How to Live a Happy Life (regardless of your circumstances)

Want to live a happy life? Sounds fair enough… after all, that’s what everyone is chasing after right?

Problem is, which almost all of us realize, we’re chasing after the wrong things to make us happy.

More than likely you got here by something you entered into your search box about happiness or a happy life. I know how you feel.

Prior to finding true inner-peace and happiness I would wake up each day, look around at my life and wonder, “is this as good as it gets?” It was depressing.

People—self included—often feel we cannot live a happy life due to circumstances we think are out of our control. That’s almost always not true; of course we always think we’re the exception to the rule. That’s not to say that tragic events don’t happen to people and cause great sadness, but our ability to live a happy life is not contingent on outside sources; or at least doesn’t have to be.

Nothing outside of ourselves can make us feel long-term inner-peace and happiness. Conversely, nothing outside of ourselves has the power to keep us chained to long-term unhappiness.

“Nothing outside of ourselves has the power to keep us chained to long-term unhappiness.” – Click to Tweet

If you’re unhappy for extended periods of time it’s because you have chosen it. Of course there may be a chemical in-balance or mental disorder that causes depression or chronic unhappiness, so I’m not saying all those who are unhappy have simply chosen to be that way. However, I’m not a doctor and can only speak from personal experience within myself and others who I have witness find true happiness in their lives by looking inward.

In all cases we all had something in common, we were not happy with our lives. So much so that at times, they didn’t seem worth living.

We’re not happy with our lives because we’re not happy with ourselves or who we have become. There may be a constant nudging at our conscience telling us we’re no good or don’t deserve to be happy. Consequently, we continually sabotage ourselves and our lives.

We push others away while coming up with excuses as to why we’re not worthy or have time for love in our lives. Mine often masqueraded as ambition. Or we settle for less than we deserve and convince ourselves that we’re happy. All the while wondering what went wrong as we cling to the idea and hope that someday we’ll just wake up and intuitively know how to be happy.

Since we’re unhappy with ourselves we must look outside self for validation and happiness. This can be through relationships, careers, or material possessions.

Most everyone can accept the idea that material things and external sources can only make us happy short-term at best. So what’s the alternative? The alternative is the answer to how to live a happy life. It’s self-seeking and finding your true authentic self. Sounds easy enough right? On the contrary, most of us—self included—may be afraid at what we’ll find inside ourselves.

Let me provide a little background and see if you can relate.

Growing up I had so much “potential” as everyone would say. Although when I hear people say that now I sort of cringe. It’s like saying you “could” be great, but you’re not. As if love and respect from others is conditional depending on how well we’re living up to our potential. This only validates the way we already feel on the inside. We know we’re not the person we’d like to be or know we could be; it sure doesn’t help hearing it from others. That’s why we may get defensive at times when we’re nagged about not living up to our potential.

For me, there were a couple different ideal self images floating around inside my mind. One of those visions consisted of me living in a loft in downtown Kansas City, MO USA where I live, driving a Porsche and being liked and admired by everyone. I later realized that this vision of myself as being successful also was me being alone. I just assumed that once I was rich and successful then I would find a perfect wife and start a family.

I think for some reason I didn’t feel worthy of love unless I was successful. Or looking even deeper than that was the fear of not being loved or knowing how to love, therefore I would blame ambition and drive for not having time for relationships. Although it’s quite amusing looking back at it now, because even though I thought I was ambitious and driven, I still wasn’t really getting anywhere. Mostly I just liked to party and do as little as possible; but I sure worked hard at trying to look and act like I was on my way to greatness.

Besides this version of myself that was successful and rich, there was also the vision of a man which was kind, caring, altruistic, a father, and great husband. I knew deep inside I had the ability to be inspiring and special; after all, my mother had always told me how great I was, and I believed her… for the most part.

But deep inside there was always this scared little boy who was afraid of not being accepted or loved. I really had no idea who I was or how to live a happy life. To me, happiness was having a steady job and partying! Having a good time and happiness are not the same thing. For years I bounced around trying different jobs and relationships, trying to find out what made me happy. I eventually discovered through many painful lessons that nothing I achieve professionally or own materialistically would bring me true happiness.

The answer to “how to live a happy life” is the same as it has always been; find and accept your true authentic self and live as true to that as possible. And yes, I know it’s frustrating to keep hearing people like me say, “live right and happiness will be the result.”

If you’re like me, I had no idea what that meant. I mean it sounds so simple, “just live right and find love, gratitude, and peace in your life… that is how to live a happy life.” It’s so frustrating though when you have no idea how to do that.

From experience I know it can be done and there is practical steps you can take to get there. The process is simple, yet not easy and very uncomfortable at times. Unfortunately it’s way to in-depth to get into here. However, I do talk a lot about the process in my newsletter and have outlined a 7 step process to living a happy life in my new book Happiness for the Practical Mind:  7 Steps to Discovering and Loving Your Authentic Self.

The process requires looking deep within oneself, seeking help from others, taking out the trash from your past, discovering your true self, and then living a life where our intentions, thoughts, and actions are in tune with each other.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
-Ghandi

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” -Ghandi – Click to Tweet

Having balance and harmony between our thoughts, words, and actions is invaluable in finding happiness. It may sound simple, but think about how often you portray a certain persona or facade to the world, all the while feeling completely different on the inside.

I was king at this in what I refer to as my “five dollar life.” A period of my life when I would never put more than $5 to $10 worth of gas in my car at one time. I had the money, just not the time. I was too busy running around changing the world, getting ahead and striving for greatness in my career; or so I thought. The truth is that I was a mess, both emotionally and spiritually. But to the world I showed this guy who had his sh#$ together and was making things happen. In reality, I never slowed down enough for people to really get to know me as I was afraid they wouldn’t like the real me. How could they, I sure didn’t.

That reminds me of something I learned while working in a restaurant years ago… that if you walk around with a ketchup bottle in your hand and look busy, people will leave you alone. Just because you’re busy, doesn’t mean you’re getting things done.

After finally hitting a bottom emotionally, physically, and spiritually in March of 2006, I had to do something. That’s when I dedicated my life to finding true inner-peace and happiness. Out of the process of self-discovery and a lot of outside help, I learned to love and respect the real me. It was a simple process, but not easy. I had to be willing to abandon everything I thought I knew about life and my place in it. The result was finding true inner-peace and happiness.

The most valuable part of learning to love, accept, and respect self, is you require less external sources for happiness. The result is a happiness that is not contingent on others or your circumstances.

Sure there’s going to be times when you’re unhappy and a little down, but even in these times you can maintain a deep sense that everything is fundamentally OK. The entire process of how to live a happy life is discovering your true authentic self and living as closely to it as you can, forgiving self and others, and the realization that you are not defined by your past and deserve to be happy.

A victim is a spectator in their own life and you do not have to be a victim, you can choose to be a survivor and become responsible for your own happiness.

Here is something I wrote in my journal a few years ago.

Yesterday, after my morning meditation, I wrote down a passage from “The Christmas Sweater” by Glenn Beck and shoved it into the back pocket of my jeans. I wrote it down to share with a group of people I would be speaking to that afternoon. The passage is dialog between little Eddie, the main character, and his mother. Eddie is upset about his father’s recent death and getting an itchy sweater for Christmas instead of the bike he wanted.

“I know that things have been hard since Dad died. But it’s been hard for both of us. At some point you have to realize that everything happens for a reason. It is up to you to find that reason, learn from it, and let it take you to the place you’re supposed to be–not just where you have ended up.”  …”you can either complain about how hard your life is, or you can realize that only you are responsible for it. You get to choose: Am I going to be happy or miserable? And nothing–not a sweater and certainly not a bike–will ever change that.”
- Page 108 of The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck

What a powerful message: “At some point you have to realize that everything happens for a reason. It is up to you to find that reason, learn from it, and let it take you to the place you’re supposed to be—not just where you have ended up.”

