Thursday, November 26, 2009

Are you trying to be who your parents want you to be?

I have children. I want so many things for them. Mostly I want them to be happy and what that means for them, I don't yet know. They're both under the age of 5. Of course I am also a daughter and what I know as an adult child is that most parents have fantasies about what their children will be and do when they grow up. Having the luxury of saying things like "My son is a doctor." or "My daughter is an accountant." is something many parents would relish. As our parents' kids however, we need to be able to step out of those dreams and follow our own path.

We are raised in a world where constant praise is craved. And who can blame us? Hearing a sincere "Good job!" warms the heart. It makes us feel loved and accepted. Growing up you always looked to a parent or other grown-up's face for approval when doing something and if the approval wasn't there it could be heartbreaking. Our job now is to acknowledge that approval from others is nice, but it should not be what guides us down our life's path. It is not something we should seek out.

The phrase "Happiness comes from within." may get tossed around a lot, but if we really think about what that means I believe we can all agree. We really need to look inside in order to discover who and what we want to become. When we listen to our own heart's desire we can start to blaze a trail that fulfills us! We can begin to live the life we were meant to! Spend some time alone and listen. What excites you? What topics could you talk about forever and ever? These are the things you should go after. This is what will show you your own heart's happiness. And really, deep down, that is all any parent wants for their child. We all want our precious babies to be happy.
Danielle Boonstra

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Living and Working for Yourself

So many of us buy into the notion that life should be hard. We think that we have to endure a job that is uninspiring and monotonous just so that we can bring home a paycheque and make those ends meet! We went to college, we received decent grades, we graduated and then thought "Ok world! I'm ready! Come offer me that perfect job so that I can make a lot of money and buy all kinds of things!".

Eventually we realize that this isn't going to happen. Or if it does, that can be even scarier! If we become successful at something we don't truly enjoy, something that does not resonate with us, we can get stuck in it forever.

What if we stopped all of this and asked ourselves the question: What do I REALLY want? Maybe a conventional job doesn't even enter the equation. Maybe you want more time to spend with loved ones. Maybe you want to travel and see more of the world. Maybe you want to have more time to volunteer with causes you truly believe in. The truth is that none of us will find genuine happiness until we look within to discover our greatest desires and follow them.

Working for yourself may sound selfish but it's really not. When you work toward your heart's desires you are working toward becoming more of who you really are. This means a happier you which means the people around you become happier too! The best way to influence others is to live by example. Finding an occupation that moves and inspires you, but also allows you to do the other things you enjoy should be the goal. Your friends and family will notice your new-found peace and joy and perhaps be led to make their own life changes.

There are plenty of ways to make really good money that do not involve commuting, working in a cubicle and having 30 minutes for lunch. You are more than that. We all need to get creative!

Let's start thinking beyond what is normal. Let's leave the "masses" behind and move forward. Let us work and live for ourselves!
Danielle Boonstra