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A new blueprint for happiness

“Whenever you are happy with something in your life, it is because right now, the conditions of your life match your blueprint, or your belief about how life should be in that particular area.”

Have you always imagined that you would be married with children by a certain age? Or that you would be further along in your career than you are today? What other beliefs do you have about what your life should look like?

While you may not have followed the traditional storybook blueprint for your life that includes going to a top school, getting a good job, finding the right person, having children and living happily ever after, odds are you still cling to one archetype — that in order to truly believe you are enough, you have to achieve an enormous amount. You feel that only once you accomplish an insurmountable goal that you’ll be happy.

What are you modeling your happiness after?

We live in a culture that teaches people that you are not good enough unless you do something really special and unique. But our definition of what qualifies as special or unique is distorted. Why do we praise celebrities without fully appreciating people who do invaluable work, such as school teachers? Why do we look at stay-at-home parents as being just caregivers, when many are working tirelessly to nurture and raise the future of the world? Doesn’t that deserve to be called “special”?

The expectations we set for ourselves have become unrealistic. And while goals and dreams are important for every individual to have and aspire to, it’s dangerous to tie our happiness to the blueprint we have created for our lives. The fact of the matter is you have to create your own happiness. There’s no magic button or map to follow that will lead you to a joyful life – you have to design it for yourself.

Think about it. Whenever you are happy with something in your life, it is because right now, the conditions of your life match your blueprint, or your belief about how life should be in that particular area.

But here’s the downside. If the formula for happiness is to be able to meet your expectations, then what makes you feel bad? What creates pain, stress and frustration in your life? That’s right – when you try living your life without experiencing pain at all. We often think that pain means failure. We become so afraid of suffering that we avoid pain at all costs. In reality, experiencing pain can be incredibly powerful — when you feel pain, you can take your suffering and use it as an opportunity to grow.

Navigating your fear of pain can sometimes work to your benefit. A lot of very successful people are motivated by the fear of never closing the gap between where they are and where they want to be. And they are motivated to do something about it. But here’s where it can become dangerous – when you convince yourself that you cannot do anything about it.

The story of Enhamed Enhamed

Look at the story of Enhamed Enhamed, a world-class swimmer from Spain who has been blind since the age of 8 years old. Enhamed went through a dark period in which his limiting beliefs told him he could not achieve what he had set out to because of his visual impairment. He became self-conscious and self-doubting, believing that his life conditions made it impossible for him to be who he wanted to be.

Enhamed was not only in a place where his life did not match his blueprint, but he had convinced himself that he had no control to change it. And because of this, he suffered immensely.

His turning point came after reading Awaken the Giant Within. Enhamed had realized that his blindness had become his excuse rather than a reason to inspire change. He saw that he had become locked into a mindset that kept him from making any progress. And because he knew he could not change the conditions of his life – he was going to always be blind – he made the decision to change his blueprint, because he knew he still had a tremendous passion for swimming.

When you suffer, that is a signal for you to look at your blueprint. You have two options: either change your life, that is, do something to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Or, if you can’t change your life, change your blueprint. 

Create your own happiness

When Enhamed decided to let go of his old story and create a new one, his entire life began to change. He was able to ease his suffering, transcend his limiting beliefs, face his fears, and find an extraordinary life. 

Today, Enhamed is considered the best Paralympic swimmer in history, having won four gold medals in the Beijing games and two in the Athens Paralympic games. He now serves as a coach and shares his life story which has helped inspire and motivate individuals from across the world.

Enhamed now describes the moment he became blind as “the day I won my blindness.” He realized that sometimes failing to adhere to what you had believed was your path can ultimately get you to your destiny. And that most importantly, no matter what happens in life, you are always more than that moment – and more than the story you have created. How will you make your own happiness?

Header image © http://www.olympiccoachenhamed.com/

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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