If you’re thinking all evening and all weekend about business, you won’t ever really enjoy being with your family.
If you’re happy and feeling good with your family, you’re unlikely to be thinking about business except when it’s the right time for it, which is usually when you’re working.
But the big question is how to get there. It seems pretty unattainable for most business owners and senior leaders and yet I would say it’s the number one desire of most of them, once they get really honest with themselves.
Happiness is not as elusive as it seems once you understand how it works. So let’s start by getting rid of some of the things that keep you thinking all the time and prevent you from finding happiness and enjoyment.
- Trying to be someone you’re not
- Wishing you were somewhere other than where you are
- Believing you should be different from how you are
- Believing other people should be different from how they are
- Feeling you should be doing things you’re not doing
- Viewing your life as a disaster
- Thinking you don’t deserve what you have
- Thinking you deserve more than you have
- Believing that life owes you something different from what you’ve got right now
- Believing you’re more special than you are
- Believing you’re not special in the ways you truly are
- Not knowing yourself
- Knowing too much about yourself and never really living
- Fantasising about being in a different situation
- Ignoring problems
- Feeling frustrated, powerless or a victim of anything or anyone at all
- Thinking you should have achieved your goals already
- Thinking you should have reached your potential already
- Feeling sorry for yourself for anything at all
- Holding on to past hurts
- Taking yourself too seriously
- Taking other people too seriously
- Telling yourself your life is no good
- Telling yourself there’s something wrong
- Imagining that no one cares and you don’t make any difference
- Believing you’ll be happy when you get something or somewhere else
- Repeating to yourself over and over again any of the above
This list could be a lot longer. I hope it makes you feel uncomfortable. You’re likely to find yourself somewhere on it and it’s good to recognise this. It’s a significant step towards becoming happier.
The interesting thing is to see how repetitive it is. Almost every single line is a way of wishing to be somewhere different from where you really are. There are endless varieties of the same thought and every single one of them causes unhappiness and dissatisfaction. It’s not rocket science, but it’s quite amazing how often we expect to be happy when we’re downright dissatisfied. The two don’t go together.
So let’s look at what will make you feel happier – and will affect everyone around you, especially your family.
- Accepting what’s happening – that doesn’t mean you have to enjoy it, but you don’t pretend it’s not there
- Feeling you have the ability to change what you don’t like about your life
- Knowing your goals lie in the future and working towards them
- Knowing your potential is always bigger than where you are now – it’s what you can become, not what you already are
- Being present
- Being yourself
- Being honest with yourself about who you really are
- Knowing who you really are
- Recognising what’s unique about you and sharing it with others
- Recognising and admitting your weaknesses so you can improve where you choose to
- Giving yourself generously to life and to others
- Loving yourself as you are
- Being open to change
- Letting go of all the “shoulds”
- Appreciating everything that’s good in your life
- Being grateful for what you have, especially when you want more
- Working for the greater good
- Being honest about problems and solving them
- Understanding that your life is exactly right for you
- Knowing that everything is always changing so nothing is permanent
- Having a laugh about life, especially the nasty bits
- Learning just how powerful you really are
- Recognising how you impact others with every thought and feeling that passes through you
- Letting go of the past
- Forgiving people who’ve hurt you
- Learning how we can solve the really big problems we’re facing on the planet so you feel powerful and engaged at the highest level
- Seeing the good in everyone and everything
- Knowing that happiness is a choice
- Knowing that your happiness lies inside you and no one can take it away from you
Whilst I know that finding happiness can seem like an impossibly long journey, which is not going to be over just because you’ve read a long list like this, I also know that if you reflect on those two lists for a little while something will shift inside you.
If you reflect on them again tomorrow another little shift will occur. If you add your own versions to the lists there’ll be another little shift. If you help a few other people figure out how they’re making themselves unhappy and how they could enjoy life more there’ll be more shifts. And if you start doing less of the things on the first list and more of the things on the second list you’ll find yourself experiencing happiness and enjoyment for no reason.
Your family will be the first to celebrate the change.