How to be Happier and More Successful

accept myself


Today as I listened to Oprah interview Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, on the Super Soul Podcast, I of course had to ask myself, “What would happier look like for me?”

Lately my message has been dancing around the mantra “Be YOU!”

Being YOU is the only way to be truly happy… and successful, and fulfilled, and balanced, and healthy, and ON purpose…

I believe that everyone’s purpose here on this planet is to be the first-rate version of themselves and in sharing their best self, to enrich the world in some way – hopefully by doing what they’re passionate about (because that’s the easiest way to be your best self).

But what does it really mean to be your best self?

Gretchen Rubin has a list of “commandments” for herself. Here are some of them:

  • Be me
  • Let it go (negativity of any kind)
  • Act the way you want to feel
  • Do it now
  • Be polite and be fair
  • Enjoy the process (which allows you to let go of the outcome)
  • No calculation (let go of “score-keeping” and the need for praise)
  • There is only love

You might want to create your own self-identified “principles to live by” to help you get clear on what’s most important – your core values, strengths, weaknesses and interests. It creates a great foundation for determining what specific actions you could take on a daily basis to increase your happiness levels and be more YOU. It helps you strip away the things that don’t align with your core values.

But what came to me today that I really want to share, is that the underlying piece of it all is SELF LOVE.

In order to be our best self, we have to love our self… right?

What does it mean to truly love ourselves?

I think typically, we say, “yeah sure, I love myself” – but it’s a superficial love.

To help understand the difference, consider the way you love your child, or the way you loved your partner in the early days of your relationship – when they could do no wrong.

You saw beauty in their flaws and it only made you love them more. You felt loving compassion for the whole of them, even when – especially when – they couldn’t have compassion for themselves.

What does it take to feel that way about yourself?

Well, first you have to acknowledge and OWN all of you. The good, the bad and the ugly too. When I say “own it” I mean you have to ACCEPT it. Which is NOT to say you have to continue to choose to be this way or that way forever more (we always have choice), but you have to recognize its role in making you who you are today and be able to say “yeah, that’s really me” and have loving compassion for yourself, without judgement.

When you’re looking at the not-so-admirable aspects of yourself, be careful not to confuse compassion with a pity-party. This is NOT about feeling sorry for yourself. That’s a waste of time and energy. When your child is facing a challenge because of something they said or did, do you feel pity for them? No. You feel compassionate. You know they are learning an important lesson and they have the strength to come out the other side as a better person because of it. Feeling sorry for someone doesn’t help them learn anything.

Pity restricts: it's a roadblock; it shuts down choice and learning; it proclaims that where you are is only negative; it stops the flow of energy. 

Compassion flows: it guides; it sees many sides; it allows for learning; it allows for a shift; it allows choice.

So when you are looking at your so-called flaws, remember to use THOSE eyes – the same compassionate eyes that you use to see the beauty in the flaws of your child or your honeymoon-phase lover.

Life was never meant to be a struggle. Love yourself wholly and be YOU. Happiness flows from that core.

Peace and ease,

Signature Shannon transp





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