I didn’t share this passage during my speech, I forgot. But after speaking, a women approached me with tears in her eyes. She told me about her son who had recently committed suicide. I told her I was sorry, gave her a hug and then remembered the sheet of paper in my back pocket. I pulled it out and handed it to her.

To truly learn from a past experience you must accept it. However, just because you accept something doesn’t mean you have to like it. It’s important to realize the difference. Acceptance is much like forgiveness in that it’s giving up on the hope of a better past.

At times I’m not the biggest fan of the phrase “everything happens for a reason.” I think a lot of people use it because they don’t understand or accept something that has happened in their lives or to someone they know or love. I don’t believe things happen for a reason necessarily, but that we have the power to learn and give meaning and reason to what has happened. Everything painful in life is an opportunity to grow. As long as we remain the victim we can blame something or someone else while avoiding responsibility and thus the real commitment to learn.

Fundamentally Everything Is OK

On June 26th of 2010 my father was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. On July 6th, ten days later, he passed away. It was a real shock and my family and I were just getting used to the fact that he was sick… then he passed away. I can tell you it wasn’t easy and was difficult to accept at first.

But throughout the entire thing I knew deep down everything was doing to be OK. Sure it would be different without my dad there, but I would be OK. As part of my self-discovery process and commitment to living a happy life, over the last few years I learned a lot about my father. I learned a lot about him by learning a lot about  myself. I realized I didn’t need the constant approval and deep emotional connection with my father that I thought I’d resented for so many years. That burden was all on me! .

Over the last couple of years I learned to speak my fathers love language and understand him. As a result our relationship had grown a little deeper as it went along. I am sorry that we’ll not be able to continue learning about each other. However, I am grateful that I had the chance to get to know him so well over the last few years. None of that would have been possible if I had not sought to find happiness in my own life.

No matter what happens to you in your life, you can and deserve to be happy. The key to this is getting OK with who you are as an individual, or discovering your authentic self and living up to it.

If you really think about the unhappiness in your life, it stems from regret of the past or fear of the future. So the key to living a happy life then is learning how to stay in the moment. Think about it… look around you right now, I’ll bet in this very instant everything is fundamentally OK in your life. You’re not on fire or falling down a big hill.

So the key to happiness is learning how to be content in the moment and comfortable with yourself and your circumstances right now in this instance! The reason you struggle with staying in the moment is because your head fills up with how inadequate you are, regrets, fears, etc. so you keep busy; running around and trying not to stop too long or you might realize how screwed your are!

“All misery derives from the inability to sit in a quite room alone.”
- Author Unknown

Learning to be OK with self takes work. You must get rid of all the trash that’s getting in the way of self love. Through practical action and steps it can be done and is guaranteed to lead you to living a happy life. The question is, do you really want to be happy?

If you answer yes and mean it, then I suggest you sign up for my newsletter if you haven’t already. And thank you so much for taking the time to read all of this.

Comments

  1. g.arunachalam says

    hi jared,am arunachalam again.since am a college student my working days is from monday to friday.since am most of the times alone in weekends .i am agfraid of the weekends and it comes to haunt me every time.and am afraid of the future.i dont knw what to do.i should enjoy my life every day.and since i doesnt go out often people always remark me as innocent.i should enjoy my life so yhat i doesnt care about my future.than u for reading my mail.

