You can also focus on feeling the breeze in your nostrils. Focus quite deliberately on your face. When you feel secure in yourself, it becomes easier to find happiness on your own terms. Don't trivialize the help. Don't apologize for it, don't say it's only a small thing. You matter, and if the task at hand matters to you, you should telegraph this clearly to whoever you're requesting assistance from. This not only helps you assert a greater sense of worth to your needs, it also gives the helper a greater feeling of accomplishment for assisting. Know the intentions of your helper. If they require you to do something you're uncomfortable with in return for their aid, step back immediately, don't let them badger you into making a decision upfront. Seek other counsel, gather more information, and return with the advantage of additional knowledge and perspective. This is how you can request help while safeguarding your long-term independence. Honestly, odds are they aren't the only person with the will and skills to help you, so spend more time seeking out someone who genuinely cares about you, or at least isn't asking you for something you can't give. So how can I help? What do you think I should do? Career advice. It's easily the most frequent topic of conversation I have with people. They want to know what they should do with their lives. Or what their kids should do with their lives. Or, as was the case with Susan, how to pivot midcareer to the job they had always wanted, instead of the one they had somehow ended up in. These are all tricky questions because, at their core, they're not about work or career planning.

They're instead precursors to the question most people find the hardest to answer: What makes you happy? Happiness is a hard one. Feel your eyes. Relax your eyelids and keep your eyes closed without tensing them up. Now go over to your mouth. Make sure that your lips are gently resting on each other. Go a step further in your head into it, and feel your tongue loose against the palate d back t . Now move your mind to the top of your head. Feel the skin on the top of your head, maybe your hair on top of your scalp. Now go down a little and turn towards your neck. Feel especially your N ackenmuskulatur and relax together with your shoulders. Feel the slight pressure that your pad puts on your shoulders again. Follow up on the help. Should you succeed thanks to a person's advice, show them the results clearly. This not only demonstrates your advancement in personal power, solidifying it in your consciousness, it also shows your former helper that their counsel was effective, which might just help them in their own quest to become the author of their own lives. Everyone wins! Dealing With Expectations To truly be the author of your own life, you need to be able to set your own standards and expectations. The information under Making Time for Yourself and its subheadings has already laid the foundation for this, because ultimately, expectations are nothing more than a social pressure, a pressure that social media can easily reinforce depending on your contacts and connections. Again, remember the mantra, No one can know you as well as you know yourself.

The expectations others have for you are based on assumptions which are in turn based on the appearances you've given off, whether intentionally or not. However, you cannot control how people think or see things, so focusing on changing your appearances is NOT the first thing we should do. In fact, it's so elusive that there are entire college courses and research programs devoted to its study. Several years ago, I went to one of the leading experts in the field to get guidance on how to help people like Susan figure out what makes them happy. Scott Cloutier is an assistant professor and a senior sustainability scientist at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University. He is focused on charting a new course for sustainability to maximize opportunities for happiness. I had caught up with him in Tempe, Arizona, one lovely winter's day in the desert and asked him about happiness. Happiness is a spectrum, he started, leaning back in his chair. On the one end you have sadness, and the other end is all-out bliss. Happiness is about finding balance on the spectrum. So when people are trying to decide what to do with their lives . I said, trailing off. Continue to relax slowly . And it goes on in your mind, from your shoulders to your arms. Focus on your upper arms. Then on your forearms, and finally on your hands . Again you consciously feel the contact with your document. Go further and feel yourself right down to your fingertips. Feel how your fingers both the ground as well as themselves mutually be r uhren. Now go back to your breath one more time and feel your chest rise and fall with every breath you take.

Finally, let it flow into your stomach. Again you feel how your breath rushes through your body and fills you with an inner glow of light. Instead, examine how you speak to yourself. Look at the voice in your head. Listen to what it is saying. Now imagine it was saying those things to a small child. Would you still listen to that voice? Are its words helpful, or hurtful? Will they help this small child develop into a strong and beautiful adult, or are they just breaking it down? No matter how old we get, we all have an inner child living within us, and it is our responsibility to look after it. When you begin to treat yourself kindly, you'll be less vulnerable to the expectations of others, because you'll be more likely to recognize when an expectation is a useful idea, when it's just a vague notion, and when it's nothing more than an outright fantasy. More often than not, expectations are just mirages, distorted by the trick of a burning light. Then, more specifically: When they are trying to see themselves in a future career, how should they think about what will help them find that perfect balance? There are two things to consider, Scott said, holding up two fingers. Pleasure and purpose. You need to know the difference. Pleasure is easy. Right now we could walk down the street and get whatever pleasure we want. Food, sex, alcohol, drugs--you name it. Our world is filled with pleasure.

The problem is, it's immediate and empty. It will not make you happy. Now direct your breaths deeper into both of you and even to your feet and tiptoe. Let your breath flow through the entire lower area of your body and be aware of it. Before creating your your mind's eye the image as your breath on your feet out of you flows out , and breathe again on your toes, feet and legs. Become aware of the physicality of your feet and legs and feel how they lie relaxed on your surface. At this point you can even go so far that your thoughts briefly visit every single toe in the row. Pull slowly moving from your feet back and go out slowly over your feet, legs and thighs again n your body as a whole . Perceive again from the outside how your body lies in space. You have now successfully completed the trip. Slowly open your eyes again and arrive in the moment. You can stretch a little to get your circulation going again. Don't let mirages dictate who you are. When confronting someone who is trying to dictate their expectations to you, do not judge them. Certainly do not call them out on the expectations you've had that they failed to fulfill; Instead, internally recognize that expectations change: trying to please people through fulfilling them is like trying to kick a soccer ball into a moving goalpost. Care less for expectations, and more for results; Next, gently let the person know they're trying to control a part of your life they don't know much about, and leave it there. Draw that line in the sand. No matter how thin it is, it cannot be crossed unless you let it, and from there you can aim to hear this person's thoughts and advice on healthier terms.