Under the umbrellas of intention and authenticity lie core values we can foster which will help lead us to, and maintain, the ultimate state of happiness – to be happy with yourself. Values such as integrity, compassion, empathy and trust are the cornerstones of personal growth and fulfillment.
Living with intention simply means to be mindful that your actions are purposeful with forward movement. You intend to be compassionate, you intend to forgive, and you intend to choose love. Shed your expectations of others. No one is perfect, nor should you expect them to be. Flaws can build character; acknowledge them and strive for growth over perfection. Because the places we grow mostly exist outside our comfort zone, we must continually challenge ourselves to try new things and take risks. Take a stand for what is right, even if you stand alone. There is no point in pursuing popularity, if you can’t live with yourself.
Intend to help others, not change them. When someone reaches out, give them something to hold onto, even if it is simple, compassionate words of encouragement. Advise, model and support others knowing that everyone has their own personal journey and lessons to learn – some of which my come from you. Practice empathy. The ability to acknowledge another person’s feelings is a powerful gift of validation that you can give often and freely.
To live with authenticity is to not let others define you. You should never be in conflict with who you are, and who others expect you to be. Be true to yourself without worrying about trite things like “fitting in” or being judged. Authenticity is about acknowledging and honoring your unique gifts and utilizing them throughout your life.
Trust your instincts. They will serve you well. Your instincts are a powerful accumulation of knowledge and experience that you can’t always articulate but are burned into your subconscious. I believe blind faith can be equally as dangerous as it can be up-lifting. Seek to know, not just believe. And when there are no answers, trust your instincts.
Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. Unfortunately, people hurt each other. You deserve to be free from the weight of resentment and anger. Forgiving can be a gift of peace to yourself. Be mindful not to over think, relive, or obsess over outcomes out of your control. Wanting, wishing and hoping for something to be different will never make it so. Accept, even when you can’t understand.
Finally, never forget your dreams. It’s ok to put them on the back burner as life unfolds in unexpected ways. But while they are there, let them simmer. Stir them up every now and then, and when the time is right, bring them forth and pursue them with passion.
Be humble, be grateful and always be mindful of fostering the values that lead to your higher self, and the ultimate state of happiness – inner peace.