Are You Truly Happy?
This is the question that helped me to change my life. When I stopped to seriously consider this question regarding my life, I realized that the answer was NO. In fact, I began to wonder what happiness really was. According to other’s perceptions of my life, I should have been happy with a good job, home, etc. Upon recognizing this void, a quiet yet persistent voice within demanded attention to this even though I did not know how. I was scared since it would require an honest look within. My growth began as I started to take a serious interest in my own life and realized that it was up to me. I was responsible for my own happiness! The search initially was to understand why things were going wrong in my life. I was experiencing problems in my job and relationships. I felt different, alone, worthless, confused, and lost.
I discovered a number of “tools” to learn more about myself, my issues, and methods to initially cope and then overcome a problematic past. These provided a new framework to change the unhealthy patterns and develop new attitudes and behaviors. It was a very emotional and trying time, but the results were worth the challenges many times over. I was now able to begin addressing the questions regarding how I wanted to live my life. My search for love and happiness was becoming real. I discovered new interests, what I really enjoyed doing, new friends, etc. I was discovering what I really wanted out of life and how to get it. I discovered Michael!
Discovering Michael is an inspirational guide for those interested in personal growth and self-discovery. It provides you with an understanding from a “users” perspective of what the journey is like, along with the “tools” that are necessary to achieve your own personal goals. Mostly, I hope, this will be a catalyst and inspiration for your own growth, and a guide filled with bits of wisdom and suggestions to help you find and experience the love and happiness you deserve in your own life!
Part One reflects my current awareness of what my past was like and, in particular, what I learned were my issues and origins, and how I eventually came to confront them. The purpose of this section is to help you begin the process of self-reflection by taking a hard and honest look at yourself. More important than the details of my story is your reflection of your own life and what you choose to do with this knowledge. My story is intended to be a catalyst for you to begin reflecting on your own past and how it has affected you. There may be aspects of my life to which you can relate, or there may not be. What tends to be the same, however, is that we share something in common--a painful past. Accepting this truth is necessary to find out what exists at the core of our beliefs about ourselves, and about life itself. Our beliefs are the basis for our attitudes and our actions, and if tainted, often the result from experiencing trauma, we can have distorted beliefs and display dysfunctional behaviors. Attempting to change our attitudes and behaviors without discovering what is behind them would simply be treating the symptoms versus the cause. There may be a temporary relief from the situation or issue, but chances are it will return.
The desire to share my story is not to seek pity or condolences, but rather to help you begin the process of self-discovery. The power of sharing comes from the effect it has on others. When we listen to, observe or read about the experiences of another, we react based on our own perceptions of what we just learned. Our reactions are opportunities to learn something about ourselves. The challenge for you is to find out more about yourself.
The purpose of Part Two is to provide you with a means to get started. I refer to this as "Tools for Self Discovery." I provide you with my own experiences using these tools along with the feedback I have heard from others. Again, I do not consider myself to be an expert in any of these areas. However, using my experiences as a guide, I feel qualified to share with you my knowledge of the tools, and their advantages and disadvantages. Many of the tools are free and simple to learn, and you should be able to find a tool that matches your budget and level of commitment. They include personality tests, journals, workshops, therapy and counseling, support groups, affirmations and self-help books.
Part Three begins with reviewing the challenges associated with personal growth, which is CHANGE. Change is inevitable and change is tough. The goal is to learn how to accept change as a part of life. We may not like it, but change is an integral part of growth; resisting it will only result in stagnation. Change often resurrects one of our primal fears--the fear of the unknown.
Throughout my growth experience I have had the pleasure of observing many people--noting their behaviors and attitudes in different situations, and my reactions to them--and learning from such observations. I have discerned several distinct characteristics and consistent patterns regarding personal growth and development. Part Three includes highlights of my observations and the meanings I have attached to them.
Ultimately, Discovering Michael is intended to be an inspirational guide to your own personal growth and self-discovery. It helps to understand what steps you can take towards overcoming your past and discovering the beauty, magnificence and significance that you truly are!