We’ve all been there.
You gobble up books, courses, blogs, seminars.
You do everything in your power to find the key to lasting happiness.
Yet it seems to elude you. You try harder. You put in more time. And you end up exhausted.
You want to give up, but you can’t, because you think this is what you have to do to live life to the fullest.
But the truth is that searching isn’t going to give you the answers you seek.
Happiness is not a technique. It cannot be given to you by someone else.
The Problem We Face
It seems easier to keep searching, to keep looking for answers outside of ourselves.
What’s hard is listening to yourself, to your heart, to the whispers of your soul.
You’re bombarded by advertising, peers, friends, and society. You’re told to live life a certain way. You’re told that if you follow a certain set of guidelines, you’ll end up happy and successful.
But it’s not until you realize that you alone have the answers that your life begins to change.
This doesn’t mean becoming fearless, or being able to make perfect decisions. It means looking inside, and discovering how your inner GPS communicates with you.
So the problem isn’t that you need more information. The problem is that you’re unwilling to use what you already have.
Experiment Your Way to Happiness — The Video
Before you continue reading this article, have a look at the short video below. It’ll help you take this in deeper.
And if you’re interested in more videos, remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel, because I don’t post every video here on the blog.
How to Experiment Your Way to Happiness
“The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” — Marcel Proust
Somewhere, somehow we’ve lost trust in ourselves.
It’s almost as if we’re hardwired to look outside for answers. Yet you’re equipped with your own inner GPS.
I can’t say how it communicates with you, because I’m not you. But I can say that it does communicate.
Here are three steps that have helped me:
1. Uncover Your Patterns
We all have patterns that distract us from our heart, our GPS.
The more you know your fears, the smaller the chance that you’re caught off-guard.
For example, one of my fears has to do with security. If there’s a sudden problem, say with our car, my mind overreacts.
I start worrying about money. Even though I’m aware of all of this happening, it still gives me a jolt of fear.
Since I’m aware of this pattern, I’m more likely not to act on it. I notice the fear, and I let it be. I don’t make decisions from that state of fear.
I don’t even try to get rid of it.
When I’m in fear, I’ve lost connection to my inner GPS, so I wait for clarity to return.
Getting to know my patterns has taken years, and I’m still discovering more, so don’t expect this to happen overnight. Simply start by noticing how you react to life, and where you react with most fear.
More often than not, there’s a theme that keeps popping up in your life. It may be relationships, self-worth, identity, or like in my case, security.
And remember to not take this too seriously. Relax and simply notice what’s going on.
2. Re-Establish the Connection
Re-establishing the connection is nothing more than listening for what feels alive to you.
It’s rarely something big.
It could be a book you’re interested in, or finally starting that blog you’ve thought about for the past few years.
Just like the GPS in a car, your inner GPS doesn’t give you the whole plan, but simply nudges you forward one step at a time.
And once again, this doesn’t happen right away. Don’t try to perfectly follow your heart, because that’s another trap.
Conduct tiny experiments. When I first discovered that I could follow my heart, I didn’t entirely trust it. So I took small steps, and I noticed the results.
With time, I’ve seen that my heart, my inner GPS, knows where to go.
Dance with the problems that come your way.
Get to know yourself. No self-help program can tell you exactly what to do, because they don’t know you.
You know you.
The more you run away, the more you seek, the more lost you become.
Today, I listen to my heart. I don’t try to make things happen, because it’s draining. The right information comes to me when I need it.
And I know it’s right because it feels alive.
Or I should say, it’s highly likely to be right for me, because it feels magnetic.
None of this insulates me from mistakes, and it doesn’t have to.
I simply live life to the best of my ability, because that is all I can do.
So dance, because why not?
Should You Stop Learning Then?
I’m not telling you to do anything. I’m simply pointing to the authority within you. I’m nudging you to listen to your inner GPS, instead of looking for answers outside of yourself.
If you feel like taking a course, then by all means do so.
In the end, you have to conduct your own experiments. You have to find what works for you.
Learn as much as you want, but avoid learning from a place of anxiety.
“Stop leaving and you will arrive. Stop searching and you will see. Stop running away and you will be found.” ― Lao Tzu
You have what you need to navigate life.
