Choose Happiness Because Really No One wants to be Friends with Eeyore
Do you realize that 70% of people at work claim to be ‘unhappy?’ Lack of happiness is a pretty broad term that (for some reason) resonates with a majority of people. Where did our happiness go? How did we lose it? I have some ideas and ways it can be found again. Here goes nothing or something!
- Happiness starts within you and emanates out like a beacon to others. When you start to take care of yourself, you will find these needs do not only serve you, but also take care of the group as well.
- In a rush to keep digging your hole to China. Why are you in this rush? Last I checked, China is not going anywhere. Ever notice that unhappy people have no time? Their time is fleeting like sand in your hand running out into the infinite world. That mindset on time is damning. Let it go, realize that time is a social construct and that if you stop and take ‘time’ to reflect and solve your problem or be conscious of what’s in front of you will find that instead of time running out like sand time becomes that infinite space, with endless possibilities to do and see.
- Access your ignorance. Think about what you’re not good at and what you are good at and exploit the hell out of it. For example, I knew absolutely nothing about software when a software failure occurred with my client. So I knew that I would not be good at evaluating the facts, however, I am good at recording them visually. As a result we had a room filled with experts on the product and I was able to organize their thoughts and together we pieced together a solution to the incident. Going into that situation if I only focused on what I didn’t know not coupled with what I did – I would have just sat silently and watched others problem solve. Next time you’re alone in a situation, think about how you can access your ignorance by asking questions or your super strengths to be more engaged. Sometimes just asking – how best can I help you all? I truly believe that most groups know what they need and look for those to step up and ask to be of service.
- Wait did I forget to tell you – I’m so busy! Listen, everyone has stuff. If you’re being busy makes you happy then by all means…keep doing it! But like they say in economics there is a point of diminishing returns. Make a list of the things you do each day – on the right list what you like and on the left the things you don’t like to do. Decide how to move all the things to the right or eliminate and take off your plate. Sometimes we focus on the things we are not good at – do those things – poor energy into those things and then become shocked when we are unhappy. You will find if you can pour your energy into what you like it’s a symbiotic relationship and the life giving forces mean you have more energy, more time and never feel burden with the response, “but I can’t I’m just so busy” because you are doing all the things you want and need to do to make yourself happy (and others see point 1 again).
- Fear of Missing Out – Is there a deep seated feeling that someone somewhere is having more fun than you? Well, given the numbers, it’s unlikely. If you can be happy in the moment you have, that would be unique. Try it this – when you are really frustrated, breathe in and out while closing your eyes. Just focus on your breathing, hear your breath and any voices in your head. Next, write down what they are saying and reflect on those voices. Then if you have more time close your eyes again, steady your breathing and pretend you are in a sacred, safe place. For me this place is Amsterdam, I close my eyes and imagine my hands are cupped around the Dutch tiny coffee cups and that I’ve just completed a great unit of work and had a life changing experience. This is my unique moment, please feel free to remember your own.
- Maximizing – Another behavioral phenomenon that creates dissatisfaction is called maximizing. This involves the exhaustive search for more and more options. For example, a person looking for a job may interview with 10 companies and get 9, offers but they focus on what’s still out there or why they didn’t get 10. A Berkley study revealed that students looking for jobs that exhibited these behaviors were less likely to enjoy the option they picked than those that interviewed with only a handful of options. Options are great but just like being busy – there are diminishing returns. If you find yourself continuing to look for another option when you have at least three in front of you, it may be time to confront what’s really going on. Usually we search when we are afraid of the current situation. Write down or say out loud what it is you are afraid of happening in the current situation. You may find that there is no avoiding this fear, it cannot be abated by continuing to generate options or doing further analysis. Try to accept where you are and the options in front of you. Then decide what will best serve you in the moment.
- Happiness becomes my shield – List out things that you are proud of. It could be a moment in time, something someone said to you, an intangible moment or a smell, a place that I go – and have that list of happy things with you when your inner voices get negative and nasty. Read these things over and over in your mind, say them out loud or say them to a trusted friend. It may sound like this – I did something great, I graduated college and my dad told me he was so proud.
- Defeat your Entourage by naming it and claiming it. – Sometimes the voices in our head have exact sources from our childhood, adulthood, families, and friends. Whoever they are whatever they are whispering in your ear is the opposite of what you need to hear to move forward positively in the present moment. Defeat them with what I like to call the name game – Name it, claim it – to defeat that sad story out of the present. It would sound like this – I know that I’m disappointed that I’m having trouble with this colleague. I know that I feel disappointed because it reminds me of a friend from high school. That moment is not this moment, that sad story is in the past and I am rooted now in the present.
- Remember Eeyore? Didn’t he seem lonely and sad? The real friendship focus on was Pooh and Piglet. Why was that? No one likes to be around Eeyore, his phrase, “For some reason I’m always getting forgotten…don’t worry about me go and enjoy yourself I’ll stay here and be miserable.” Piglet says to Eeyore, “I didn’t know you were here.” “That’s alright,” Eeyore said as he sat down “....no one ever does.” In contrast, Piglet says to Pooh – “If there ever comes a day when we cannot be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever. Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh” he whispered. “Yes Piglet?” “Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw, “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
- “There is something you must always remember…You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” You can never have enough good relationships as a guide, as a source of support. Even if you don’t have them around you, these types of inspirational quotes keep me motivated – what is yours? Write them on the mirror, keep them on a card, and say them out loud on your way to work.
The real power of harnessing my happiness is something I always had the key to unlock within myself. The secret is realizing that this power is within yourself. The story of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz comes immediately to mind, she traveled far and wide. Met many people and believed that to get home she needed to meet this- Wizard – The Wizard of Oz. When she got there the Wizard showed Dorothy that she always had the power to go home, it was right there, so she closed her eyes and told herself, “there’s no place like home” and suddenly she was there. Wishing you all find that same slice of home and happiness within yourself.
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Scott Peck in The Road Less Traveled
Eckhart Tolle in Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
Edgar Schein in Process Consultation Revisited
A.A. Milne in Winnie the Poo
William Ury in Getting to Yes with Yourself