By STRETCH+BLOOM | On April 30, 2016 In Mindsets
Do you really want what you say you want?
It may sound like a weird question, but time and time again when working with clients I encounter the same situation.
They come to me with a specific objective in mind and after some introspective work, they realize that their objective is off.
They do not want what that say they want.
They want what they believe they need to have in order to be in the position to get what they truly dream of.
Instead of saying they want to vacation in a luxurious villa in the tropics, they will say: ‘I want X amount of euros/dollars/pounds’ which is what they believe the dream vacation will cost.
Or instead of saying: ‘I want a partner who shares my dreams and aspirations’, they will say: ‘I want to meet a doctor’ because they believe a doctor has the socio-economic status that matches their aspirations.
However does having the money or having the right job title guarantee that the experience will live up to their expectations?
And more importantly, are these really the only (or the best) ways these experiences could be acquired?
In other words, could they be putting unnecessary conditions to their happiness?
And could you be making your life harder than necessary?
It’s very likely.
1. DELAYED HAPPINESS
We’ve all meet the stereotypical workaholic who is so busy making a living that s/he doesn’t have a life.
Traditionally, ambitious men were the ones stealing the show, working long hours, missing their children’s birthdays and their wedding anniversaries.
They would usually wake up one day realizing that they had missed every important landmarks of their lives and that they didn’t even know their children who actually hated him.
Often the wake-up call would be a health or marital crisis.
Now that we’re more advanced, women have joined the insanity. We now also enjoy the benefits of excessive stress, alienated children and heart-attacks.
You’ve probably heard a hyper-driven Superwoman say:
– ‘If I only I could get this bonus things would be amazing.’
– ‘If I could make partner my life would be perfect.’
– ‘If I could buy those shoes, I would be so happy.’
Except that it doesn’t work this way.
Promotions have a funny way to bring more workload.
Bonuses tend to bring more expenses.
And new shoes always seem to call for new outfits.
The uphill battle never ends and happiness is always delayed.
And the reason for this is simple, what you chase eludes you.
2. THE HACK: HAPPINESS FIRST
We’ve all been confronted with a clingy, creepy, desperate suitor trying to win our favors.
You know what normally happens: the more he pursues us, the more creeped out we get, the more we avoid him, and the more intense he is.
It’s a vicious circle.
He might actually be a great guy but his desperate attempts are a strong repellent.
Well, this principle is actually true for other aspects of your life.
The longing, the desperation you feel when you pursue anything actually pushes it away.
It can be a promotion, a raise, a partner.
The same rule applies.
This is why you must be happy first.
It may sound self-indulgent or lazy but it’s a actually a hack which will save you tons of unnecessary struggle and hard-work.
First, when you make happiness a priority you don’t allow killjoys in your life.
You don’t fall for the trap of the promotion that boosts your ego but drowns you in an unwanted workload.
You don’t allow yourself to fall out of balance and settle for objectives that look good on paper but kill your soul.
The promotion may pay for the vacation, but if it means been glued to your cellphone the whole time listening to annoying clients, it doesn’t sound so great anymore.
By making happiness a priority, it becomes obvious that while the promotion may get you the money, it will not give you the relaxing vacation you dream of.
It makes it clear that you need a more thorough plan.
Second, happiness brings more happiness. It is becoming more known that what you focus on expands in your life.
By focusing on your happiness, you place yourself in a virtuous cycle that will bring you more happiness.
By being happy, you’re resonating with experiences that bring you more happiness. And these experience are magnetically attracted to you.
Therefore instead of going on a string a dates with a bunch of boring doctors, you could invest more time being involved in your favorite hobbies and randomly meet someone who shares your passions and is a much better match for you.
Or through being more engaged in your network you could do a favor for someone who would invite you to house-sit their caribbean property to thank you.
There are so many ways your dreams can become a reality, being happy helps you draw the best ones.
You probably need much less than you think to lead the life you want.
Don’t delay your happiness to a random point in the hypothetical future, make it a priority now!