“True success is derived from living a fully aware life, one in which you do not base your happiness on meeting societal standards or acquiring outside approval. As a person who spent the better part of thirty years doing the exact opposite, I can assure you that achieving success in the traditional sense can by no means guarantee happiness. The fact is whenever you are outer rather than inner directed, you can never truly be in control of your own happiness, for you are in effect a slave to public opinion. As most people know, this is by no means an enjoyable space in which to reside, knowing that one moment you can be up, and then in the wink of an eye you can be down.
The way out of this trap of living like a “yo-yo” is to get to a place where you can comfortably live your life and make your choices, independent of the good opinion of other people. While most people agree with this advice at a conceptual level, they find it exceptionally challenging to put it into practice on a day-to-day basis. This is because the vast majority of us have been programmed to seek approval from just about everyone but ourselves.
The good news is that your “approval” programming can be left behind. It just requires that you become more aware of your need for approval, by using that technique of looking at yourself as if you were someone else. From that vantage point, you can become more cognizant of when you’re feeling the need for approval, and then silently remind yourself that you don’t really need that person or group to think positively of you. What you actually need is to be true to yourself: first, by not doing things you don’t want to do, just to get approval or be liked; second by doing things you enjoy doing, regardless of whether anyone else likes it or not.”
Jeff Maziarek, in “Spirituality Simplified”
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Jeff Maziarek, author of Spirituality Simplified and Codi’s Journey, launched Pondercentral.com in April 2007 as a Web-based forum for “PONDER on THIS,” a series of weekday inspirational email messages he began sending to subscribers in March 1999. A FREE service since its inception, “PONDER on THIS” provides subscribers with meaningful content to assist them on their individual paths of spiritual growth. In addition, it benefits subscribers, authors, and publishers by including links to Amazon.com where subscribers can learn more about the book being quoted, and also purchase it.