Tag Archives: Happiness

Conflict of Passion in Success

16 Feb
dreams and wishes. 62/365

dreams and wishes. 62/365 (Photo credit: nicole.pierce.photography ♥)

“Success comes from following your passion”.

I often battle with this notion because I have been raised by generations of people who valued the privilege to work, not necessarily loving what it is that they do, most of the time steering clear of innovative methods of making an income. There are of course a few exceptions, but with the majority, the question I tend to get is “do you have a job yet?” Never once inquiring about my passion or even what my strengths are. Because of that, I find that a lot of my family can be surprised at what I have the audacity to dream of making money from.

They appear to view cultural icons (i.e. Toni Morrison, Soledad O’Brien, Kadir Nelson and yes even Kanye) as the exception more so than the rule, as is any other person who decided to take a risk and follow their heart in pursuit of finding happiness in a career as opposed to a benefits package and salary. The irony is that most of these people are handsomely rewarded in their pursuits and when asked, often admit to never truly feeling like they have “worked
 a day in their life.

After admitting to myself that I have not ever been employed doing what I love, I had to also ask myself why that was. A part was the pressure of feeling like I had to make money over pursuing fulfillment. But a bigger part was that while some of my counterparts were being asked by their families about their dreams, desires-what they would do with their life if money was no issue, I wasn’t. Although I demonstrated tremendous talent in the arts, rarely was I encouraged to pursue that as a possible career. I even remember clearly, someone telling me that those who major in arts, were meant to starve, so that wasn’t a smart path for me to choose. Although I now beg to differ, I was impressionable at a young age and looking for guidance as much as I was looking to please. That is how I ended up here.

For years, I struggled with those expectations of who I should be, as opposed to who I am. But acknowledgement as to why, has helped me to not hold a grudge. I come from a lineage of maintenance workers, factory workers, butchers, soldiers, admin staff, with the only professionals being teachers. Many of my family members operated out of need and who can dream when you’re fixated on making sure your family is fed? Better yet, who can dream when a system seems to tell you that you can’t? It took me a long time to even allow myself to think outside of the box, but I am committed to doing so because I believe I deserve and have the ability to do so. Moreover, I think I owe it to generations past and present to at the very least, try.

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“Theme Song”

20 Aug

Do you have your own theme song? You should…

I’ve found that I am my most effective motivator. Sometimes though, I need a little help. That’s where the theme song comes in. It’s the anthem that gets you going; whatever helps generate the mood you need to accomplish the goal you desire, even if it is as simple as getting off the couch and going to the gym (which is actually not as simple as it seems). Maybe you need a little reminder of how confident, fierce and sexy you are. Maybe you need a little push so that you can champion your own cause for the moment. Creating a soundtrack is a fun way to get yourself pumped. It can evoke whatever mood you desire, but the up tempo ones tend to rev you up in the areas where necessary.

I probably have an entire soundtrack for my life, but my theme song is: “Foxy Lady,” by Jimi Hendrix…some how this song gives me the momentum I need, whether working through some mundane task, propelling through a workout, or getting geared up for time with friends, I do so with undying confidence and a stylish sultry saunter that sometimes can even make me blush.

So, what is your theme song?

Creating Your Happiness Arsenal

1 Jun
Smiley Face

Image via Wikipedia

We all fight battles of feeling down as opposed to happy. Over the years I’ve accepted the importance of being able to create my happiness and encourage others to do it as well. We can’t always depend on our circumstances to create joy and should not ever depend on another individual for it, so you need some go to resources to kick your happiness into gear.

Here’s where to start: what never ceases to make you laugh, smile, or at least bring about a sense of calm? What makes you feel accomplished or victorious? Your arsenal needs to be able to successfully bring about these feelings.

Personally, I’ve found that working out is a mandatory part of my arsenal. the reason is two-fold. One it gives me energy and keeps me in shape, making me feel fierce when I don’t have to wriggle into my skinny jeans and can simply just slide them on. Technically it creates endorphins which are the natural feel good drugs for the brain. It also makes me feel empowered to be able to jog 2 miles without passing out.

You may also want your arsenal to include a go to person who never ceases to help you feel good and shake off whatever is affecting your happiness. For me, my brother’s youthful outlook on life never fails me. It always manages to put things into perspective.

At a low point in my life, I felt very alone. After not being able to get off the couch for almost a week, I realized that I needed to develop my source of therapy* that was readily available so that I wouldn’t end up in that position again. I did recognize that while mourning is an allowable part of life, I could not let it consume me and I needed to take responsibility for my happiness. I have favorite movies that never cease to make me smile (from the inside). Doing my own manis/pedis is therapeutic for me. I also get extreme pleasure from music, so I can allow my thoughts to get lost in that medium for a while.  Happiness is something that we must choose. We have to capture it and hold on tight because there are always weights pulling it down. Sometimes those weights come in the form of another person or a job, maybe the feeling of lack or inadequacy. We cannot control those things, but we can control how we respond to those weights. The first step to achieving happiness is accepting that we are responsible for its maintenance. Although personal, we must seize our happiness and defend it with all we have, even if it requires everything in our arsenal.

 

*in no way am I advocating self-therapy as a replacement for professional therapy if so needed.