I've learned throughout this past year that happiness is about perspective -- the power of your mind is greater than you can imagine. Harnessing your thoughts, being positive in your mindset and empowering yourself by justifying your struggles through purpose can be the one thing that's holding you back from living the life of your dreams.
My younger brother sent me a text message one day to share this proverb that he found. I am convinced that this is the key to living a happier life. What do you think?
An aging master grew tired of his apprentice's complaints. One morning, he sent him to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told him to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it. "How does it taste?" the master asked.
"Bitter," said the apprentice.
The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake.
The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, "Now drink from the lake."
As the water dripped down the young man's chin, the master asked, "How does it taste?"
"Fresh," remarked the apprentice.
"Do you taste the salt?" asked the master.
"No," said the young man.
At this the master sat beside this serious young man, and explained softly,
"The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake."
We all go through struggles. When my father passed away from a year-long battle with cancer, I couldn't find purpose in my family's pain. When I woke up every morning to go into an office that I hated, surrounded by people who wanted to throw me under the bus instead of support me in my career, I couldn't find a purpose to my efforts. My life became dark -- I couldn't do anything else but wallow in my misery -- and it threw me into a cycle of going through the motions with no purpose.
But the moment that I stepped outside of my comfort zone (READ: 10 Ways Travel Changed My Life Forever), took a risk and opened up my perspective, I stopped thinking about the things that were going wrong, and started focusing on the things that I wanted to go right.
My mind became more open, I made the investment to place myself in an environment that was bigger than anything I had ever known -- my eyes saw things that I couldn't believe -- my problems became smaller because my world got larger, and more magical. I changed my life by changing my perspective. And that, my friends, is the key to finding happiness.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy: "10 Things You Need To Learn To Start Living the Life of Your Dreams".