I can honestly say that I am almost always happy. Sounds kinda annoying when I actually type it out, but it’s true. Choosing happiness above all is at the core of who I am, but it wasn’t always this way.
My own “personal development” started getting serious just over 5 years ago when I began my own business. I had dabbled in it prior to this when my twins were first born so I thought I knew what it was all about… a bunch of touchy-feely-self helpy stuff and I really didn’t think I needed any of it. Little did I know how important it was and how life changing it would turn out to be. I was always the person to roll my eyes about things like this, but I have found that personal development is a process of learning about who you are, what makes you tick, and what you’re meant to do with your life. Then it helps you figure out how to put it all together, and cultivate the skills to live with a positive mind! Who doesn’t need that?
After we started our family and life was in full swing, I had this little aching feeling everyday when I got up and went to work. Could this be it? This is all there is? On paper, everything was grand- wife, mom, career… but I just thought when I “grew up” I was going to have a bigger impact on the world. Now here I was all grown up, and although I really did love my life and felt proud of all I had accomplished thus far, it all felt kind of limiting.
That wasn’t what I wanted- for me, my husband, my kids… for anyone, really.
It started with reading some books that had been recommended to me when I began my business. For the first time EVER I truly BELIEVED I could be whatever I wanted to be. When I started to listen to that little voice inside of me that I had more to give and that I could do more and be more, it lit a fire inside me that I can barely put into words! That didn’t feel limiting at all! That felt amazing, and exciting! I didn’t know what, and I had no idea how, I just knew that there was going to be more to my life- an opportunity to really make an impact. To do what I truly felt I was here to do.
Working on myself through personal development isn’t all about helping myself as an entrepreneur, and it most certainly isn’t at all about making money. It is so much more. It’s about becoming extremely comfortable with who I am at my core. It’s about discovering what I am actually here on earth to do (from the important day to day mundane to the extraordinary), and then helped me come up with ways to do those things. It opens doors and more importantly my heart to new experiences and so much gratitude! It’s about strengthening my belief in God and what He put me on earth to do. It’s about figuring out how to deal with EVERYTHING life throws at me, from extreme grief and sadness to the happiest of times. It does wonders for my stress level, W-O-N-D-E-R-S! It helps me be a better person for the world and to be incredibly ambitious about what I want and not lazy as I had been for much of my life.
It all started with the small change to add some personal development to my life.
You don’t have to be unhappy or unfulfilled to do a little personal development. It isn’t for the discontented housewife or disgruntled employee. It’s really for anyone who wants to make as much of an impact as possible while you’re here on this earth.
So, where do you start?
Well, I recommend identifying an area of your life where you are spending too much time and making some exchanges. For example, I was starting to hate myself for watching so much Bravo TV. I realized that although I did find it entertaining (and still do), I’d been watching these women fight with each other for 10 years! So instead of watching crap on TV to unwind at the end of the day, I read. Not everyday, but most of the time. Maybe your vice is your phone, or your computer… whatever it is, you just need to exchange some of of it for mindful self development. If you’re looking for a GREAT book to start with, I recommend “Girl, Wash Your Face,” by Rachel Hollis. I listened to it twice on Audible in one week. Filled me with all the feels, made me really excited to work hard on my passions, and made all the crap in life easier to tolerate. (I’m going to be seeing her live in a few weeks at my company’s convention in New Orleans, I’m so excited!)
I also LOVE Podcasts! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve heard me talk about Podcasts before. (follow me @withlaughterandstyle Head on over today for a list of my favorite podcasts!!) My favorite these days has been The Goal Getter Podcast with Jenna Kutcher. Perfect for business owners! But, if you aren’t a business owner and you’re looking for a little bit of inspiration in your day, I recommend How I Built This with Guy Raz. My husband listens to this in the car during his travels for work and it truly gets him excited about life and it’s possibilities. It’s about how businesses that we all know and follow started, and what it takes to be a success in business. It’s shocking how much of it truly comes from a person’s willingness to hustle, and how little comes from connections and position.
Small steps forward will make a tremendous impact. Read a little, listen a little, and learn to filter out negative and annoying noise. Work on yourself. Develop your skills. Sooner or later you will notice some big changes. You are never too young and you are NEVER too old. You are in control, and there are so many resources to help you along your journey. I’m hoping this blog, will be one of them. (wink wink)