How do we know when we are making the right choices in our lives? Have you ever wondered “what if”. What if I had married him or her, what if I had taken that job, what if I had moved to another city. What if?
I believe that no matter where we go or what we do we are always in the right place and I do not mean we are stuck. I mean that our lives are always unfolding in the right and perfect way even when it does not seem that way to us. If you have moved to another city you might also have chosen to move back. One choice does not necessarily preclude another.
Our experiences in life are the same from place to place. If we are happy in one place there is a 95% chance we will be happy in another. If we are unhappy in one marriage then chances are we will choose to be unhappy in the next one. It is ourselves and the choices we make at the center of the solar system of our emotions. Our lives revolve around our thoughts and emotions not the other way around.
So what is the secret to making a “grade A top choice”? I believe it is by practicing what I call the four cornerstones of happiness, I call it finding FAME. The state of fame is to be widely acclaimed or honoured. For me it is also an acronym for Forgiveness, Altruism, Meditation, Empathy. If we practice these we create a life of honour.
Foregiveness is really just letting go and accepting that we all can make wrong choices from time to time is one of the biggest stress reducers we can choose. When we forgive, the person who receives the most peace is ourselves.You know you are not forgiving when you can see a face when I ask the question “who do you resent at the moment”? Altruism is to demonstrate unselfish concern for others. To think of and want to help others with no personal gain. A good gauge of this would be if you send money to people and places at the time of disasters (floods, earthquakes, famine, etc) or volunteer to help others who would not necessarily provide gain or benefit to you (like food banks or building social housing). Meditation is really about creating a quiet mind. Does your mind race? If you have “a million things” on your mind then you have no time for happiness. Happiness is a quiet yet energizing state of perpetual peace. Sometimes people confuse fun, joy or excitement for happiness. Empathy exists when we feel concern, understand and relate to another in times of stress or distress. It is the ability to set aside our own emotions and be present and supportive for another. Empathy is not sympathy. Sympathy is when we actually mirror another’s feelings. Empathizing is relating. Sympathy is sharing the experience.
So the next time you are wondering if you are happy take the time to uncover and discover FAME in your life and hopefully your FAME will last for more than 15 minutes. For me it has lasted a lifetime.