Think about it – what's really important in life to feel content, peaceful, fulfilled, happy and valued?
I believe there are just seven vital things everyone needs and wants to achieve the above. Yes there are many others and I'm sure some of you would expand on my list but I ask you to consider for just a moment how important these are for you. And these are not in any special order;
I'm confident many of you would include; money, success, a career or satisfying work, health, pleasure and oh so many more and wonder why I didn't include them, but when you are on your deathbed what do you think will really matter to you? Let's take a brief look at these seven.
Survey after survey indicates that the number one thing people want in life is to feel love and or to be able to share love with someone special or others. Happiness is always near the top but consider – generally how happy are you when you are alone and feel disconnected? I'm not referring here to romantic love, but it is or can be included in this need. Why is love so important to each of us whether it's family or friends? Quite simple really – when we truly feel loved unconditionally we feel complete, whole and valued. When we show or express our love to others this also gives us many of the same feelings or benefits.
Everyone wants to be happy; the problem is everyone defines happiness uniquely depending on the various aspects of their life. To some – happiness is financial freedom and to others it's being in love. Some people feel happy when they are having fun while others are happiest when they are accepted by others. Many people define happiness as just being free to control their life and its circumstances.
And many people feel extreme happiness when they are doing good, achieving or are successful. Note that happiness for most people always depends on something
else? True happiness is nothing external, but when it is enduring and not a short term feeling, it must be from internal; values, beliefs, self-acceptance, self-love and self-respect.
Fun and pleasure are two different things. Fun is when you can laugh, play, and enjoy whatever you are doing. Yes, work can be fun. Gardening can be fun and even washing the car can be fun. The problem is most people define fun as when they are doing something that is generally defined as – fun. Watching your favorite team on television, dancing the night away, being on vacation etc. Here's the problem – Many people do not have enough fun on vacation for any number of reasons. Many people watching their favorite team lose isn't fun and dancing the night away with your significant other when he or she would rather be doing something else most likely won't be fun. Get my drift? Fun isn't want you are doing it's the mindset you bring to what you are doing.
In America we enjoy the freedoms that were given to us by our founders and the sacrifices of many people since then. The problem is that the bigger government becomes – more and more of our simple freedoms seem to be being taken from us. This is not meant to be a criticism of any individual or group but on each of us for allowing this trend to continue. Freedom is simply the right to choose. What we eat, where we live, what we do and how we behave as long as our decisions and actions do not have a negative impact on others. Freedom is vital for happiness – yes the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail. The freedom to destroy ourselves with bad behaviors and the freedom to treat our mind, body and spirit with respect and love.
Each of us has a variety of relationships with family, friends, customers, neighbor's even total strangers that cross our path briefly. Each relationship is unique and defined by the mutual feelings of both people. When I speak in front of an audience of 500 people I have a unique relationship with each of them – some I get to know – others just introduce themselves to me when I am finished speaking. You have many relationships with many different people. Yes some of them are more important, needed and more fulfilling than others but without these relationships consider what your life would be like?
Achievements whatever they are from – building a work shed in your back yard to becoming famous by developing your talent and desires. Achievement is simply doing something that makes us feel good about ourselves. Achievements whether raising good children or volunteering at the local soup kitchen can be considered acts of services for others. The shed in your yard is seen as valuable by your spouse. Volunteering makes you feel valuable to those less fortunate. But in the end any achievement is not about fame, wealth, success or power but in the service of others.
Acceptance of others – for many – equals the ability to accept themselves first. When other's acceptance is needed or sought after – is usually due to your lack of inner security, low self-esteem or negative mindsets. Before other's acceptance of you will have any true meaning, you must first learn to accept yourself for who you were, are and are becoming. This is not an easy task for many people due to their early negative conditioning and upbringing. It can take years to confront and overcome many of the emotional wounds that were inflicted on us by caregivers, teachers, religious leaders etc. So search we do for others to accept us for our flaws, failures and often dysfunctional personality.