    • Jared says

      g.arunachalam,
      Thanks for taking the time to share what you’re going through. I can relate to your fear of weekends and spending time alone. I used to be that way, an introvert that would be social during the week with my work friends but then on the weekend hide away in my apartment and study. I was working towards a computer certificate and teaching myself about web development and avoided most social events. I looked forward to the work week as a more social time with co-workers but pretty much avoided people any other time. For me, finding my happy life came after starting a journey to seek within myself, what I was afraid of, what made me fear deep relationships. It all really came down to the fear of being rejected, not accepted. After a few failed relationships and personal problems I sought therapy and found a way to learn about myself, my past, fears, and first and foremost how to love and accept myself. Then I was able to accept and give love as I learned to love and accept myself. It definitely was a process and one I needed help with. As human’s I feel we really do need personal interaction with others, there’s no other time when I’m completely unaware of my personal problems then when laughing with friends. It took me a while to learn where I fit in and eventually made several really dear and close friends through a support group I was part of. Once I learned how to be happy with myself, I was able to choose who brought meaning and joy to my life as far as friends go.

  2. Wawak says

    Reading this message, I felt like it was directed at me… This is exactly what I needed to hear. I am a college student and everyday I find myself depressed and thinking of the future. I often find myself asking myself questions like: “What if I don’t become rich and famous one day?” I was blaming me not being rich or popular as the reason for being lonely, as a consequence I find myself spending endless hours in the library(doing nothing) so I could look commited and very hardworking. Thanx Jared!

    • jared says

      Wawak,
      Thanks for the comment. I can relate to trying to look busy but not getting much done. It also took me years to figure out that even if I don’t become rich and famous, I can still be happy. That all the time I spent thinking about or trying to be successful, were moments I missed out on what (I think) really matters in life; meaningful relationships with others. But the missing piece for me was not having a healthy relationship with myself first. Which meant I was always looking for things outside myself to make me happy; money, job, material things, etc. Good luck to you.

  3. EZ says

    Im at a point in my life where i have completely bottomed out. I have been analyzing my life and slowely been figuring out y i am the way that i am. I completely understand and agree with what you said about personal happiness. unhappiness comes from regret from the past and fear of the future. I have been plagued by this statment for the last decade and cant figure out how to overcome it. What other actions can i take to help my personal growth, anything???? thank you for the article

    • jared says

      EZ,
      Yes, you “are the way that you are.” But that can change if you really want it to. I was a certain way for years, but feared change because… well, I wasn’t sure I could be the “ideal” self that I imagined (or that everyone else thought I was). Worse yet, I feared that if I achieved that and was still miserable, then I was really screwed.

      I used to get stuck a lot between not liking the way things are and change. It’s a tough place to be stuck. But at some point I had to make a decision and then take action that I wanted to change. The fact that you’re here, asking questions, and seeking help and the answer means you’re seeking. And keep looking and you’ll find what you’re looking for. But at the same time, don’t push yourself too hard.

      Personal growth for me started when I truly surrendered to the idea of that I’m not the center of the universe. That maybe there is something greater than me. I’m not sure what that was/is; God maybe. I like to thank so. At least that’s what I believe. But not the traditional fire and brimstone type; more of an all loving God that’s in and a part of each and everyone one of us. That love is all there really is and I had to learn to start feeling that for myself. To become emotionally connected to self so I could start to really discover who I was and wanted or needed to be happy. Which in turn allowed me to define who I wanted to be and where I wanted to go.

      But it all started with the simple concept of being OK with the consequences of being myself. For that, I worked hard and used (use) counselors, therapists, books, prayer, meditation. A ton of things. It’s hard to sum up what brought me happiness in a single word, but right now humility comes to mind. And humility is NOT thinking less of oneself, but thinking of oneself less. It’s having a realistic view of self and my place within the universe. Being of service and letting go of expectations.. OK, I guess that’s more than “one” word. But it’s all sort of woven together.

      Good luck to you and thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  4. Can Do! says

    Jared, I loved reading your words this morning. I have struggled with being happy with myself all my life. Now even more than when I was younger. I look back at 50 years of life and wonder how can I not trust in myself. I set off on my own Journey this year, call it a Mid Life Crisis or Mid Life Blessing — I chose the latter. — either way I truly want to feel content with me, proud of me, satisfied with me, I want to trust in me, not be afraid to say what is on my mind for fear of hurting someone, or causing a confrontation. I have done, been, acted, like someone else out of fear of them being disappointed in me, and for what? My main problem is that I worry about the other guy and I settle for less to satisfy them.

