A few weeks back I introduced a new category on my blog: “Happiness” – the reason is simple, being happy at home and at work, is a symbiosis – I believe that happiness is a foundation to both doing a good job and having energy at home. But what if I say that you can chose to be happy?
When coaching underperforming employees, I often found that the true reason for their setback often had nothing to do with the job. Frequently the mood could be low, a mild depression, and worries about outside work stuff.
How can we improve happiness by talking?
The lack of happiness comes from comparing yourself to the world around you. If you have $1000 dollars among millionaires, you will feel poor. If you have the same amount in Zimbabwe, you will own almost more than the state treasury. You still have the same – but amongst poor people you would feel lucky to have this much. This is also why you find unhappy people in Norway – a country considered among the best to live in, in the world. Being unhappy in Norway would sound insane. But being outside the group is what makes us unhappy, not being able to be such a success as you would expect from an average Norwegian can make anyone crumble.
This is why I claim that we can choose to be happy.
We can be selective about who we compare ourselves with. So what does it take to get this focus?
The last few months I have been writing a draft to a book about happiness, I want to share two dimensions today in short.
- We can’t change the past
- What happens in this very moment can’t be classified as neither good or bad, as we have yet to experience the future – where the consequences will be visible.
A car crash can be unlucky at the moment, you break your leg, you break a rib, and your meeting with this important client goes down the drain. Your car is ruined. Bad luck – how can you know? What if you, at the hospital met the person of your dreams, or you decide to play the lottery and win? All of a sudden, crashing that car might have turned out to be the best thing that happened to you. A traditional “bad moment” can’t be judged as a bad moment until you are in the future – and we can’t change the past.
Being unhappy is often connected with living in the future (worrying) or living in the past (melancholy) – If you can forgive your past, and if you can accept that things that happens can’t be decided as good or bad – you are on your way to choose happiness.
The path of life
Choices are often categorized as good vs good, good vs bad or bad vs bad. Choosing between two evils might be extremely hard. Making life choices is very hard. Should I quit my job? Should I go for that divorce? Should I accept the promotion? And people spend a lot of time trying to find the right choice. I like to compare with hiking in the mountains. You can go different ways to the goal, one might be harder, one is easier, and both will get you to the goal. You might even decide for another goal, but the trip will still be nice. Again if we can accept that a different path does not need to mean that the “other one” probably would have been better. A life choice might lead to a different life, but why would that be better or worse? If might just be different, but your happiness is equal?
My claim is that you can choose to be happy no matter what happens in your life. All it takes is some training and focus.
[box type=”alert” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Warning: Mental Illness should be treated by professionals. If you are struggling with major depressions, choosing happiness is a bit farfetched. This is intended for people that might have the wrong focus in life – and might feel unhappy, when they are really not.[/box]