"A box without hinges, key, or lid, yet golden treasure inside is hid."
~ J. R. R. Tolkien
If you're looking for a key to happiness in 2015, focus on your personal wealth!
Yes, your personal wealth.
I'm not referring to stock portfolios, liquid assets or real estate. Instead, I'm honing in on your inherent -- and unique -- self worth. We all have it, but most of us lose sight of our own value as we work toward outward goals, markers and other external pursuits.
There's a world of wealth living inside of you. Finding your personal wealth and putting it to use will always make you happy.
As each new year approaches, we often take stock of our past and vow to make our future better. Doing so, we consider engaging in activities that will elevate us to a better form of living. For some, that translates into more exercise and better eating habits. For others, it involves applying greater discipline to studies, relationships or career.
Whatever you've placed on your list of goals for 2015 and beyond, don't overlook the pursuit of happiness. Happiness is the obvious, if not always remembered, desire we all share. Oddly, happiness as a value that can get frequently get overlooked when planning for what we believe is better, higher or even richer.
A key to happiness in life is discovering our very own personal wealth.
I was reminded early this morning of a personal, seminal event. Over twenty years ago, I tendered my resignation from a corporate career that had defined me for a decade. I loved the challenges and opportunities business leadership afforded me, but also knew it was time for me to grow in a different way.
My departure coincided with the birth of our first and only child, but it was uniquely and, perhaps, cosmically timed. I had learned most of what I'd hoped to gain from corporate America and had no further aspirations along that path.
Separating from a corporate title and enviable income to gain a sense of personal worth appears, at least initially, a paradox. However, I was aware of my tenuous identity. My business success had always been tempered with realism: Knowing I was replaceable, I never collected personal items or photos to grace my office or desk.
The quest to find my own worth apart from a titled position and income didn't end with leaving work. It was just the beginning. Freed from corporate constraints, I meandered into otherwise unfamiliar realms and started to become acquainted with myself. Pursuing a few personal passions and interests, I discovered some hidden and latent talents. Exploring different venues, I realized I could learn new skills.
Encountering challenges along the way, I learned that there was strength and creativity within me that could overcome them. While traveling, I met others from different backgrounds and disciplines where great exchanges took place. Soon, I realized that my talents and skills were contributing in unique ways to others' lives.
Somehow, the talents I'd gained in corporate life melded and grew with more recently acquired ones. My personal journey helped expose me to opportunities, experiences and insights and enabled me to view myself in a new and rewarding light.
As dawn follows night, I became gently illuminated. I came to see that my very being and essence was quite valuable - to myself as well as to others. The growing awareness provided me with a deep satisfaction and rich sense of happiness.
Not too long ago, I'd attended an intimate seminar. Delivered by an industry pro, the training was rather pricey but would ultimately improve my digital skills. I had opportunity to meet my fellow classmates before we began and inquired into their respective interests and businesses.
In typical fashion, my interest turned to innovation and I offered up a few creative ideas. Conversation continued during breaks that day and I was inspired to share more: additional contacts, resources and suggestions that might add to others' marketing and branding models.
By the end of the afternoon one of the attendees remarked, "Maura, I got more out of meeting you today than I did from attending this expensive seminar. You're a font of creative wealth!"
I laughed at the comment but knew there was truth to the statement: I AM a font of creative wealth. And I love knowing that the wealth is in me, of me, with me and part of me.
You don't need to leave a paycheck behind as I did in order to find your own personal worth.
Each of us has the capacity to explore, mine and display an inner treasury that's been awaiting our discovery.
Consider the photo above where you see me opening the door of a bank vault. I was willing to open myself to discover the uniqueness of my being that is of enormous personal value.
You can do the same, but in a fashion that feels authentic to you along your personal life path.
Like discovering long-hidden and untapped natural resources, each of us possesses a treasure waiting to be brought to light. Our wealth can be found through a variety of means, circumstances and opportunities.
Once disclosed, our personal worth delivers us a key to happiness that no job, circumstance or person can ever claim or devalue. That moment of revelation arises as you realize you are your own motherlode - standing in the flesh.
Whatever the time of year, remember this key to happiness: