When nothing in life is a certainty, how do we ensure moments of happiness regardless of what happens in the world around us? We compiled the DrivenWoman's rules for happiness to help you find your way during turbulent times.
Rule 1: Follow your heart
Only expectations of others and how we experience shame can separate you from following your heart and from everything that is natural to you: your true nature, your connection to others, your creativity and love. The first step to happiness is to embark on a life long journey to be your authentic self, without a compromise. When you hear your heart's calling it is your job to find a way to follow.
Rule 2: Learn to laugh at yourself
In a culture where everyone tries to desperately control outcomes, guilt and shame are never far away. We tend to take ourselves way too seriously and have attached our self-worth to our performance, our appearance and our productivity. Ultimately, laughter can change your perception of reality. Learn to live life with a lighter touch and find a sense of laughter when things don't go to plan.
Rule 3: See the beauty around you
Beauty is a portal. The fastest way to presence is to experience life in the here and now, instead of unhappiness of the things we are constantly lacking. When we suddenly see beauty all around us we start to appreciate and savour what we have, who we are and how far we've come. Learn to find beauty in the present moment, regardless of your circumstances, because beauty transforms the mundane to the magical.
Rule 4: Take a break
Your self-worth is not linked to your productivity nor is your success in life linked to the number of hours you work. You carry an immense potential and talent inside of you which can only emerge when you give it some space. Every success story starts with a big idea. The best way to keep you away from your brilliance is to keep busy. "Those who will win the future are those who can find quiet in the noisy world." says Arianna Huffington. Learn to treasure rest the same way you treasure achievement.
Rule 5: Marry the right person
Phew, this is a big one! And a topic many of us don't really want to talk about. But the truth is that to flourish we should share our lives with a person who loves and supports us without trying to control us. We tend to confuse control with love, it's what women are used to. It's also easy to confuse control with security, something many of us think we need. Find a relationship that celebrates YOU and your unfolding journey without trying to manipulate you into anything else.
Rule 6: Don't get too attached to material things
Happiness is an internal state of joy and fulfilment. Buying a new car can bring a sense of achievement, especially if you've worked hard to obtain a certain lifestyle. There's nothing wrong in loving the finer things in life but material things can only bring momentarily satisfaction. The car is soon old and a bigger and faster model is required to keep the feeling going.
Material things such as a house or living in a nice neighbourhood may stop you from pursuing things that would actually make you happy because you are afraid what people might think if you moved into a smaller house to free up resources to follow your heart. "Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness." ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Rule 7: Learn to explore
Fear, attachment and perfection can keep you procrastinating and prevent you from fully experiencing happiness. Adopt a mindset of an explorer constantly testing new ways to live your life, do business and build your career. Curiosity is the greatest remedy for overwhelm and feeling stuck. Instead of thinking "I can't do this.." say "How can I find a way to do this.."
“Choosing to be curious is choosing to be vulnerable because it requires us to surrender to uncertainty. It wasn’t always a choice; we were born curious. But over time, we learn that curiosity, like vulnerability, can lead to hurt. As a result, we turn to self-protecting—choosing certainty over curiosity, armor over vulnerability, and knowing over learning.” Brené Brown
Rule 8: Surround yourself with people who support you
Nobody can experience happiness in complete separateness. "We are wired for connection." The feminine suffers in a linear system. The feminine is naturally collaborative and connected. Women try too hard to 'make it alone'. We were told that it's a sign of strength. Heroism is a masculine quality and we women must re-learn the quality of our sisterhood. Find a group of likeminded people who support you and who share and cherish your journey. Learn to be supportive and supported and your journey will be much happier and joyful.
Rule 9: Never question your own needs
You can't pour from an empty cup. Happiness is hard to find if our own needs are not met. If you always put everyone else first and feel guilty for taking time for yourself it is possible you will eventually start resenting everything and everyone.
Make yourself a priority. Become aware of your own needs. Recognise the shame that might be holding you back. If you need a dance party to fire up the light within you, then make it happen! You don't need a permission to dance around the house any moment of any day.
Rule 10: Don't take life (or these rules) too seriously
You get to make your own rules in life. Take inspiration anywhere that resonates with you and offers you the guidance you need right now but don't get attached to dogma. Only you know YOU. Let life unfold and let go of the need to control it. Learn to trust your journey in its entirety.
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