I spent some time hiking in Colorado last week and met many extremely nice people along the way. I don’t know if it was the fresh air or the altitude, but each person I met was more than happy to share his/her story. They all had one thing in common: They weren’t happy. They were surviving their lives just fine, but without any passion or joy. I heard about death and illness and divorce along with the burden of the expectations of everyone in their lives. A 68 yr old man told he’s felt the pressure of taking care of those who depend on him throughout his entire life. He’s tried to be the rock in the face of never-ending demands. He’s managed his way through it so far but with no end in sight.
You’d think this would be depressing but it was really more of a wake up call for me. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of “letting life happen” instead of “making life happen.” Most people stop dreaming early on and start managing their life circumstance. They’re living unhappily ever after. Life is hard because they focus on external demands and put the internal precious gift of themselves on hold.
If you want to be happy, you have to start dreaming again and to do that you have to love yourself enough to take care of yourself first. It’s not a selfish thing; it’s the opposite. You have to take care of yourself in order to develop passion for life. When you find that passion, you’ve become centered and you will have the power and influence to change the world.