Please feel free to comment below with any self-discovery resources that you’ve found useful. I hope that this list will also help others on their journeys to self-discovery!
Watched: Love, love, loved this! “Solve for Happy”, a lecture by Mo Gawdat, based on his book of the same title. A few months ago, I watched a brief viral video on Facebook where Gawdat outlines the distinctions between having fun and attaining happiness. It was an aha moment for me, before even hitting play. In the short video, he explains that if you attempt to fill your schedule with “escape” activities, such as excessive tv, video games, music, social media, social activities/partying, etc., then you are using “fun” as a substitute for true happiness. Yup. That had resonated with me, so as I started this “finding me” project, I looked for his work first. I was so happy with what I found! His lecture, which is free on YouTube, uses science and logic to explain how to “Solve for Happy”. I found it to be relatable and insightful. Gawdat is engaging, with understated charisma, and his personal accounts are both moving and inspiring.
To summarize, he starts by challenging your current mindset that hard work leads to success which provides happiness, and suggests that by determining what brings you happiness first, you can find enjoyable work, and that is what will bring you success. He then defines stages of happiness, including “escape” as explained above, which he believes is the most common in the modern world. He points out illusions that you believe about the world, the warped ways you perceive your experiences, and truths about life that you must accept in order to be happy. It may sound cheesy here, but it is all very eye-opening, and made so much sense to me. Actually, not true, there was one point that made zero sense to me. He started talking about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, and that went way over my head. If any one watches the lecture and wants to explain that part, I’d be thrilled! Anyhow, check it out!
Read: The Universe has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. Thank you to a dear friend who, at the very start of my journey, took the time to sit with me, listened to the chaos of my brain, and provided compassion and gentle guidance – which included the recommendation of Bernstein’s teachings.
I must be honest, I initially struggled with this book. It just goes against my grain, I guess, as it explores a whole lot of spirituality, and I have never been drawn to that. However, I reminded myself that you can’t grow if you’re not willing to change, so I gave it a shot. In fact, I was so determined to really internalize the philosophies, that in addition to reading it twice, I also listened to the audiobook… and took 30 pages of notes, lol.
My takeaway is the message that if you surrender your attempts to control your life, release your fears, and let love lead your way, the universe will guide and support you. I love that ideology, but TBH, at this point, my logical mind still isn’t 100% sold on it. Woven into the text are meditations, mantras, prayers, and steps to reconnect with the universe when you’re in challenging situations. The book also includes lessons on self-fulfilling prophecies, being present, focussing on the positive, and celebrating what you have. All great messages!
I’m going put my reservations aside, give an earnest effort to embrace this entire school of thought, and let the universe lead the way. We’ll see what happens!
Learned: How to meditate! I’ve never tried, and only knew what I saw in cartoons 🙂 I’ll post separately about what I’ve just begun to learn, thanks to a friend who’s on a wonderful and exciting journey of her own! Also, I appreciate any guided meditation recommendations…or any sort of meditation guidance in general!
Watched: “The Crossroads of Should and Must”, a Google Talk by Elle Luna. I pay forward the recommendation of this light, yet enlightening lesson on being cognizant and deliberate when choosing between our “shoulds” – the expectations that others put on us, and our “musts” – our most authentic desires and passions. Luna explains that we are faced with this “crossroad” with every decision posed to us, and we often choose the path of “should”. Chronically complying with “shoulds” causes us to veer off our own path, and live our lives for something or someone other than our true self. She provides exercises to help discriminate between the two forces, and strategies to help discover our “musts”. Luna states that this self-awareness will feel like a clenched hand slowly releasing its grip of us, and honoring our “musts” is the “greatest thing that we can do with our lives.” She goes further by affirming that once we find happiness by prioritizing our “musts”, our passion will spill over and inspire other areas of our lives. Ooh, la!
Next on my list:
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz