A Coaching Power Tool created by Chloe Moodley
(Passion Coaching, UNITED STATES)
The man who makes everything that leads to happiness depend upon himself, and not upon other men, has adopted the very best plan for living happily. This is the man of moderation, the man of manly character and of wisdom.
Children are happy because they don’t have a file in their minds called All the Things That Could Go Wrong.
Fleeting moments can bring us to a place of sheer delight or pleasure; all it takes is a catalyst to change our day from dull and dreary to fun and exciting. It could be a few words, a song, a laughing baby, or fireworks that can spark happiness. The sensational rush of good news, the awaited declarations of love, the comforting hugs that fill the empty space, can all change the energy of a moment into a life-changing event. This event is called happiness.
The decision to be happy can result in happiness at any given moment you choose to be happy. Living in the present moment and being thankful for what you have is the greatest form of happiness. When we appreciate what we have instead of thinking of what we don’t have, we live in state of happiness and not in a state of wanting. In life we want more of everything and when we get more, we are never satisfied. Therefore what we want doesn’t bring happiness. We spend our waking moments thinking of the negative things in our lives, replaying them over and over again or we exaggerate the current situation in our lives and finally, we think about things in the future that may never occur.
We cannot change yesterday or what happened five minutes ago.
We cannot predict the future or what may or may not happen tomorrow.
BUT we can change this moment by being fully present and fully engaged.
By focusing on what’s happening right now, and shifting our perspective to finding the opportunity or the great lesson in life, we move out of the realm of disappointment into the circle of happiness.
I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today.
I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet.
I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.
Two employees were up for their semi-annual evaluations. Ted was confident that he was a great worker and a team player. He expected ‘Exceeds Expectations’ but received ‘Meets Expectations’ which countered his beliefs about his productivity. Nick was also confident that he was doing a great job and considered himself a team player as well. He expected ‘Meets Expectations’ and instead he received ‘Exceeds Expectations’. Ted was disappointed and felt it was an unfair evaluation. For a few days he complained and moped around until he decided to do something about it. Instead of continuing down his negative path, he became proactive and began to use all his resources to excel at his job, making ‘Employee of the Month’. Nick on the other hand, was ecstatic and celebrated for the whole week thinking that he can now take a break. As a result he missed an important client deadline and was reprimanded for his carelessness.
When we take happiness for granted we may lose it like Nick did. In these small moments we have pleasure but this is usually short lived unless we make a choice to extend the length of happiness. To have long lasting happiness we need to accept the fact that we all face challenges and discover flaws. Life is not without disappointments but we can deal with them. Ted chose to deal with the situation by using it to explore new avenues and greater opportunities. Happiness is the ability to cope with life.
According to Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, ‘happiness is a state of well-being and contentment, a pleasurable or satisfying experience’. Therefore the absence of happiness is discontentment and an unsatisfying experience that brings disappointment.
In life, happiness is equated with success and getting what we want. However this is a farce, as the songwriter puts it Money can’t buy me love.
So what really makes people happy? Ask someone who has lost a loved one or someone who doesn’t know where his next meal is coming from or someone who has been diagnosed with an incurable disease. Life-changing events determine the level of our happiness and our appreciation of life.
The three most common things people associate with happiness are family and friends, good health and security about the future. The three most common things people associate with disappointments are family and friends, bad health and insecurity about the future. How is it that the same three things that bring us happiness can also bring us disappointments as well?
We make the choice to create happiness. Understanding human strengths and weaknesses are key to learning new ways to either deal with issues, recover from situations or prevent them from happening. Knowing that every person responds differently to external stimuli creates an awareness that reduces the chance of conflict. Change begins with us rather than the other person.
One of the greatest forms of happiness is being thankful for what we have at any given moment. Instead of focusing on what we don’t have or what we could have or what may happen, we can focus on the present moment. Allowing ourselves to become consumed with the past, places us in a state of disappointment. Being consumed with the future rather than the present, places us in a state of want. As a result we neglect the things that are important.
We create our own emotions. For example, we feel love when we love ourselves first and then others. We can only trust others when we trust ourselves first. We can only respect others when we respect ourselves first. This is the secret to happiness. Loving ourselves, trusting ourselves and respecting ourselves without the approval of others is the beginning of long lasting happiness. Understanding that we have to be at peace with ourselves first is fundamental in creating happiness. If we don’t believe in ourselves, nobody else will. But it doesn’t stop there. Showing love without expecting to receive anything in return is an indicator of a happy contented person. Practicing the art of active listening paves the way for trust and respect.
Although we live in an amazing age of technology, there are so many unhappy, disappointed people walking around. It could be an unhappy relationship because of high expectations or just didn’t work out as planned. It could be a breakdown in communication because someone is not actively listening or empathizing. Or maybe a desire to own a bigger home and a better car that means long hours at work and less time spent with family or incurring debt by living beyond our means. Or we could be watching the television and without realizing it, we start comparing ourselves to someone with a great body or flawless skin. These feelings of dissatisfaction lead to a decreased level of happiness.