“Do not ask others what to do. They will tell you what you should do according to them. But only you know the answer to the question of what to do to be happy.” Zoë Wanamaker
The Seychelles, where I spend time these days, have a sign language instructor. One day, he had a new pupil – and the whole family came with her. The woman’s vocal cords had been removed for medical reasons, so she had to learn to communicate in a new way. But her husband, children, sister, brother, mom, dad and seven friends came with her, as they needed to understand her wordless communication.
“Staying in contact is important for a happy life,” said Deepak, pointing to my iPhone, “What is the value of a smart phone without a signal? What use are your golden heart and your desire to build a relationship when your counterpart cannot communicate and won’t let you near? What is the point of your fantastic idea when you cannot sell it to your customers? What advantage do you have when you cannot sell yourself?”
This caught my interest. He talked about the importance of not losing contact, and thinking first about being in touch with ourselves. We are a body that contains something. We can always build on what’s inside. If we realize what we have, the exclusion method will give us what we don’t (yet) have and what we can add.
But we have to realize it.
How do I connect with myself?
How do you discover your best dispositions?
If you are not sure about the direction your life is headed, use a day of holiday to reflect on these 10 questions. I believe they will help you…
Question 1: What can I be proud of?
Be careful, we are looking for what WE are proud of.
Not what people around us are primarily proud of.
Think with YOUR head and YOUR heart! Why do I emphasize this?
Because many of those struggling with the direction their life is taking discover that what they have achieved in their lives so far is not what they actually desired themselves. They have, somehow, done it for other people. They achieved satisfaction and fulfilment FOR OTHERS, but not for themselves.
So what can WE OURSELVES be proud of?
We must feel a slight defiance and shame that we value something that hasn’t been approved by someone else. It could have been our inner dream, even if just a little thing.
This question teaches us to be more independent. To give priority to OUR intuition and recognize that not everyone will agree with us. Not everyone will be pleased and side with us. People will question our choices; they will make use of our every failure to ridicule us and persuade is that we must not go this way.
Let’s not forget that those who primarily care about themselves are often mistakenly called selfish. They are called selfish by other people who want to discourage them from continuing with what they want to be proud of; even though they cannot make a difference. Above all, they are OUR feelings, based on our values and the way we live. If we want to be happy, we have to be proud of how we live.
Question 2: How can I make a positive difference?
Everyone has SOMETHING that no one else offers/thinks of.
It’s not important what other people’s talents are.
We have SOMETHING unique. Something that can positively set us apart from others and fill the gap other people are unable to fill. This is called a positive difference.
In my book 250 Laws of Love we wrote about 10 ways to discover our best assets. One of the main principles mentioned there is similar to when we look for our shortcomings.
Let’s simply try doing something we may really enjoy. If it is the right thing, it will capture us. Many people are driven to make money. They choose work that will be the most profitable. But with this work they are not able to make a long-term positive difference. If they look at it from the other side, the reward for making a positive difference will be much more than just money.
The reward for making a positive difference? It may be irreplaceability and non-substitution. In particular it may be the feeling that what we do is meaningful – for us and for others. If we do nothing right in life, we do nothing positive. And this leaves us feeling desperately empty. Unfulfilled.
I repeat: We are all capable of making a positive difference. Each of us can contribute differently. This makes us successful. However, in order to do what makes sense to us, we must first define what we have been doing so far. And whether it makes sense.
The third logical question follows from this…
Please, continue to the 2nd page