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Happiness is an Inside Job

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= How To Escape The Prison of Your Mind =

Do you torture yourself often by asking an “Energy Vampire” question such as “Am I happy?”

Often in coaching the issue of happiness acts as a block to moving forward and getting on with living. It is as if people seem to be waiting for the bus called happiness to arrive and drive them to “Perpetual Bliss”.

Think about your conditions for happiness.
I will be happy when:
“I lose 10 pounds”.
(O.K. for now this is a universal conditioned knee-jerk reaction ☺)
“I gain 10 pounds”.
(O.K. I have not seen many people say this in our time. Yet paintings from the past era are filled with voluptuous women as models ☺)

The following partial list, collected from therapy sessions, may sound familiar:
I will be happy when:
“I will buy a summer cottage”.
Later on, you say:
“I will be happy when I sell that monstrosity,
My summer cottage”

Or, you say:
“When I get married”
Later on, you say:
“When I finally get my divorce…good riddance!
The incorrigible bastard!”

Or
“When I have children”.
And later on,
“When the children, once and for all,
Leave the house … Oh! … Peace”.

So, summerhouse, no summerhouse, married, divorced, children, no children…Offff! The variable conditions…just like the weather or the stock market…

While we are stuffing our “Conditions for Happiness” Into our luggage, life passes by, and we miss the boat …..

Perspective: You know, very often, during the day I find myself looking up to the sky – I truly do not know where and who I am looking at – and I say: “Thank You” ….. “Thank You”…..
Do you have a similar ritual, hmmm?
Exercise: Gratitude Journal
Start a “Gratitude Journal.”
Daily make 3 entries on things that you feel grateful about.

Recently, a new client came to me complaining that he could not sleep at night. There were many business issues to resolve. He was in major trouble financially and was going through bankruptcy. Of course, he had excellent reasons not to sleep. In all this, he was additionally exhausted and could not think straight due to lack of sleep. As such, he could not even concentrate on being solution-oriented. He lacked focus.

In the thorough assessment of the issues which were to be our mandate in coaching sessions, I asked him to contemplate the following while lying in bed that night:

He was to find 2 GOOD things that happened to him during that day….. He kind of smiled, as if “is this why I am coming to see you?” However, he did the exercise and to his surprise the following session he came back bright and chirpy, telling me that while lying in bed eyes wide open, he found 6 things that he was grateful about that day. And to his major astonishment, he fell sound asleep!

There you go; they usually discard the importance of “Soft Skills” in the Business Sector. This is one such Soft Skill that may help this businessman regain his much-needed energy to go through significant hurdles in business.

In my experience, it is the details of such energizing abilities that make a considerable difference in the person who may be feeling empowered or crushed under the stresses of life.

Oh! Well, now look into the Mirror of Reality and answer: Do little things, make you happy?
Examples of things that make me happy:
• A freely offered smile
• Holding the door instinctively to the person coming behind me
• A heartfelt “thank you”
• Spontaneous acts of tenderness and kindness
• Sharing time and energy helping and making someone else happy
• Mysteries of the universe contained in the innocent uttering of a child
• The words to the song by John Denver: “…. Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy…”
• Birds bathing in a water puddle in the garden
• The words of William Blake:
“To see a world in a grain of sand,
And heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.”

Dr. Louise Aznavour
Psychologist = Solution Oriented Coaching =
+1 (514) 983-8309
Montreal, Canada

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