Maxims for Happiness

Steve Williamson, VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.
Monday, February 26, 2024
Maxims for Happiness

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Don't pin your self-worth on the approval of others, especially strangers (unless you're a social media influencer or YouTube icon, then the approval of strangers is your occupation — you have our sympathy).

Growth never happens without change. Many of us don't like change. A few individuals thrive on it. Some of us fear it with every fiber of our being. No matter how you slice it, if you're unhappy with something in your life, change is the required ingredient for improvement to occur. Choose wisely (not all change is healthy) but don't fear change for its own sake.

You do you. No matter how much you look up to someone, be they a beloved family elder or a high profile celebrity, you will always be playing catch-up if you try to mimic them. Learn from what they have to offer, see how those lessons can apply in your life, but at the end of the day (or better yet, when you first wake up) be yourself. You are unique. Run with that and you'll go far in a race that only you can truly run.

Be honest with yourself. Telling a child that Santa Claus exists (he does!) is one thing, but lying to yourself is unproductive. At worst, it can be life-threatening. ("It's just a cold.") You don't have to divulge your inner-most secrets to every person you meet, not even that chatty and friendly teller at the credit union, but at least within your own inner world you should be a straight shooter.

Understand your own strengths and weaknesses. If you have the ankle strength of a wet noodle, don't get down on yourself for your inability to play on the Canadian Olympic hockey team. Become a foot model instead. Or pursue art (you've always been able to draw, even as a kid). If you don't know what your strengths are, the Core Values Index™ psychometric assessment can help. It only takes 8 minutes to complete.

Recognize that the lens through which you see the world is unique to you. And guess what? Everyone else has their own lens that is unique to them. Sometimes these different lenses can cause confusion or even conflict. Instead, recognize that others can see the situation from a unique angle. Between the two of you success has a greater likelihood to be found. The Kansas City Chiefs didn't make it to the Super Bowl by having Patrick Mahomes play every position.

Be yourself but remember that humanity is a team sport.

Stop trying to push a rope. If you believe in a higher power or that the Universe is trying to tell you something, or maybe everything is just random, sometimes you notice that a particular path in your life keeps throwing up roadblock after roadblock. If it feels like you're constantly trying to teach a pig to tango, that's probably an indication that you're a fish trying to climb a tree.

Metaphors and analogies aside, consistent struggles on a particular path are probably an indication that you're pursuing a goal that doesn't match up with your innate and unchanging hardwiring. (Take the Core Values Index to find out what your hardwiring actually is.)

Don't pin your self-worth on the approval of others, especially strangers (unless you're a social media influencer or YouTube icon, then the approval of strangers is your occupation — you have our sympathy). As mentioned, everyone sees the world through their own unique lens. This means that everyone has their own unique set of preferences and values. There isn't another living soul on this planet that precisely and completely shares every one of your preferences and dislikes. Be you, the best you that you can be, but measure that by your own standards, not the standards of @Pete40189 in Topeka. He's nice in person but can be a bit of a jerk online. (Pete's mom, @KnitterLady42, disagrees and says, "He's always been a very sweet boy.")

Your focus becomes your reality. Here's an example.

A man goes to his doctor and says, "Doc, everything hurts."

The doctor says, "Can you be more specific?"

The man touches his elbow and says, "This hurts." He touches his knee and says, "My knee hurts." He touches his neck and says, "This hurts, too."

"What else?" asks the doctor.

When touching his arm, the man says, "My elbow is killing me." He touches his stomach and says, "Even my belly hurts."

The doctor says, "I know what your problem is, and the good news is I can fix it."

"You're a miracle worker!" the man exclaims. "What's your diagnosis?"

"Your finger's broken."

If you find yourself becoming depressed or angry every time you read the news online, don't spend so much time "doom scrolling." If hanging out with a particular person always makes you come away feeling disjointed or upset, maybe spend time with someone else for a while. If your job has you feeling as if your soul is being sucked dry and it's bleeding over into your personal life, consider working somewhere else (or better yet, take the Core Values Index psychometric assessment and read the included Personal Career Guide to learn more about what makes you happy, what doesn't, and why.)

Ultimately, the key to happiness won't be found on a witty sign hanging on your living room wall or spouted by some shiny-faced influencer on social media. It will be found within your genuine and honest self when you are informed about how you are hardwired.

Learn what makes you tick and the paths through life that will make you happiest will become easier to find.


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Steve Williamson

Steve Williamson

Innovator/Banker - VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.

Steve has a career in project management, software development and technical team leadership spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (, and when he isn't writing, he enjoys cycling, old-school table-top role-playing games, and buzzing around the virtual skies in his home-built flight simulator.

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