(And What They Do Instead.) We all want to be happy. Some of us do a really good job at keeping our emotional set point pretty high, while some of us struggle to find joy in anything. And then there are those of us feeling like we’re at the mercy of external circumstances making “happy” a wild rollercoaster ride. So what are truly happy people not doing (and more importantly – not thinking) that distinguish themselves from the rest of us? After lots of conversations, research, and reflection it seems to come down to these 5 simple things. Happy people don’t… Suppress emotion. As a conditioned left brained thinker this was a hard one for me to get. I’ve understood emotion as a function of thinking, not simply a natural component of the human condition. That’s since changed for me and
I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t have at least some interest in meditating if he or she isn’t already doing so. There is so much science out there on the transformative benefits, and with mindfulness being this decade’s buzz term, I can’t imagine anyone actively avoiding it because they don’t believe in its value. If you’re not meditating regularly, maybe you’ve tried it at least once, figured you’re probably doing it wrong and think, “I’ll get to that someday.” You probably have some should energy behind it – you know meditating could contribute to a better quality of life but you lack the genuine desire and discipline to make it a daily practice. This week I dispel the misconceptions about meditating to help you finally take this on. (And if you’re already a committed meditator, share your comments below and tell us what keeps you going!) If we can clear up some
How often do you find yourself lost in thought, either rehearsing the future or rehashing the past? What would you say your overall mood is as a result? So many of us, myself included, lose ourselves in the stuff back then – what happened, what was said, or what could of been done differently that we forget that our past is an advisor, not a determinant. And so many of us get stuck in our imaginary stories about what could go wrong – “what if…” – that we think about and plan for our future’s worst case scenario. Our imaginations can be our biggest ally… or our worst enemy! By throwing the past ahead of us and plotting crappy outcomes, not only do we spin ourselves out and cause a tremendous amount of unnecessary anxiety, but we lose sight of what life REALLY IS right now.
Most often, and particularly now in this period of my life, I reflect on how I’m in the midst of some sort of personal transformation. A theme that has been popping up for me and others in my world is mindless reactivity – essentially recognizing when am I reacting to life vs. when am I responding to it. Curious about the formal definitions of both, I looked up what Dictionary.com had to offer: React: “To act in response to an agent or influence” Respond: “To reply or answer in words; to react favorably” “Respond” appears to be preferable when contrasting the two; it’s a favorable reaction. Just in saying either word, can’t you just feel the relief in respond vs. the tension in react? That crazy person isn’t me! Think about the last time you reacted to something or someone and recall how that felt. Your colleague make a
I think my husband has it pretty tough being married to a coach. In my professional world, my sole focus is to help others deconstruct what’s getting in the way of what they want. At the end of the day, it’s simply to feel good. We set goals and work to reach them – yes, for the goal itself – but mainly because we think it’s going to make us feel a certain way. My listening has been trained to hear the unvoiced statements, beliefs, and interpretations that’s keeping one from that good feeling. While it’s an essential skill to practice as a coach, it’s not always so great for a healthy marriage. Many times, clients or friends will jokingly comment that my husband and I must have the BEST relationship – with all these tools on communication and perspective shifts – how could we
If you’re reading this, you probably have a desire to be happy. And I’ll bet that, like me, you probably took on the the universal idea that we’re supposed to “get an education to get a job to make money” – to ultimately live a happy and fulfilling life. If we’re all following this to some degree, where’s it going wrong? Why does it feel like we hear more about stress, anxiety, and not-enough-ness than we do about joy and gratitude? Not that I have an answer to that, but I do want to bring up a topic that’s been present for me lately, and that’s COMPARISON. Ask yourself this question: Would I feel happier if I stopped comparing myself to others? Imagine a world in which comparison didn’t exist. Do you think you could feel more at peace with yourself and your
We’re swirling around in our heads, our seemingly solitary universes, with internal dialogues so loud that we forget that everyone, EVERYONE, is fighting some sort of battle with fears, beliefs, and interpretations that are holding them back… too. We tend to look out at the world and take stock of everyone around us and use our limited perception to gauge how we’re doing and how we’re measuring up. Today, I’m giving you permission to stop it. Because the reality is, everyone has parts of themselves they’re not proud of. Parts they’re afraid of. Parts they keep hidden from themselves and the world by using stories, acts, and substances. But there’s something quite powerful about claiming those parts of ourselves we’re afraid off. Why? Because we’re human and all of us have those parts – parts that have developed from the beliefs we’ve taken on. And all