Being happy… that elusive goal we all seek, yet seem to chase more than find. What will it take for you to be happy?
Personal development requires you to move forward with passion toward your goals. The question is not how to gain confidence but how to prevent yourself from blocking what you need to embrace – and the steps you need to take – to finally have a happy life!
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Nelson Mandela
As I write this I am in Frankfurt. According to my body it is 1:30 in the morning and I am sipping Green Tea and taking my ‘No Jet Lag’ homeopathic remedy. Traveling has become a powerful force of nature in my life and on this particular adventure my passport will be stamped in three countries – Germany, Italy and Ethiopia, all visited several times before. One of the things I cherish about traveling is the fascinating people encountered along the way and although this trip is only eight hours old, already there has been a person whose story inspired this week’s article.
For the last year, at seminars, in podcasts and trainings I have spoken about how we ‘play small.’ Inherently many of us realize that there is a new and richer course for us to pursue however it is finding the courage, or the catalyst, to take the leap. A big part of personal development is how to be more confident we are on our right path and taking course correction whenever and wherever we realize that may not be the case.
On the flight to Germany, I began a discussion with a man reminiscent of one of the Madden brothers of Good Charlotte. Sitting in business class I wondered if he was a musician or artist. Of course one should never assume.
James* had overheard that I was headed to Ethiopia. He was en route to Angola, a coastal country that borders The Congo and Zambia. Angola, more of a hot zone as opposed to a hot tourist destination is not generally on the list of desired travel locals. In fact between Angola, the Congo, and surrounding countries, over 3.7 million people have died due to the blood diamond trade brought to greater awareness by movies like Leonardo DiCaprio’s Blood Diamond. Angola is rich in mineral reserves and my new acquaintance was heading there to work on an off-shore oil rig.
This was not his first visit however he let me know that it was likely his last. He was done. The money, he informed me, was spectacular though it kept him away from his two young children for five to six weeks at a time. Although his vessel had been ambushed by Somali pirates, who were heavily armed, and he narrowly escaped it was the recent death of his best friend, from cancer, that had caused him to make the decision to set a new course for his life.
James was clearly shaken up and sadly this is the reality – really young people in their thirties, twenties, teens, and children now die of cancer. Chris and I already have three people from our small high school who have passed due to the disease. Not pirates, not a bombing in India, but the death of a friend, from something now quite common, had spurred James on to make the decision that it was time to create a new life for himself and his family. After this trip he was going into consulting and staying on home soil.
From experience, I can understand that we will always have a million reasons why we won’t make a major change in our lives, even if we know it is for the better. Sometimes it’s difficult figuring out how to be more confident and take the steps we need to take for our own personal development and professional development. The steps we need to take to truly be happy. Yet, it often only takes one significant event to point us in the direction we resisted all along and sadly, many of us wait for that pinnacle life event before mustering the courage to take a new path.
We are not meant to play small in our lives. We are all meant for greater things and those things are often on the other side of a move, making the calls we don’t want to make, changing jobs, getting in shape or any myriad of other activities that we perceive to be ‘hard.’ Don’t wait for a major life event to be the catalyst for you to take action. Make a decision today that you are not going to play small and start setting a new course in your life. You deserve it and so do the people in your life whom you love.
Susan is a balanced living expert. She is an author, speaker and self made millionaire. She has appeared on ABC Family, the CBN, written for Dianne Magazine, Oxygen Australia and many more. Susan dedicates time to philanthropy and projects that benefit women and girls all over the world. She is married to her best friend, Chris, and together they have five beautiful children.
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