A person can’t choose wisely for life unless he dares to listen to himself, his own self, at each moment in life.
If we listen primarily to others, we don’t pay attention to our inner voice.
Our inner experience can guide us in how to engage the world. When we listen to the authentic voice of our heart, we can then ask ourselves if what we are doing is meaningful or if we should take steps to change our lives.
To get beyond our impulse to succumb to outside pressure, it helps to slow down the pace of our thoughts and become more mindful of the present moment. Self-awareness requires listening to our thoughts with curiosity rather than judgment.
We may find that some of our choices directed toward avoiding suffering may in fact be inflicting greater suffering. For example, excessive accommodation of others, busyness, and addictive behavior are automatic responses rather than intentional choices. We will discover that a deeper sense of awareness of ourselves will reward us with a deeper sense of happiness.
Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
by Alison Poulsen, PhD