The One Question That Will Lead You To Happiness

My least favorite word in the English language is the word “discern” for one reason and one reason only — it’s so difficult to accomplish!

In our lives, we’re asked to discern what is best for ourselves and our friends and family all the time, but the right paths are difficult to identify, let alone choose.

How are we supposed to know the right path at every single moment? Achieving magic-eight-ball levels of clarity and vision would be awesome, but highly unlikely.

According to the dictionary, to discern is “to perceive or recognize”, which strikes me as fascinating in this context. It means that when we discern what is right for us, we are recognizing something we’ve always known deep inside.

Our instinct is stronger than we ever thought possible.

There’s a guiding light that can help you discern most everything in your life without fault. As with most great answers in life, it starts with a question.

When you need to make a decision in your life (big or small), ask yourself the following question:

Is this liberating or is this limiting?

I promise that you will know the answer, every single time. Whether you are deciding if you want to sign up for a gym or you are on the brink of taking a new job, this question will help you to get to know your own relationship to your new path.

The answer will make you accountable to the fact that you know yourself better than you thought. It will make you responsible for your happiness, and it will show you how to achieve it. It’s a high stakes question, and I challenge you to use it as a guide when things get fuzzy.

When you make choices that help us feel liberated and light, there are various benefits in many aspects of your life. Here are my favorites:

  1. Putting enthusiasm and passion into your projects becomes easy.
    Distinguishing between what projects feel liberating and what methods of accomplishing them feel liberating too will lead you to a day-to-day plan that rejuvenates you instead of draining you. Respecting your body’s energy levels and what feels best at each moment will result in more energetic work.
  2. A newfound peace and calm descend over tasks and relationships.
    When life feels liberating, every step feels lighter. In a world full of lightness and joy, there is less room for anxiety, anger, or frustration.
  3. Being grateful for others and their successes means dropping envy and jealousy off to the side.
    Gratitude is an amazing gift, and so is losing the burden of comparison. When you lead your life to be more liberating to you and only you, there is a separation between what is best for others and what is best for you personally. Respecting that each person’s path is different will help you find joy in other people’s success, instead of comparing their path to yours.
  4. Hard work is welcome, but feeling overwhelmed is not.
    Feeling liberated by your choices in life does not mean that there is no hard work involved. There will be many times when big projects and big relationships will feel both liberating and strenuous — that’s okay. Writing a book or building a business aren’t easy tasks, but they can definitely feel liberating to the right person.

In my life, choosing paths that make me feel light and liberated give me a sensation of returning home, of doing what I was always meant to be doing. I recommend you try it sometime. At every fork in the road, ask yourself, “Is this liberating or is this limiting?”

The hard part isn’t the answer — it’s remembering to ask yourself the question!

Your gut instinct will guide you further than you ever knew, if you just let it have a say.

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Bio: Based out of Managua, Nicaragua Marcella Chamorro just released a book on authenticity in marketing, titled To Be or Like to Be. Follow her blog for tips and thoughts on life/joy hacks & creativity.


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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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