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Recently someone asked me, What is the one key to living and working happier? To be honest, I was stumped, there are so many keys to being happier–if there were just one we would all be doing it 🙂 Curiosity, awareness, facing fears, less self-judgment are all a big part of living and working happier. But after a few days of thinking on this topic, I came up with the one that encompasses all of them: vulnerability.
The one thing that allows us to live and work happier is vulnerability to ourselves and the world around us. Being open to ideas and thoughts and not pushing them down with self-judgment and blame, being open to the fears and doubts that creep in, being open to the questions and insecurities that come up and being open to the joy and passion that we experience in life. By being vulnerable to life, we are open to it, open to the new experiences, the fears, the pain, the joy the passion. Just open. If we aren’t open to life, we can’t live and work happier.
My first session spent with clients is usually brainstorming all the ideas they might deem as ‘crazy’ that they have about their career. I love this session–it usually starts out rough, people aren’t used to just brainstorming about their lives, dreaming, playing around…it requires a certain level of vulnerability. But by the end of the hour session, people are usually beaming with excitement. Nothing has been decided, nothing has been committed to they haven’t gotten a new job or a new life, but they have opened the door to possibility; vulnerability, step one.
I admit part of the reason I picked vulnerability as the one key is that it is so freakin’ hard to be vulnerable. It is a lifelong struggle to stay open to the world around you. To understand the fine balance of when to self-protect and when you are protecting too much (and therefore missing out). I practice vulnerability every day in my relationships and my work. I am consistently striving to live from a place of being open and present to live–because I know when I put myself out there and challenge my fears and my passion; life is better, life is richer and more full (and admittedly more scary).
So this week pay attention to how vulnerable you are to life–where could you let go of the reigns a bit and let life just happen?