5 Elements of Success: How to be HHaPPI
I’ve been traveling for much of the last 3 months, and as I returned to the San Francisco Bay Area I spent some time reflecting on what success means. So much of the time we obsess about the right job, house, car, significant other, and other things, and lose sight of what makes us whole. It’s not possessions or places or even people that make us happy.
Here’s how I experience success, based on my humble years of learning:
- Happiness: Until we go within and make peace with our past trauma and pain, we cannot free ourselves and be happy. Diet, gratitude, and meditation, I have found, are some sustainable and effective ways to release suffering, detach from drama, and find serenity. Happiness is a mostly unperturbed pool of water that accepts ripples and absorbs them to retain peace. That process of acceptance and detachment is what we call Nirvana.
- HArmony: Like any family, mine has its ups and downs, and last year I chose to face situations that had proved very challenging in the past. I took a risk and exposed myself to what I feared might be painful, and I emerged with the gift of healing and harmony. Once we find inner happiness, we can find outer harmony with loved ones. This frees up so much of our bandwidth for creativity in all we do. If there’s something you need to say to a loved one, do it today. You never know, it might go way better than you ever could imagine!
- Purpose: As we free ourselves from our past trauma, we release fear and awaken to our renewed sense of purpose. We find answers within to the existential questions: “Who am I? Why am I here?” and we begin to mobilize our skills and talents in directions that serve others, be they humans, animals, or ecosystems. With purpose, we find meaning, direction, and motivation. If you’re in a career transition, for instance, it could be because your inner purpose is calling to you. Listen.
- Passion: As we become liberated and purpose-driven, we balance our work with pursuits that feed our passions. For me it’s dance, travel, cooking, playing with dogs, and being outside, and I’ve written extensively about these pursuits to share my inspirations with the world. These passions help us rejuvenate, restore, and come alive with inspiration, which we can then channel into our work and life tasks. Without passion, life loses its focus, romance, and wonder.
- Integrity: Above all, and throughout life, the thread that connects us to ourselves is integrity. Being true to our essence is so important that without it, we become lost, depressed, ill, and confused. Having integrity means knowing when to say yes or no and saying it, standing up for yourself, changing direction when needed instead of following the crowd, and most of all, loving yourself and having compassion for yourself when you are tired, feel weak, or need help. As we cultivate integrity, we stop relying on others for approval and build stronger self-confidence.
Success, it turns out, depends on everything we are inside, and how we behave with ourselves and our loved ones. This in turn affects how well we are able to perform in our professional lives.
So, are you HHaPPI? Let me know in the comments!