THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
People want to be happy and live prosperous lives. Yet the means to achieving that end often can result in anything but balance. The missing link seems to be a clear understanding of what happiness and prosperity really mean to the individual. It helped me to get a better understanding after reading Dr. Wayne Dyer's book Change your thoughts- Change your Life. Sure, we say the words and have a vague idea of the definition, but do we truly have an inner awareness of what we want and what is important?
One common approach is to buy stuff in an effort to bring happiness and confirm our success. In reality, the stuff usually is a temporary gap-filler for other deeper-rooted issues that exist in our lives. The stuff often treats some of the symptoms but does not help us get to the root cause of our challenges. Eventually, the added clutter contributes to more strife than satisfaction.
Why, then, is it so difficult for people to make change? To create new environments? To get on the path to finding happiness? Maybe they have yet to identify a need or way to do so. The day-to-day world certainly can provide major distractions! A coach can be a wonderful resource to assist in getting someone back on track.
I can speak from first hand experience that an initial step is overcoming the fear of what change and the unknown will bring. Beyond fear can be a basic lack of awareness. I was unhappy at my job but felt stuck in a rut and could not get out or enjoy a quality of life with balance and happiness. My focus was on getting the better position, greater pay, more responsibility. Clearly, though, I was not happy!
Golf is my personal outlet and escape. Yet I was frustrated by an inability to make more significant improvements in my game. Small, incremental changes were occurring, but I wanted to see major progress. I met a wonderful golf instructor several years ago and I like to think of her as a coach – for golf and life – as she teaches lessons that go far beyond the golf course.
Kathy would tell me that my expectations were not realistic as I worked 60 hour weeks and could only practice and play on the weekends. She continued to encourage me and celebrate any successes I made.
More importantly, she helped me identify why I played the game and what benefit it served for me. I learned to play for the true joy of the game. Frustration, disappointment and anger would never result in positive changes for me and would consistently deliver more negativity. While the Laws of Attraction would say “Of course!”, I could not see the forest through the trees at the time.
I finally took Kathy’s advice to heart and WOW! Within a year’s time, my handicap dropped by 9 strokes and I achieved several goals that I had been pursuing. Even better, I realized that my negative thinking was preventing me from making much needed changes in my personal and professional life. As the negativity cleared, I began to see what I really wanted and what was important.
So beyond helping me to identify what was holding me back in golf, she also taught me to become aware; aware of what was working and what wasn’t working. Awareness is a beautiful thing as it allows us the opportunity to self-correct and learn- in golf and in life!
So back to the pursuit of happiness.
Today I am fortunate to work with small business owners who are passionate and excited about their dreams while, at the same time, a bit tentative about their futures. We explore marketing opportunities and practical approaches to build their businesses without losing sight of providing them with time to enjoy life! I find that helping people identify what is truly important to them and learning how to gain self-awareness is incredibly valuable and can alleviate some of the fear of the unknown. The greatest challenge is making the connection so the light bulb can shine brightly. Once the path is cleared and the audience is receptive to the message, the pursuit of happiness becomes a wonderful journey into the future. Inspiring people and expanding the consciousness of individuals is one of the greatest gifts a coach can offer.
I would also recommend Wayne Dyer's book Inspiration. To find out more information on this book, click here: http://www.hayhouse.com/details.php?ref=89&id=3164
Are you a coach or thinking of becoming one?
"How to make the living you really deserve from coaching!"