    It is a journey, with God in my court I feel anything is possible — My spirit was renewed this morning reading your words. Thank you.

    • jared says

      Can Do! And you will! Thank you so much for leaving such a generous and authentic comment. I wish you the best in your journey. We’re all in this together and anything is possible.

      I know what you mean about not wanting to hurt someone. I was that way for many, many years. Saying things I knew others wanted to hear or would make them happy. All in order to feel good about myself. Needless to say, that got me into some pretty bad predicaments. Mostly in relationships I knew I didn’t or shouldn’t be in but had not idea what I “really” needed so I just settled for what I could get.

      Oh, and confrontation, forget about it! One of the first things my therapist told me when I first started this journey was I had what she called “confrontation avoidance.” I would even sacrifice my own happiness just to avoid confrontation. I guess I don’t really have confrontation today because it’s not about wining any more. It’s about learning and not trying to change anyone’s perception of me; I get my own worth and it’s between me and God.

      Thanks again for the wonderful comments.

  5. Josh says

    As a highschool social failure sometimes this is really inspirational that life doesnt have to go on like this. Thank YOU so much for taking the time to put this out there. I know you sure have helped me if nothing else. :)

    • jared says

      You’re welcome Josh. Always remember, “this too shall pass.” I’m sure you’ve had people tell you how “unimportant” what’s going on in high-school is. How you’ll look back later in life and realize how much has changed, how insignificant it all was, blah blah blah. And I know it’s pretty hard to believe it can and will get better sometimes. But it most certainly does. I was scrawny and a band geek in high school, but my school was really small so we all sort of got along. But I learned back then that I hated to be bullied and even some of my best friends at the time would bully me a little bit sometimes. Punch me and push me around because I was smaller. But I took it all in stride and once I got out into the big world, none of that really mattered. There’s a place in this big world for all of us. Thanks for stopping by and good luck to you.

  6. gen says

    Dear:Jared
    I’m a college student at the time, i suffer from depression and have been hospitalized in one occasion for trying to kill myself. I am an illegal immigrant and feel that because i don’t have papers there’s no purpose to me going to school or living because after all i will never achieve my dream of working in the FBI in the behavior analyses unit. I will never be what i want to be.Plus growing up was hard for me my dad left when i was 7 and my mom hates me because i’m not good enough no matter how well i do all i have gotten all my life is you can do better. I was molested by a family friend when i was 16 i never said anything because i thought it was my fault. After reading your story it gave me some hope but i cant help but think that being happy seems out of my reach.

    • jared says

      Gen,
      Thanks for sharing your story. Never, never, never give up. http://jaredakers.com/the-greatest-gift/

      I know it’s a cliche, but you can do anything you set your mind to… within reason. Meaning, if you want to be a fish, that’s not going to happen. But you can certainly attain a dream such as you mentioned. You said, “I will never be what i want to be” – I don’t believe that. I too felt that way before. But amazing things can be accomplished one little step at a time. I’m not familiar with getting papers, and I have heard it can be difficult and takes time, I wish you the best of luck in that but I hope you keep trying and just concentrate on what you CAN do today. What’s one little step towards your goal you can take action on today? I often use a list; I know simple but effective. I write down all the crap in my head that’s keeping me from sleeping, things I would like to accomplish or get done. I write them down then decide which ones I can take action on today, and if there is nothing I can do; I pray to let it go until I can do something.

      You are not your past and happiness is certainly not out of our reach. I know it seems so far away at times, as it did in my life at one point. But as long as we keep trying there’s a chance. And it takes little steps. Then one day you look back and see, WOW, I’ve come so far. I wish you the best and just believe in yourself!

