Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.
In the first month of a new year where so many of us are seeking happiness and fresh starts, I decided to write from the heart. After seeing Oprah on the Golden Globes and the way she masterfully fired up a vital conversation, I feel inspired to continue to contribute with my work, speaking and writing.
Even though I am a recovering introvert embracing the torch of women like Eleanor Roosevelt, I realized recently that I am not so hot at small talk. I am really good at starting conversations, just not ones about the weather, laundry tips or the sales at the grocery store. I ask meaningful questions and listen and enjoy a stimulating exploration.
Is True Connection and Happiness Becoming a Lost Art?
When you ask people what they want to be in life, the answer is often a misunderstood word: happiness. But what does that mean to you? When happiness is left undefined and something to strive towards, it remains something that will come after…..
after you take that course,
that relationship which you believe will complete you,
you achieve that massive following on social media
or look a certain way.
Recently I have been studying happiness and I consume anything I can relating to the topic. In the book Happier, by Tal Ben – Shahar, he writes about how happiness is comprised of two elements: pleasure and meaning. In a much longer and eloquent manner, he explains that only through the pursuit of both of these elements can we live a happy life.
Those who seek only pleasure are left with a feeling of lack. Thrill-seeking, adventurers and spontaneous, but unhappy.
And those who purely seek meaning are often deeply philosophical and thoughtful but don’t actively seek pleasure. Their lives are not truly happy either. Deeply educated…but not happy.
When you can include meaningful activities like volunteering, starting a family or mentorship with going to concerts and pursuing hobbies and taking holidays…then you can cultivate a much deeper and true sense of happiness in your life.
Download my tool with proven results to schedule more of what YOU WANT in your life starting NOW and create that explosion of happiness.
My Challenge to You
Next time you are having a pleasurable experience with someone, spice it up with a meaningful conversation that inspires meaningful and pleasurable action!
Many women will spend time with the best of their friends and family members and share all the wins. I love sharing wins, but we also need to hold space for each other to be real. While talking to a very close friend of mine who moved away three years ago, I found that in our bi-monthly chats we were relating the news of kids, wins, holidays and the rest while inside I had been longing to share how I had been really sad about how infrequently we had begun to chat and how since she moved away we didn’t share our true lives the same way as we once had.
Then….on one of those days where life wasn’t full of rainbows and lollipops, I couldn’t hold it in anymore. With tears in my eyes I shared my true feelings about not only our calls, but about how I had been having a rough time and knew she must have those times too.
That single decision sparked a revolution.
As I shared how I felt I had so many great friends, that with our busy lives we rarely speak and when we do it doesn’t have a lot of meaning. How sometimes life is overwhelming with all of its demands and I want us to be able to call one another when it gets hard and share that too.
Guess what happened next?
A real conversation. She totally agreed and we made a pact to talk weekly from now on. It can be short and sweet, or long and chatty or salacious and saucy. I know that this weekly call will add to an active, meaningful and pleasurable friendship.
The impact of the happiness that this has sparked in me cannot be denied. My happiness is contagious. I am dancing around the house during my work day regularly (this is one of my better rituals) and being silly with my kids and being braver in my conversations with others.
I now ask you to ask a question from your heart; it may be really uncomfortable. That is ok.
I challenge my clients to do something uncomfortable each and every week, something that scares them either a little or a lot to continue to move forward in their personal and professional development.
Nothing changes, if nothing changes.
My life as a coach is full of meaning, so I am focusing on more fun in each day. To make moments to be present with my daughters and be silly, to get outside more, to make even more authentic choices and to go out on a limb with my heart in my hand and talk to the people I care about from that space of vulnerability.
I am showing up to all the conversations in my life speaking from my heart first, unapologetically.
This is truth.
This is real.
I believe that our happiness is our most important work. From this state of being all of our thoughts, conversations, actions, habits, initiatives and adventures will take root, grow and bloom into our experience.
What will yours be?
Until next time… be fabulously YOU!
your Coach, Lisa van Reeuwyk