Aristotle said that the ultimate aim or purpose or human life is to achieve your own happiness. You are the very happiest when what you are doing on the outside is congruent with your values on the inside. When you are living in complete alignment with that which you consider to be good, right, and true, you will automatically feel happy and positive about yourself and your world.
Know What You Really Want
Stephen Covey once said, "Be sure that, as you scramble up the ladder of success, it is leaning against the right building." Many people work hard to achieve goals that they think they want only to find, at the end of the day, they get no joy or satisfaction from their accomplishments. They ask, "Is this all there is?" This occurs when the outer accomplishment is not in harmony with your inner values. Don't let this happen to you.
Trust Your Intuition
Self-trust is the foundation of greatness. Self-trust comes from listening to your intuition, to your "still, small voice" within. Men and women begin to become great when they begin to listen to their inner voices and absolutely trust that they are being guided to a higher power each step of the way. Living in alignment with your true values is the royal road to self-confidence, self-respect, and personal pride. In fact, almost every human problem can be resolved by returning to values.
Watch Your Behavior
How can you tell what your values really are? The answer is simple. You always demonstrate your true values in your actions and especially your actions under pressure. Whenever you are forced to choose between one behavior and another you will always act consistent with what is most important and valuable to you at that moment. Values, in fact, are organized in a hierarchy. You have a series of values, some of them very intense and important and some of them weaker and less important. One of the most important exercises you can engage in to determine who you really are and what you really want is to organize your values by priority. Once you are clear about the relative important of your values, you can then organize your outer life so that it is in alignment with them.
Determine Your Hearts Desire
The spiritual teacher Emmet Fox wrote about the importance of discovering your "hearts desire." What is your hearts desire? As a friend of mine asks, "What do you want to be famous for?" What words would you like people to use to describe you when you are not there? What would you like someone to say about you at your funeral? What kind of reputation do you have today? What kind of reputation would you like to have sometime in the future?
Your Past is Not Your Future
Many people had difficult experiences growing up. They fell on hard times and became associated with the wrong people. Some were convicted and sent to prison for crimes. But at a certain point in life, they decided to change. They thought seriously about what kind of person they wanted to be known as, and thought of, in the future. They decided to change their lives by changing the values that they lived by. By making these decisions and sticking to them, they changed their lives. Remember, it doesn't matter where you're coming from; all that really matters is where you're going.