Self-Determination, Autonomy, and Happiness

Do you believe that happiness is achievable? On what bases did you decide? And, how can you achieve happiness?

I ask these questions and others because you cannot achieve full and complete happiness at all levels except when you have personal autonomy!

Personal autonomy builds your self-determination to take action and to keep moving towards your personal goals. This dynamic can also work in reverse: Your self-determination will earn you your autonomy. The latter point takes more work on to achieve self-mastery and to reach the highest level of satisfaction for personal freedom.

Autonomy gives you the satisfaction of knowing you have the freedom to choose the life you want for yourself. You have the personal freedom to select the work that will allow you to grow and open doors for greater initiatives. It is not to be separated from others or independent of them, it is how you will get things done in ways that you are not violating your values. The question here becomes: do you have personal autonomy? If your answer is “YES” then, own it, and feel its power building within you. If your answer is “NO” then ask yourself: ‘What makes me feel that I am under the control of others? What makes me feel hindered from owning my autonomy to choose the work and the life I want? What are the constraints that are holding me back to feel this personal freedom?

We all have constraints around us; for example: family obligations, work obligations, the local environment’s laws and rules, even your inner dialogue and how you perceive yourself and others can restrain you from making the choices in which you find your joy and happiness. You might have full support of your family, your boss at work, and from those around you in your local environment; but your inner dialogue prevents you from seeing it and you become convinced that you don’t have personal freedom! It all depends on what story you tell yourself and what words you’re using to support your story.

It is important to become aware of how you perceive your personal freedom. With all the normal constraints in life, when you perceive them as chocking you, then your stress level will rise and you won’t enjoy being with your family if they ask for your help. You will not enjoy work, if you look at your tasks as energy and time being wasted and you think you should have spent your time doing something useful. In any case, it is what your inner story tells you about your circumstances and your life events.

Self-determination builds autonomy when you press forward and take action, after action, after action towards the destination you dreamed of all your life. Your freedom to choose is the best gift you could ever give to yourself!

So let me ask you again: Do you believe that happiness is achievable? Do you have complete personal freedom to choose the kind of work you love to do and be happy? Your assignment: Think about those two questions and write down three steps you’re taking towards your next step to achieve happiness.

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Audere Interpersonal Intelligence