Do you know people who are not completely happy with their lives? Do you know people who are not fully satisfied with their jobs? Do you know people who are in an unhappy relationship?
If yes, it does not surprise me. In fact most of the people I meet are either not truly happy with their job, or they are complaining about their relationship. Some are complaining about both.
Why is this so? And more importantly: does it have to be that way?
To answer the second question first: definitely no!
The high degree of dissatisfaction in our society is mainly caused by ourselves. And this is good news. Because this means that we hold the key to our fate in our own hands already. Whether we are happy or unhappy depends largely on whether we allow ourselves to be happy or not.
See, there are expectations everywhere. Expectations from our boss, from our parents, from our spouse, from other family members, from neighbors, from society. And finally the highest expectations come from ourselves.
Trying to fulfill all these expectations is setting you up for tremendous stress and ultimately for an unhappy life. It is just impossible, and constantly trying to pursue the impossible cannot make you happy.
But you can take control of your life instead of letting expectations control you, and this will lead to a better, happier life.
When I attended my coaching school, the International Coach Academy (ICA) in Australia, I learned about 16 different coaching models. The GROW model, Transformational Coaching, Storytelling Coaching, Psychosynthesis, Solution Focused Coaching, and, and, and…
My brilliant teacher, Angela Bird, taught me that in essence you can bring down all coaching models to four fundamental questions:
- Where do you want to be?
- Where are you now?
- How do you get from where you are now to where you want to be?
- What has kept you so far from getting to where you want to be?
The more I studied self-development and self-growth, and the more I experienced coaching, the more I understood the power and the importance of this concept.
I like simplicity, and today the most simple formula I have developed is based on my believe that true happiness is easy to achieve once you have the clarity on what you want from life, and then you act upon this knowledge consistently:
Clarity + Action = Happiness & Success
Unfortunately, the vast majority of people does not live according to this simple formula.
Most people do not have the clarity on what they really want. But they know very well that their boss wants them to be at work at 8 in the morning and to do as much work as a human doer can possibly do in a day. They know that their family wants them to be a certain way. And they know that society wants them to be successful and success in today’s society is defined by being high on the corporate ladder, having a big house, a fancy car, and looking like a top model.
And they act upon this.
And then they wonder why they are not happy with their lives.
Other people may very well have the clarity about what they want and what they would like to do. But they fail in execution.
They may know they are gifted in a certain area, but the expectations of other people is holding them back. And this turns into fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of loss.
So, also this second group of people remains where other people want them to be. And they continue their lives in quiet desperation.
But luckily there are also genuinely happy people in this world. I am not talking about those who are successful on the outside but unhappy on the inside. When you meet these people, you will know who I am talking about.
You can be sure that they belong to the minority who have clarity and align their actions with their values and beliefs on a consistent basis.
These people know what they want. It may not be what other people want from them or for them, but they have passed the stage of fulfilling other people’s expectations. This is not selfishness. This is self-love!
Today, I invite you to actively take the decision to live a happier life. Nobody else can take this decision for you.
Take a timeout and make an appointment with yourself. Ask yourself what truly counts in your life, and then think about how you will turn this into action. Because knowing what to do is not enough, you also need to do it.
Enjoy this exercise, enjoy life,
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