How You Can Go BEYOND Happiness to Total Well-Being

Find something you enjoy!

Find something you enjoy!

Are you happy? Have you paused and thought what success is really for–to a number of people? Some say, “I’ll be happy when I’m successful.”

On the other hand, Albert Schweitzer said, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

Let’s imagine that true happiness is beyond just the occasional “happy feeling.”

We can explore the implications of this comment:

“Rules for Happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.” ― Immanuel Kant

When talking with clients in my role as an Executive Coach, I point out, “You can be happy even if you’re facing some problems and uncertainty.” How?

The process of happiness relates to three areas:

* Challenge vs. Boredom
* Vigorous vs. Overwhelm
* Give vs. Get

1. Challenge vs. Boredom

Many of us would agree that feeling boredom is unpleasant. If I asked some people to recount a good period of life, a number of us would say, “It wasn’t easy, but I had something to do. Looking back on it, I realize I was happy for the most part.”

So we could conclude that living a happy life has an appropriate amount of challenge. Numerous people truly enjoy video games. We notice that video games include both challenge and the chance to get better at the skills needed to win during the game.

We could use this as a metaphor. Some of us recall starting a new job with excitement and a bit of fear. However, we were learning everyday. Challenge was present.

Author Zig Ziglar wrote: “No one would go bowling if you couldn’t see the pins drop.” So I suggest that you have something in your life that provides some challenge and a way to see that you’re improving.

Maybe at this moment, you’re staying at a stable job. Perhaps, you might want to grow by taking a class or starting a hobby. Stay creative. You’ll feel happier.

2. Vigorous vs. Overwhelm

We just looked at challenge that provides some enjoyment. The opposite end is too much challenge or too much trouble that brings on the feelings of overwhelm.

I learned that I like learning and improving my skills but a schedule that gets too intense can cause great discomfort. So I’ve learned to adjust my schedule. I review my activities to see if I have any “droppables.” (As an Executive Coach, I guide clients to find their own droppables.)

For example, I once gained 4 hours by deleting 4 good TV shows from my digital video recorder. In essence, I dropped 4 good things (TV shows) in favor of the best things: exercise, more rest, more time for family and quiet time.

Research shows that a number of people get overwhelmed and make the mistake of dropping exactly those things that would keep one in balance. They work more hours and stop seeing friends. They drop an exercise routine.

I invite you to see if you can pull back from an overwhelming schedule and do that which supports your feelings of renewal. Even a mere 10 minute walk helps.

3. Give vs. Get

Here’s a fast road to misery: look on life as a struggle to merely get what you want.

Giving a speech, I once asked a crowd of 217 people: “What is marriage for?”

One woman called out: “Convenience.”

With humor I mentioned: “Marriage is for pushing buttons.” I continued, “When you want to marry someone, you’ve met the person you want to annoy for the rest of their life.”

Further in my discussion with the audience, I said, “Marriage is a place you go to give—not just get.”

My point is some of my most happy times were preparing something to be kind and generous to my sweetheart.

I sometimes call this “freedom through commitment.” By being committed to kindness toward my sweetheart, I’m free to live on a different level.

I always recall this quote:

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. . . . Life is no ‘brief candle’ for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” – George Bernard Shaw

With his comment, Shaw was supporting Immanuel Kant’s comment:

“Rules for Happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.” ― Immanuel Kant

In summary, I invite you consider taking action so you have certain elements in your life:

  • something to do
  • someone to love
  • something to hope for

Then add portions of challenge, vigor, and giving.

Although you’ll get your fair share of pain and disappointment, you’ll actually find your feelings of total well-being increase.

This is the true difference between existing and living well.

Warmly,

Tom

Tom Marcoux,

author of 27 books (with free chapters on Amazon.com )
Executive Coach
Spoken Word Strategist

** NEW in PAPERBACK — Tom’s Book: Secrets of Awesome Dinner Guests: What Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Jr., Helen Keller, and John Lasseter Can Teach You About Success and Fulfillment (The Power of Your Personal Brand)  [see a free chapter when you CLICK HERE]

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