1. There is one definition of success.
And it involves an established career, large house, acceptable body shape, marriage and annual holidays.
The truth is we all have our own unique path to walk in this life because what brings true meaning and satisfaction differs for all of us.
Let go of the idea that there is a right way to live. Instead, commit to living, working, playing, creating, traveling, eating, loving and laughing in ways that feel right to you.
2. You should compare yourself to other people.
There is a saying: “Life is the most difficult exam of all. Many people fail because they try to copy others, not realizing that everyone has different questions on their paper.”
Imagine you are swimming laps in a public pool. If you spend too much time watching the person in the lane next to you, your own performance and enjoyment suffers.
It is the same with life. While it is fine to look to others for inspiration, it is wise to keep your eyes fixed firmly on your own lane.
3. Doing what you love is not important.
Many of us believe that unhappiness and dissatisfaction now is somehow, strangely, the path to happiness and satisfaction in the future.
The truth is dissatisfaction now is likely to lead to more dissatisfaction in the future, because happiness is a state of mind and has to be cultivated from within.
The great news is, choosing to be happy now generally leads to greater external success in life. So think of happiness as the path, not the destination.
4. You have to earn your worth.
We are brought up to believe that we have to achieve a certain number of external accomplishments before we are deemed worthy. Many of us mistakenly believe we have to justify our existence in the world.
The truth is you are already an inherently beautiful, creative, loving, powerful, worthy being of light. You were born worthy and you can never be any less than that.
As Eckhart Tolle says: “You are here to enable the divine purpose of the Universe to unfold. That is how important you are!”
5. Your mind always knows best.
Our rational mind is a wonderful tool but a poor master. It is not designed to command our life at the exclusion of our heart, soul, emotions and intuition.
Our mind makes decisions and predictions based on what it has experienced in the past, and it focuses on what we have to lose by making a life change.
Our soul has a mountain-top view of our life and knows what we have to gain by making a life change. We just have to be willing to trust it and be led by our joy.
As the poet Rumi wrote: “Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.”
6. You need to be pragmatic and realistic.
The truth is you can only be so pragmatic because the nature of life is change and uncertainty. Even your certain and secure situation can change in an instant.
As Jim Carrey famously said: “You can fail at something you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance doing what you love.”
Being realistic is also somewhat of an illusion because the science of quantum physics shows that an infinite number of realities may co-exist, and we can shape and influence reality with our beliefs and expectations.
7. You can simply ignore your desires.
You may try to ignore your biggest dreams and desires and busy yourself with distractions, however they will not leave you alone.
The call of your soul and the song of your heart will grow louder and louder with every passing year that you ignore them.
Henry David Thoreau wrote: “Most people lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with their song still in them.” Please don’t be one of them.
8. You have to know all the answers.
Many of us mistakenly believe that we have to know every facet of our purpose in life and every step to achieve our dreams before we can begin going after them.
The truth is our purpose is not something we decide upon; it is something we discover, when we have an attitude of genuine curiosity and openness towards life.
If you are unhappy where you are, the best thing to do is to try new things, knock on doors, turn over rocks, and find out more about what you love.
9. It matters what other people think of you.
Our ego or primitive brain cares about what other people think of us because back in our caveman days, being kicked out of the tribe meant almost certain death.
This means we are hard wired to give excess importance to the opinions of others, at the cost of our own desires, intuition and authentic self.
Rita Mae Brown wrote: “The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.”
As you are the person you spend the most time with in this life, it is fundamental to your happiness that you are satisfied with the life you are living and the choices you are making, regardless of what the peanut gallery thinks.
10. Your gifts are yours to keep.
The Universe did not bless you with your gifts and talents to keep them to yourself; you were given them for the purpose of giving them away.
Many of us have been brought up to think of our purpose in terms of what we can get and collect. The truth is a key part of our purpose and happiness is contribution; what we can give.
When you commit to living in alignment with your soul and bravely sharing your gifts, you light up, and the whole world benefits from your light.