“In judging our progress as individuals we tend to concentrate on external factors such as one’s social position, influence and popularity, wealth and standard of education… But internal factors may be even more crucial in assessing one’s development as a human being. Honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility, pure, generosity, absence of vanity, readiness to serve others- qualities which are within easy reach of every soul- are the foundation of one’s spiritual life.” Nelson Mandela
Our last blog in August introduced the concept of internal and external factors, and how they impact your happiness in life. We primarily focused on external factors, and how you can ensure your surroundings feed your energy, rather than drain you. Today’s blog is about turning the mirror around and focusing on the internal factors that drive your happiness. Nelson Mandela was a master of internal self-love, even when his external factors changed from wealth and power to a jail cell and poverty.
Internal factors are the ‘you’. Who are you and how do you ensure you feel joy and happiness from within? Beneath all those designer clothes and fancy titles, you are you. Are you happy with who you are? You might be feeling a number of emotions even reading this as you reflect on yourself as a human being.
Let me provide your mind with a little ease… We have been taught throughout our lives that happiness must come from within… must come from yourself. Must come from something you create for yourself or earn for yourself. Survival of the fittest..
I am here to tell you that while you do have a key ingredient to your own true happiness, another element that you should not overlook is that of community and the strength and connections that community can offer. The connections and energy within a community can be so strong, they surpass physical barriers – like those of a jail cell. This is what Nelson Mandela knew. He was surrounded by a community fighting for a bigger cause. A cause of integrity, equality, and generosity of spirit.
You are not in this world alone; you are in this world of energy with other souls to bring you energy. Those are the connections that have lifted you up in your time of need and been there with you to laugh and to grow. Therefore, as you see with Nelson Mandela, even if you are physically alone, the strength of your community and their force is always present with you.
Don’t treat your happiness as ‘nice to have’. Instead, foster its energy and strength and continue to build upon your connections, your community, and your self-care every day.