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70% of employees are unfulfilled and disengaged at work. 50% of all marriages fail, and even those who make it say it’s “hard work” keeping it together. The self-help industry is booming because people aren’t happy, and most can’t even really say why.
We got it good compared to prior generations! Our parents and grandparents took whatever job was available in order to make a living. Slaving long hours, often in untenable working conditions, they had no expectation of finding fulfillment in their work. When they decided it was time to have a family, they found a boy or girl from the neighborhood. In many cultures, it was the parents who picked the person with whom they would spend the rest of their lives. They had no say at all in the matter. The funny thing is that, for the most part, those arranged marriages actually worked. By contrast, we have complete freedom to choose. We can pick any line of work that interests us, and we still hate our jobs. We have access to potential partners from all over the world, and yet somehow can’t seem to make it work. Previous generations had nowhere near the freedoms and opportunities we have, yet somehow, they were happier because they never expected more.
Our parents and grandparents worked hard to ensure that our lives would be better than their own. Ultimately, they labored to give us the choices that have become the noose around our necks. Imbued with nearly limitless opportunities, our expectations are sky-high and getting higher because we have the audacity to expect happiness from our lives. Paradise is dangling in front of us like the proverbial carrot. Yet the only thing we know for sure is that whatever it was we were supposed to have - we don’t have it. When I was at the top of my career, I had built a multi-million-dollar marketing company with seventy employees, yet I was on anti-depressants. I had a mansion overlooking the ocean in Southern California. Still, the voices of the dark demons of depression were far louder than the crashing waves below me, obliterating the sun before it could even rise. I was deeply unhappy, and I couldn’t figure out why. Moreover, I beat myself up for being unhappy when I had so much. What was wrong with me, to be so ungrateful in the middle of all that luxury?
Hard To Find It When You Don’t Know What It Is
Here then, is the reason for all that unhappiness: The generations before us taught us to want more, but they never taught us how to figure out what we actually wanted. (It’s not something they would have known about.) We never learned to ask ourselves the right questions, and so we forged ahead blindly. More, better, faster - and in the end, we feel betrayed and disillusioned when we find ourselves burned out and exhausted, wondering what it was all for. Fulfillment remains elusive because it’s hard to find what you’re looking for when you don’t really know what that is. Our relationships are on such shaky grounds because here, too, we search without any clue what we’re looking for. The only thing most people are able to say is that they’d like to find someone “nice” (whatever that means!) They'll go to a bar, to church, or search online, and if they come across someone who is interested in them, they’ll go on a date, happy to compromise their needs and adjust their values to try to make it work. Finding your soulmate should not be about hooking up with someone who more or less fits the bill and then bending yourself into a pretzel to make it fit. The love of your life should be easy. It should be the best thing that’s ever happened to you. It should be joyful! The love of your life should be someone who delights you, someone who adores you and is 100% perfect for you in every way. Of course, the notion that you would find such a person by sheer luck without any planning or forethought is ludicrous!
There is a basic rule: In order to find what you are looking for – in life and in love – you must, at the very least, be able to describe it. So, in order to define what you are looking for, you must get to know yourself. Notice that did not say change yourself! Don’t buy into the myth that you must first become a perfect version of yourself in order to get what you want.
Everyone Is Telling You to Change
I mean, I get it! All your life, everyone has been telling you that you need improvement! Our greatest fear is that the real reason we don’t have what we want is that we’re somehow inadequate. It doesn’t help when people like Gloria Steinem say stuff like, “Too many people are looking for the right person instead of being the right person,” Meaning what? – that you have to become someone you’re not in order to earn the right to look for your soulmate? Advertisers, too, take full advantage of your fears in order to sell you their wares. Doesn’t every advertisement and TV commercial essentially tell you that if you used their product, then you’d finally be enough? If you used that toothpaste or wore these clothes, you’d be part of the in-crowd. If you drove a Lincoln MKC, you would be as cool as Matthew McConaughey. In other words, you would finally be worthy of love! Even pharmaceutical companies get in on the act – ask your doctor if this drug is right for you so you, too, can run on the beach with your puppy, laughing and playing, surrounded by wonderful friends and family, because those people have it made!
It’s all a lie! A new car, the right clothes or some drug can't bring happiness. Happiness doesn’t come from the outside; it starts on the inside. It doesn’t come from changing who you are. Quite the contrary, it comes from honoring who you are! It comes from self-respect. It comes from self-care. It comes from being present enough with yourself to know what you need and want. You will never find fulfillment in a career that requires skills you don’t have, and you won’t find happiness in a relationship where you can’t be yourself. There is only one path to happiness, and that is being absolutely 100% authentic.
How to Get Happy
So how do you find happiness? It’s less about trying to find something out there and more about what’s within you because once you have developed a clear vision of what you want, what you are looking for will find you. In order to get what you want, first, you must know what you want. You must go on a journey of self-discovery. You must ask yourself the all-important question, what do I really want from life? What are my strengths? What do I love most? What are my highest values and standards? What do I hold dear? I promise you it’ll be fun! When you are clear on these things, it's so easy to figure out whom and what will bring you the greatest balance and happiness. It’s an important process, and you owe it to yourself to discover what makes you tick. It can be overwhelming. So, in order to make it easy, I have created a workbook with all the most important questions to ask yourself. It’s yours for free, and you can download it here. I promise you your life will never be the same. When you know how your ideal life looks and feels, providence will take hold of you and propel you into the future of your dreams.
Learn more about the process by reading The List Method.
The List Method is a simple step-by-step way to find the love of your life. It is based on neuroscience and helps you uncover and clear away past roadblocks to a successful relationship. You’ll come to understand your own deep needs and desires and then create a crystal-clear vision of the partner of your dreams. It does not have to take a long time. Armed with a clear List, it could potentially take only days for you to find what you’re looking for. Guaranteed!!