are, good and bad.
According to several studies, people who are identified as fulfilling all of these traits are generally less stressed, more fulfilled at work, happier in their personal lives, and satisfied in their professional lives.
There has even been a large correlation between self-actualization and financial success!
Sounds appealing, right?
So, how do you reach self-actualization?
Actually, it’s pretty easy. It only takes four simple steps.
1. Get to know your core strengths
What are you good at? What are you not good at? Whatever your strengths are, you need to know them inside and out so you can use them to your best advantage.
Knowing where you are successful can help you choose a career you will be good at, will help you find hobbies that help further your abilities, and can even help you hone in on these skills and make them even stronger.
2. Learn your mental ‘center’
Your ‘center,’ or comfort zone, is the mental space where you feel you are the most yourself. It is where you feel calm, content, and familiar.
Once you know your center inside and out, you are able to venture outside of it without going too far. If you don’t know your own limits, you could step off a cliff without even knowing it!
3. Create a vision of who you want to become
They say that visualizing helps people heal faster, meet goals quicker, and move beyond fears better. Why should it be any different for growing into the person you want to become?
If there is anything you would like to improve about yourself, picture that improved version of yourself. Then slowly work backwards to who you are now, and you might find a path to self-improvement reveals itself to you along the way.
4. Put together a personal development plan
Once you know all the things you want to do to grow, make a list, and follow through with it.
It’s that easy!
Keep your goals in the back of your head and let them guide all of your decisions. Before you know it, you’ll be that incredible self-actualized version of you!
Just remember, self-actualization is more than just confidence or success.
It’s total personal fulfillment, and even though it is a constant process, once you are on the path to reaching it, you will permanently feel happier, healthier, and settled in the life you’ve always wanted.