Heidi Oran is a self-described “survivor of a quarter-life crisis.” She’s young, wise, and a a prolific writer on spirituality and personal growth.
Heidi and I stumbled across each other on Twitter, and I always enjoy her positive attitude and insights. It was because of this upbeat online personality that I decided to reach out to her for a happiness interview. As it turns out, she’s just as smart as she is sunny!
How do you define happiness?
I define happiness as this: a positive sense of well-being, or inner peace.
How do you incorporate what makes you happy into your day-to-day life?
I’ve had a tricky relationship with the happiness over the past five years. I feel like when I chased it I was let down. I’d reach that high and then come right back to reality unfulfilled.
Eventually I realized that for me, true happiness is just a synonym of inner peace. Because if I have that, it doesn’t really matter what’s happening in my day-to-day life, I’ll have that positive sense of well-being consistently.
What “shoulds” have you let go of in order to pursue your happiness?
You know what? I’ve always been a bit of a rule breaker, never really following the typical path in life that is supposed to lead us to happiness, ie. college, romance, wedding, babies.
I ditched my hometown at 20 to move to the wilderness of Ontario. I had my first baby at 23. I am not technically married to my husband. I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I am just now going back to university at 31. I have lived a should-free life for all of my adult hood (thanks to my dad for the example of a free-spirit, and my mom who allowed it!).
I think my pursuit of happiness wasn’t so much about letting go of shoulds, but rather, letting go of debilitating fear and limiting beliefs.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about happiness?
I actually recently heard Jon Acuff say, “You’re going to have to do some things you don’t want to do, in order to do more of what you want to do.” And I think that’s so perfectly true about happiness.
Things happen, people get sick, we struggle financially, etc… But again, if we have that underlying sense of inner peace, we can handle it better and still appreciate what we have.
Thanks, Heidi – peace is a major part of my definition of happiness, too!