You’ve got it all: financial freedom, ample friends, a durable relationship, glamorous socials, and more. You slaved for over a decade to curate this life of manicured success, jumping through hoops to finally check all the boxes. But with each milestone of achievement trails a bleak reminder—that no accolade quenches your thirst for happiness. Terrified, you speculate if this is all there is to life.
It’s a story that rings eerily true for many of us. We are primed to believe that fulfillment is analogous to external success. That if we hitch ourselves to wagons of achievement, we will eventually excavate the “missing piece” to our life’s puzzle.
But living life via checkpoints is isolating—and conducive to unhappiness. Dissonance between how we actually feel and what we think we should feel cultivates overwhelm, burnout, indecision, FOMO, and nostalgia for a rosy past that never existed. The more we have, the more we compare ourselves to others, perpetuating a framework of happiness that localizes fulfillment outside of us, rather than within us.
In this blog, we will navigate the C.A.L.M. process, exploring novel tips to source inner joy, peace, and vitality instead of chronically chasing extraneous resources to fill the void. Only then can we design a life that is attuned to our souls.
C: Change Your Mindset
Whether it’s from a therapist or the Internet, most of us have been given the spiel on affirmations. Like magic, the more you tell yourself that you are happy, beautiful, safe, and loved, the more those feelings come to fruition. Right?
But here’s the thing: retroactively convincing ourselves that we believe positive things about ourselves—when we don’t—masks the problem, making traditional self-help tactics like affirmations largely ineffective.
To source inner joy, we must first acknowledge that it is our responsibility to change our mindset. This entails shifting our self-perception to locate ourselves at the cause of our lives, rather than the effect. Instead of saturating the mind with bullshit affirmations, we rewire the beliefs we hold about ourselves at the neural level—nurturing an organic understanding of what is possible via the truth: that we are amazing, capable, and enough.
Remember, our thoughts are the one thing that we can actually control.
A: Adjust Always
Unfortunately, chiseling out inner joy is not a “one-and-done” endeavor. While embarking on a retreat or sporadically meditating may briefly alleviate negative feelings, it defies the urban legend that an isolated effort to become a “changed individual” has enduring effects. When life throws shit our way—and it will—we must adjust. Adjusting requires resiliency and fluidity: if we become married to an idea, prospect, or material item supposed to secure happiness, our life will derail when we don’t get it.
And that’s why sourcing from within is so beautiful! Whether riding life’s highs or scaling its lows, we can harvest the truth, magic, and possibility stored within our Essence anytime, anywhere. In other words, be patient: resourcing happiness is a lifelong undertaking with perpetual adjustments along the way.
L: Love Yourself
These two words have become the pinnacle of pop culture’s self-help movement—but what do they really mean?
Self-love goes beyond surface-level recognition of our strengths or assets. Rather, it involves unconditional self-acceptance of our perceived flaws, mistakes, and regrets—big or small. Loving yourself means liberating your life from the suffocating reins of perfectionism, granting unwavering permission to make mistakes without shame, take risks, crave more, and ultimately design a fulfilling life from the inside out.
M: Mastering Skills
The emotional intelligence skills needed to source raw fulfillment—setting boundaries, navigating and negotiating competing needs between ourselves and others, asking for what we want, permitting ourselves to fail, and experimenting with life design—are ones that most of us were never taught to hone. Learning and mastering these skills will equip you with a pivotal mindset for living in alignment with your authentic self, where trying something new does not have to mean “blowing up” everything you have worked so hard for.
Bottom Line: If you feel like everything in your life that “should” make you happy doesn’t, it’s never too late to source from within. By changing your mindset, adjusting with intention, loving yourself via unequivocal self-acceptance, and mastering the skills needed to take aligned action, you will become the architect of joy in your life.