    • jared says

      Thanks Nancy for taking the time to leave a comment. It’s truly appreciated. Best of luck and blessing to you in life’s journey. And stay deep inside your heart!

  7. Kayla says

    I have a hard time with school, family stuff and last year i had suicidal thoughts that i just now told someone about. All i want is a happy life stress free but it seems like stress is just stalking me, and biting me every chance it gets. I understand that life is hard but does it really have to be this hard? Well, Thanks Jared because you inspired me to continue trying, your article was just what i needed to hear…

    • jared says

      Thanks for sharing part of your struggles Kayla. Your comment reminded me of a quote I like.

      “When I hear somebody sigh, Life is hard, I am always tempted to ask, Compared to what?”
      -Sydney J. Harris

      I think we (I) over complicate happiness a lot of times. Which is all because we continually look externally for happiness. And since external things are constantly changing, and it’s impossible to obtain everything, we’re constantly looking. For me, happiness is simply learning to be okay with who I am, and then accepting the consequences of being myself. And then knowing that it’s enough.

  8. Steven says

    I live two minutes from downtown KCMO….These past two weeks have been incedibly upsetting for me…. I have been at war with myself for some time with many things about to happen in the future….thank you…it has made me feel so much better reading something I know but written by someone else that knows the area I’m in…those days will come and when they do I’ll deal with them….I will live in the moment and not just look busy for the time being….really thank you for posting this.

    • jared says

      Steven,
      Thanks for sharing what you’re going through. I live in Lee’s Summit now, but did live in the Rivermarket area for some time. That’s actually where I lived when I hit my bottom so to speak. From experience I can attest that the scenario’s of dreaded things that might happen are often much worse spinning around in our head then they end up being in reality. Of course this also goes for expectations of good events. More evidence towards the power of staying in the moment the best we can, and concentrating on doing the “next right thing.”

      The power of NOW is certainly a buzz term and used pretty freely these days, yet it’s not so easy to put into practice. At least it wasn’t for me. I had to learn to get all the crap (fear, regret, guilt, etc.) that was constantly taking up space in my head cleared before I could really live in the moment. That took some work and time. Something I’m putting into a practical process in my upcoming book, where I list 7 steps to discovering and loving our authentic self.

      Good luck to you and contact me and let me know how you’re doing and how the things pan out in the future you referred to. jared (at) jaredakers.com

  9. tin-tin says

    I was enlighten it gives me more reason to live life more happier.
    Thanks Jarred you inspired many people.
    Good job and keep it up..

  10. HazelEyedItalianGirl says

    Dear Jared,
    Reading your text, I felt like you were here saying all that to me in person. It’s so weird how you can have such a great way with words, that they’ve reached me and pulled me in, because it’s something that rarely happens. I’ve experienced a bad and depressing youth, and now a few years later (I’m 20 years old), it still haunts me.. eats me up inside. I want to be done with it, I really want to become a better and happier person, not for others, but for myself. I want to be able to find joy again in the little things. And after reading your words, it inspired me to make it happen. I used to think that in a few years.. I’d find someone, settle down, have kids and just become happy, like it’s ‘part of the plan’ and would just happen naturally. But I realized that, as you also mentioned, you just don’t wake up to happiness. I don’t want to be a victim any longer. I want to accept my past, and who I really am, with my flaws. I hate to live like this, I literally hide myself for the world because I’m so insecure about myself. I feel like I should be beautiful…thin…bubbly… and talkative for people to like me. I sometimes look back at pictures from when I was little, and think about how much potential – yes, you don’t like that word! :-) – I had, and what I could’ve had become. I try to think more positively, but it’s so hard to ignore that bad feeling creeping up on me. I’m also scared about having to face my past, which will force me to have a confrontation with certain persons, who never believed in me, called me names, etc… Again, I really enjoyed reading your text, and I’m sure you’re an inspiration to many people. Thank you.

