When working with a new coaching client, I go through a series of background questions that eventually lead up to the most relevant question: “What do you want?” Often they respond that they just want to be happy.
Individuals go through life chasing goals, throwing themselves into their careers, and searching for that special someone, all in the hopes that happiness will be their end reward. Expecting the external world to deliver happiness is what gets us into trouble. Happiness lives internally within us. What’s wrong with being happy while we’re on our journey of discovery?
Author Michael Neill, in his book Supercoach, writes, “Simply put, what we attribute our good feelings to will determine what we do and where we go to get more of them:
If I think my well-being comes from being around a particular person, I’ll do all sorts of things I wouldn’t otherwise do and put up with things I wouldn’t otherwise put up with in order to keep that person around.
If I think my well-being comes from my work, or my income, then I’ll overinvest in that job and even be willing to betray what I believe in to preserve or enhance it.
If I think my well-being comes from a food or drug, I’ll do whatever it takes to get hold of that food or drug the next time I’m feeling in need of another “hit” of good feelings.
Because of the principle of the self-fulfilling prophecy, whatever I believe will continue to appear true. The world is what we think it is, and when we tell ourselves that any of these things will make us happier, they will—at least for a time.” Eventually we find ourselves looking for something or someone else to reignite our happiness. It’s a never ending chase.
This reminds me of the old saying, “Never put all of your eggs in someone else’s basket.” No one will ever look after you as well as you will look after yourself. The question is, do you really look after yourself, your happiness, your dreams? It’s time to re-evaluate your self-preservation tendencies. There is only one of you, and learning to be happy with yourself will help you win the race. Don’t worry. Be Happy!
Originally published in the Bay City Tribune under the title “Real Happiness Comes from Inside” on September 18, 2016.