b : a pleasurable or satisfying experience
Welcome to my first newsletter from Inspired Direction Consulting. The intent of this newsletter is to provide you with Inspiring, Positive, and Motivating information. It is a free resource I hope you will find useful.
My father called me this morning to tell me about a documentary he watched about Happiness. It is in fact called “Happy”. Through his description he excitedly told me that the this movie studied people around the globe and found out a few things about happiness.
1. Though you are born with a certain amount of “potential happiness” (based on genetic make up, ie dopamine receptors and other biological factors), your environment and life style, in most cases out weigh any genetic pre-dispositions.
2. Once you are middle class (a relative term I know) and can afford to have a home, food, healthcare, and all your basic needs are met, money is no longer a factor. So for example, if an individual was homeless, than financial assets would directly correlate to her happiness, but if an individual was to go from making 50K/year to 50mil/a year, there is little evidence to show any increased state of her happiness.
What does this mean for us as individuals?
This means that while financial stability is important, for many people, our happiness does not lie in needing more. As we are now in the thick of the holiday season, many of us buying lots of “stuff” and perhaps wishing we had more to spend, more to give, and maybe even more to get. I must admit as I shop around for others, I can’t help but occasionally want more “stuff” for myself. As we focus on getting more “stuff” we may start to feel we are ‘without’, as we notice all the things we don’t have. When we turn our focus on what we don’t have, we most likely will not experience feelings of happiness. The funny thing is, nothing might have actually changed in our life, except for our focus. Below are three ways we can focus on feeling ‘full’ rather than ‘without’, and in turn, bring about our own happiness.
1. Invest in People Power: We can measure our wealth by the size of our net. Our net can be the people in our life that we know are truly there for us. The people that we can call on to help us in times of need, big need and little need. We can also measure our net by the amount of people we know we are there for, the people that know to call on us in times of need. Studies have shown that the more “people power” you have in your life, the happier you feel.
2. Acts of gratitude: How often do we take inventory of what we need? Grocery lists, home improvements, to-do lists, chores, ect… What if we put just a quarter of that time into taking inventory of what we have? While I could easily list 10 things I would love to check off my to-do list right now, I could just as easily take a mental inventory of what I have already accomplished, what I already have, and who I already have to support me in my life. Doing this regularly can evoke that feeling of fullness which can also bring about our own happiness.
3. Live on purpose: What does it mean to live in purpose? Living on purpose means that we are not going through life on autopilot. When life becomes solely about routine, and we don’t stop to question why we are doing what we are doing, we often start to feel empty. People crave purpose. When we take even 5 minutes to think about, ‘how do I want to feel today?’ and ‘what would I need to do in order for me to feel that way’, we change our entire happiness potential. Why? Because we set our selves up to feel full!
I started this coaching business because over and over again, the universe showed me I was in charge of my own life. Perhaps an obvious fact, but based on the many conversations I have with people, it doesn’t seem so obvious. So often I hear about how life’s events are happening to people. A relationship that is zapping all the energy from someone, a job that brings about little meaning for an individual, a living situation that is disharmonious, or someone feeling like they are living without direction. Of course there are many events that life throws our way that we cannot control, but it is often the ones we do have control over that we don’t take ownership of. While I recommend a good spiritual practice (does not have to be religious), I also hope to inspire individuals to pause, and get off the treadmill of life and decide where they are going. Why? Because we all deserve to feel full!