The Real Art of Living
Donít believe anyone who says you canít be happy. You can. Donít believe anyone who says that work has to be unpleasant. It doesnít. Donít believe anyone who says you should ignore your feelings or desires or wishes. You should not ignore that voice inside of you that insists things can be better. Anyone can be happy. Anyone can find a fulfilling job or career. Anyone can achieve their true dreams.
Learn to listen to yourself on the deepest level possible. Learn to discover and uncover who you really are and who you really want to be.
You have to teach yourself to slow down your mind, to focus your attention on what you are feeling and thinking at this moment. When something is not right, we know it, but we often deny this truth. We feel that we have to be a certain way, we have to do a certain thing, that some mode of being is required.
Whenever we think something must be a certain way, it becomes almost impossible to see how it actually is. This is one reason people sometimes feel trapped in a relationship or a job, or why certain feelings come upon us again and again. Sometimes, seeing reality for what it is can be painful, but there is no way to change reality without confronting reality.
This is the art of living: learning to be fully aware of reality. What am I feeling at this moment? What am I thinking about? What am I doing? The more conscious we become of our feelings and thoughts, the deeper our understanding of ourselves becomes. Somewhere, usually buried beneath an avalanche of rapid thoughts and feelings, is a soft voice, speaking of our secret dreams and our hidden desires. We can learn to become more and more aware of this voice, and if we find the courage to follow where it leads, we will find that miracles occur. Things that seemed impossible become possible, life obstacles move aside, and unexpected opportunities present themselves.
Meditation, yoga, and psychoanalysis are all good ways to become more conscious of this voice. We live in a world of distractions. People praise multitasking. But this is unhealthy. We need to slow ourselves down, take a deep breath, and see who we are when we are not doing and achieving and rapidly moving from one thing to another.
Slow down and listen to your heart, your inner voice, your inspiration. The path towards happiness lies within you. Take the time and focus your attention and listen to whatever your inner being communicates. Then gather your courage and follow where it leads.
People often regret not taking the chance to follow their dreams. Donít let this happen to you. Take a leap of faith, trust yourself, and believe that your life holds the promise of happiness and fulfillment. You will not be disappointed that you did.
Jason Kurtz is the Director of Training for the Training Institute for Mental Health and the author of Follow The Joy, the true story of how he bought a one-way ticket to India and learned how to follow his intuition. For more inspirational essays on the art of living, please visit InspireMeToday.com!