People ask me all the time, "What is happiness?" Sometimes clients will say, usually in a defeated tone of voice, "I just want to be happy." Other times it goes like this, "I'd be so happy if I could lose all this weight." "When I have that big promotion I'm going to be so happy." "Only 3 more years to retirement, then I'll finally be happy.
Whew! That's a lot of lives on hold waiting to be happy. What if you could be happy right now? Yep. Right this moment. No, I'm not smoking whacky tobbaccy! It is possible to be happy every single day... even in the maelstrom of what life may throw at you at any given moment.
"What?! That's not possible!" you say. "After all, how can anyone be happy all the time? Our loved ones die, a pet goes missing, we lose our jobs, the economy sucks, the roof needs repair and there's no money in the bank account... It's not possible to be happy all the time. That's just wishful thinking.". I hear you.
So here and now you've been challenged. You're at a crossroad. You can hang on to
this belief, write me off as a nut case and continue to surf the web looking
for your answer to "what is happiness". Or you can read on and glean a little something that may just
click for you. Happiness is a
choice. The answer to what is happiness has all to do with your level of energy. Don’t believe me? Keep reading.
Energy is everything. It's a reflection of how you think, how you act and what you achieve. And energy is a major contributor to your level of happiness. Generally speaking, low levels of energy are associated with lethargy, hopelessness, fear and anger while higher levels of energy are associated with success and happiness.
As Core Energy coaches, we regularly help clients learn how to shift their energy. And with a shift in energy, comes sustainable change in behaviour, action and results. Of course there is no magic Fairy Dust and it does require time and guidance but here's a simple way of changing things up even before you get out of bed. This is an example of how you can make choices that can improve how you feel. Hey, it can't hurt to try.
So here’s a typical scenario: You wake up to the alarm clock. Ugh! You're feeling less than motivated to get up because you know your workload at the office is going to be brutal today. So your mind goes to work and you start to spin a story that may go something like this: "That stupid Joe never does his share of work and it all ends up on my desk. Well I'm going to give him a piece of my mind this morning. He'd better steer clear or else!"
Wow! What a way to start the day. You're not even fully out of bed yet and you're already angry and feeling defeated! You drag yourself to the shower, continuing to ruminate on this story and by the time you get to breakfast you're being short tempered with everyone around you. Your spouse greets you with the usual, "Good morning Grumpy!" What does that feel like?
Now, how does this new scenario feel? You wake up to the alarm clock. Ugh! You're feeling less than motivated to get up because.... STOP right there. Before getting out of bed become aware of what you're thinking. Now change your thought and focus on something you are truly grateful for. Say it (in your head or out loud), "I'm grateful for _________. Keep your eyes closed. Focus on that for which you're grateful and pay attention to the feelings you get when you think about it. Don't let any other thoughts slip in, just focus on what you're grateful for. Let it fill you up, breathing in deeply and breathing out slowly. Do this a few more times before getting out of bed. Now, how do you feel?
Continue with your morning routine being very aware of any thoughts that provoke sadness or anger or low energy. Just shift away from them for now and focus on the good thing(s) in your life, right here in the now… in this very moment. You may even choose to see the same situation from an opposing point of view to put it in a positive light. Remember that heavy workload you have because Joe doesn't do his share? What opportunity does this workload provide for you? Look and you will find it, no doubt.
So what is happiness? Happiness is a choice. You can choose to see what's happening now as negative or depressing or maddening. You may also choose to see things that have happened in the past or things imagined in the future as negative, thus remaining in a state of unhappiness or bitterness. Or you can choose to see the opportunities and the benefits of what is happening and develop thoughts and actions in the now, in the moment, that make you feel good. It is all about how you choose to see things. Yes, it’s a choice.
It's possible to be grieving for a loved one and yet deep down find the glow of happiness for having had that person in your life. Beautiful memories bringing a smile to your lips as your heart breaks and tears pour down your face. It was Tim Hansel who said, "Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional." Choose to be happy.
So what is happiness, really? Happiness doesn't depend on circumstances, like being thinner, being richer or acquiring more stuff. These things may provide pleasure but don't confuse pleasure with happiness. Happiness depends upon how you choose to see your circumstances… how you choose to value them. When you're in a state of peace and contentment, and your emotions are positive and there is joy in your heart, that's happiness. When your values are aligned with your actions and intentions, that’s happiness.
Believe it or not, you're a leader in your life, whether you're a homemaker or an executive. The question is, “How do you lead yourself? How do you lead others?”
We talked earlier about how operating with low levels of energy is associated with lethargy, hopelessness, fear and anger while operating with high levels of energy is associated with happiness and success. You're always operating at some level of energy… that’s a fact! And whatever your level of energy is at any given time is how you're showing up in life.
I’m sure it will come as no surprise to know that how you show up in your life determines your level of happiness. Understanding and managing energy and the role it plays in your life, your success and your happiness pays enormous dividends. It provides you the ability to become a better leader of yourself and of others. It opens new understanding and new awareness of who you are and how you impact others.
If you have ever experienced happiness or sadness, anger or joy, frustration or explosive moments of creativity and success, then you have experienced energy. What would happen to your life if you became aware and were able to assess and control that energy to serve you at any time? Want to be happy? Learn to live at higher levels of energy. Want to learn how to do that? As a certified Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner, I'm prepared and qualified to help you.
Want to really dig in and make serious change in your life? Why not arrange for an Energy Assessment. Learn how you're showing up in life. Learn how your energetic profile is supporting or detracting from your success and happiness. Learn how you can manage your energy to provide better outcomes and higher levels of happiness and success than you ever dreamed possible. Put an ELI-MP certified coach to work for you today.
So now you know the answer to "What is happiness". Pick your thoughts wisely and learn to dismiss or put aside the negative ones. The more you practice doing this the happier you'll be.
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