    • jared says

      HazelEyedItalianGirl,
      Thanks for sharing your comments, and I apologize it has taken me so long to respond. I hope you find what you’re looking for and it truly sounds to me as if you’re on the right track. You’re searching and working on yourself and that is HUGE! Acceptance of who we are is so crucial as without it we really can’t move forward and love outwardly unconditionally. Acceptance is also key and just remember that accepting something doesn’t mean we have to like it or admit it was OK. Just that we recognize it happened which gives us power to do something about it. I know for myself and relationships, the healthy and most power ones that I’ve found came to me once I learned to love myself first. We attract that which we are. Blessings to you and keep on searching and loving.

  11. Inthedark says

    Hi Jared,
    i am so confuse with life and don’t really know how to deal with it. for almost 6 yrs now since i quitted job due to poor heath. major were kidney and primary immune system diseases. feeling down, depression and have had suicidal thought. seeking doctors and taking lots of meds. and still not getting any better. some times thought life not worth living and many times wanted to run away from careless family. need some light.

    • jared says

      I feel for you and understand the depression and suicidal thoughts. I’ve been there myself. And honestly, I still sometimes have the fleeting question of “is life worth living?” But I have found that in-deed it certainly is. But for me, it did take some work to get there – to a place of general contentment with myself and finding happiness in life. I had to get outside my comfort zone, make an attempt to cultivate relationships with others, which was hard at first as I can be a very shy person. Although as someone once pointed out to me, shyness is a form of narcissism; as in we’re making everything about us!

      I’ve found the most happiness in life comes from learning to accept and love myself first, then getting outside my comfort zone and cultivating relationships and ultimately finding how my life’s purpose can help others. We all have something unique to offer, even you. Maybe it’s how you’ve dealt with your illness and can help others deal with something similar.

      Seeking the light is a start and the fact that you’re looking is the most important step. I wish you the best and hope you continue to seek what you’re looking for. And know that happiness is your birthright and start with learning to love and accept yourself.

  12. Christy says

    Hey Jared,
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom with us. I agree one hundred percent with you, that true happiness needs to come from within. I truly consider myself a naturally happy person. I am an optimist and can be sometimes way too enthusiastic for other people to understand. I love and admire the wonders of this world, be they big or small, every moment is beautiful. I sometimes feel overpowered by joy by just living on this Earth and having the opportunity to live life and give to others.
    The thing with me is that I am also quite emotional and it breaks my heart when I see people suffering, physically, mentally, spiritually, and in any other way. I want to help everybody; make them see! However, this puts a burden on me to see that I cannot help them because they are the ones that have to make the decision to change their perspective. How can I help them? I feel like I give the same inspirational speech every time to the same people and they don’t seem to understand. I suppose it is not up to me, is it? I just want to I make a positive impact on this world.
    I admire what you are doing. Thank you for caring about humanity.

    • jared says

      Christy,
      Thanks so much for sharing your enthusiasm and outlook on life. I too feel the joy and miracle of having the opportunity to live with the beauty around us.

      As with your struggles with trying to help others, you are right, it’s not up to you. All that we can do is be true to ourselves and “be the change.” Real change in others comes from them wanting it for themselves and when the student is ready the teacher will appear. We’re all teachers and all learn from others. I believe that regardless of how someone appears to be living their lives to me, they’re doing the best they know how in any given moment. Just as I had to do a million things perfectly wrong to get to where I’m at today, so must I allow others to have the same dignity to follow their path.

      It’s also important to not come at this from a self-righteous point of few. No pity or condemnation, just love for all.

      One important aspect of this for me is being emotionally unattached to outcomes. This sounds odd or uncaring, but it’s more about coming from pure love. I don’t care what happens to others, in that caring suggests conditions. I love and that’s it. There’s a good article by Martha Beck in Oprah magazine that illustrates this point well: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-to-Love-Unconditionally-Martha-Becks-Advice

      Blessings to you and thanks for the great comments.

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