Every morning, I drink a cup of Yogi herbal tea. (Egyptian Licorice is my favorite.) And every morning, I look forward to reading the few words of wisdom on the end of the string holding the tea bag.
This morning, my tea bag said “May your inner self be secure and happy.”
That may not seem like much advice, especially if you are feeling a little groggy, but I found it fascinating since it’s exactly the thing I was planning to write about in this article.
Have you ever contemplated what your answers would be if you were interviewed by someone like Barbara Walters or Oprah Winfrey? Perhaps you haven’t, but I have. And today, I was contemplating what my response would be if I was asked “What is the greatest lesson entrepreneurship has taught you?”
Tough question to answer because there are so many possible answers. Entrepreneurship has taught me perseverance, courage, faith, and the importance of support and connecting with others. It’s forced me to identify and own my brilliance. It’s pushed me outside of my comfort zone so many times, I now only feel comfortable when I am uncomfortable.
Entrepreneurship has forced me to be things I didn’t think I could be (like a good project manager) and how to delegate when I didn’t think I could afford it or find someone good enough. The list could go on and as you can see, there are lots of possible answers.
But there is one single answer that does stand out in my mind as the greatest lesson of all. The greatest lesson entrepreneurship has taught me is that all my power lies within me and NOT on the outside. When I allow people, experiences or situations to dictate how I feel, I give my power away. But when I choose happiness and joy in every moment of the day, no matter what is happening, I have found success in life.
Most of us have it all wrong. I know I did and it still takes time and effort to get back on the correct side of the equation. Most of us go through life looking for compliments and validation to feel good about ourselves. We chase goals in the pursuit of happiness. We even go on vacation to feel good again.
The secret to life is doing it the other way around. To choose to feel good about one’s self and then bask in the compliments that get showered upon us. To wake up and choose happiness and then watch success unfold before us. To bring the passion that lives within us to everyday tasks and then relish the spectacular vacation experiences we create.
When we choose happiness first, all the good things that happen to us: validation by peers, exceeding your goals, an unforgettable vacation; are icing on the cake. They should’t be the main course of life.
It’s a simple concept – to choose happiness and joy no matter what life throws at you – but it’s not easy. It takes a mental muscle and with practice, it can be done.
You have the ability to drum up the feeling of being loved and accepted without compliments and attention from others. You have the ability to feel proud, excited, and inspired long before you achieve the goal. You have the ability to feel peace and serenity without sitting on a beautiful, tropical beach. Stop chasing the people and events that you think will generate these feelings and just feel them anyway.
How do you choose happiness no matter what? How do you find the passion inside you and bring it to everything you do?
Here are some simple tips:
- Meditate for 15 minutes each morning, immediately after you wake;
- Move your body more!
- Spend time outside – no matter what the temperature;
- Have more fun;
- Practice gratitude daily.
Today, I leave the same wisdom with you, that my cup of tea gave me: “May your inner self be secure and happy.” The next time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, disappointed or under appreciated, take a moment and realize that you are allowing outside events or people to dictate your feelings. Take back your power by tapping into one of the 5 tips above. Practice it daily and watch the trajectory of your life and business change for the good.