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March 17, 2022

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

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Mahatma Gandhi is one of the most inspirational humans to ever walk this planet. As an incredible peacemaker and inspiring activist, who experienced unfathomable injustice in his life, we have a lot to learn from his lived experience. 

One of the many lessons is featured in the following quote - “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

What Gandhi does so effectively in this thought is he separates out the 3 different ways of representing the self - What you think, what you say, and what you do. And he argues that happiness is having congruence  among those 3 selves.

What you think is your ultimate truth. You cannot hide from yourself in your own mind. And while your brain may attempt to protect you and change the things you think, it does so in a way that it becomes your truth. What you think cannot be shared with others, it is yours and yours alone, and it’s something you must always live with.

The thoughts you do choose to share come in the form of what you say. Now this isn’t a direct translation of your thoughts, it is a filtered version that is designed to be received by others. It can be truth, it also can not, and in that way it introduces variability.

Then there’s what you do. This is your actions speaking for you. Actions are louder than words, and the things you do are the way you interface with the world around you. It goes one layer deeper in that you’re putting your thoughts and words to action, which suggests a certain level of belief you have in their truth.

Now let’s bring back the quote - “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

When all three of these selves are in harmony, without contradictions or exceptions, that’s when you experience happiness. And to me the word that captures the essence of that is integrity. When what you do and what you say are in integrity with what you think, you’re living an aligned life. Reflect on this idea, and how closely aligned your actions, words, and thoughts are.

If you’re in the US or Canada, text me at 949-799-0788 and I’ll send you daily prompts that help you get to know yourself better and build a more meaningful life every day. 

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