Question 1: How happy are you? On a scale of 0-10 what is your score?
Question 2: What really makes you happy? Write a list… go on, do it!
What is happiness? One thing for sure is, it means different things to different people. Happiness can come and go. Things that make us unhappy can be easier to identify than what makes us happy.
Happiness is the emotional state of contentment, joy, flourishing, rocking, ease, plus a mix of good health and low stress levels. Happiness can also be described as: having all that we need in our lives.
Do we put too much focus on the ‘need’ list? What do we really need? Will you be happy when you have everything on your need list? Here’s a (free) recipe for what you really need to be happy! How do we slice the pie?
Scientifically proven too – see note at end
50% Genetic predisposition
40% Goals / projects / work / hobbies
10% Life circumstances
- 50% or Half the pie! Genetic predisposition
Take yourself aside and examine your predisposition. Be honest with yourself but don’t over-analyze or judge too harshly – just note your ‘natural’ tendency. Are you a glass is half full person? carry your sun within? tend to find the good in most people or situations? If so, you’ve got that 50% covered.
If not, and perhaps unlucky to be the child born on a Wednesday and full of woe – not to worry. Seriously, it’s not all bad. Generally most people have one or two areas which can keep them ‘stuck’ or bogged down in a negative thought pattern. The brain is a wonderful organ, more plasticity than play-doh.There are tools and techniques that can easily (and painlessly) help us change our thought patterns. It is possible to shift a tendency from negative, to more positive. Coaching can really help in this area or I can recommend a few good books if that is more your thing! Really and truly worth it for a 50% chunk of your happiness pie!
Change your perspective to change your life”
- 40% or the ‘small half’ of the pie: Goals / projects / work / hobbies
Having taken yourself aside, it is now time to put yourself back in the center. Look at your world around you and ask yourself: what is in it for you?
What personal goals are you working on? I’m sorry but surviving the week in work to recover at the weekend doesn’t count. What personal projects or hobbies do you have? What about your work? Is it your passion? Is your work your talent? Are you working to live or living to work? Where are you uniquely you?For many of us, the day job, chores and family take up a significant portion of our time. That is a fact. Or is it your excuse? There are always a few hours in the week, or, you could find them if you really wanted to. Did you realize that you could make yourself 40% happier if you had a hobby/goal/project or work that gave you a sense of fulfillment / pride / passion? What can you add here to spice up your life?
Let’s do what we love, and do a lot of it”
- 10% or the skinny slice of the pie: Life Circumstances
I’m not really going to say much as your life circumstances are only 10% of what makes you happy. Where ever you are right now; location, relationships, financial, health etc it is still 10% of your happiness, no matter how good you have it.
Reassuringly, no matter how bad it is for you right now, it is still only liable for 10%. You can buy yourself the other, much bigger, 90% by going back to step 1 and 2.
What can coaching do for you?
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Note: The above %s are from a Harvard Study on Personal Effectiveness and what makes people happy. If you look at it simply, it explains why all the money in the world cannot buy happiness and conversely, you can be as happy as a pig in sh!t and be broke. Either way the money or the sh!t is only 10% of your happiness!