You just have to be willing to listen.
You may not know how your inner GPS works, which is why you experiment. Experiment your way to happiness, purpose, and passion.
I don’t know what the future holds, and I don’t have to know.
All I have to do is keep listening to what I find truly interesting, and take the next step as best as I can.
Each step reveals the next step, and on the journey goes.
Cheers from a Frosty Finland,
P.S. If you need more help following your heart, your inner GPS, check out my book: Follow Your Heart: 21 Days to a Happier, More Fulfilling Life (amazon affiliate link that supports me. thank you in advance!).
I’m becoming more religious and in my faith and observations I believe what you refer to as the GPS is God, but regardless of what you call it, it’s all the same in what it does.
As far as following your heart, I say it’s best to ask God and listen with your heart to discover what He decides to set your heart on fire with. For me it was starting my new site because it felt good. I wanted to and I wanted to do things different, my way for now, and it’s fun.
I think we all have to do that. It doesn’t matter what anyone says or even what we think. Instead, listen to that GPS and have fun enjoying what it is you love!
Great post as always Henri. Keep em’ comin’!
Couldn’t agree more, Eric. It doesn’t really matter what label we put on it. It’s all the same, to me at least.
Ree Pierce says
Wow! When I was reading I did the same thing. That GPS is definitely the Holy Spirit! ❤️
Anne Lafferty Hudgins says
Thanks! Cheers from sunny AZ! You are right, here. I often criticize what I find to be ‘annoying’ about myself. But at some point, I have realized that the very things that I consider annoying, like absent-mindedness, are the very things that make me a focused writer and musician. Living in my own head. So, trying to ‘make it happen’, and make myself more like others is probably not a good plan. It IS draining, and counter-productive, too. Others don’t view you nearly as critically as you do yourself……..unless you’re a writer, of course! Thanks! Anne
Well put, Anne. It’s not always easy to just be who you are. But when you start relaxing into being yourself, things become so much easier.
Thank you again for your timely comments. I’m in the process of making significant changes to my work life so that I can be more in control. I don’t mean control as in a time and motion study but control so I can stop and smell the roses if that’s what feels right at the time. I had a taste of this freedom and happiness last year when I decided to work part time. Now I want more – lol. I’m not sure what the end result will be and sometimes my inner GPS is very blurry but I’m glad I’m making the move even though I have no idea what I’m really doing – ha ha.
Sounds like you’re in the same boat as the rest of us. Rarely do we know where we’re going, but we take one step at a time. All you can do 🙂
This is awesome! This is a biggy as its pretty much the only skill you need to achieve anything in life, following your heart, but as you say it seems to allude most of us.
And of course by no coincidence, I have been questioning myself on this recently.
Thank you so much for this one Henri.
Right you are, Lewis.
We all question it, because that’s what the mind does.
AJ Walton says
Funny, I feel like all of your articles have some Pinterest-worthy quote that jumps out at me: “Happiness is not a technique.”
Since we last spoke, I’ve realized that my inner GPS has been crying out for more chaos in my life. Maybe that sounds strange but I’ve been smothering myself with structure (totally NOT a-type either). Just this realization has been like coming up for air after a long time under water.
That’s interesting, but I completely get where you’re coming from. If you feel like you’re coming up for air, it’s probably a step in the right direction.
I thoroughly enjoyed your article. I learned this in church today. I am beginning to trust the internal wisdom that I call God and move on my instincts to the direction I am being pulled. Keep it coming!
It’s very close to my life and very few resonates with me and your writing does.
Fantastic as usual
Doroh Mike says
I cherish your counsel,it helps me to attain insight into myself and how to relate to other people. May God bless you richly. thanks so much. You are great.
One thing I can say for sure Henri you write what you experience, you don’t say just for sake of saying. Reading your blogs feel so magnetic! I love these two lines as its so true:
“Uncover Your Patterns- And remember to not take this too seriously”- True these patterns keep troubling us every now and then, I feel it sets as a boundary for us as we are destined to do something in life and it keeps us within that area.
“No self-help program can tell you exactly what to do, because they don’t know you.”- There are numerous books, guides and programs in the market to help us understand what we need to do but out of them the Best guide is our own inner self/intuition.