This past year I kicked off a local mastermind group in Maine. The participants gelled very quickly and within an hour they were being very open about their struggles, the current state of their business, and where they would like to be making more progress.
Some common themes quickly cropped up and one in particular was the need to constantly work on creating the conditions for a great life, as well as what is required to maintain those conditions.
One of the participants blurted out, “Happiness is not for the faint of heart!” We all chucked but it was laughter with the ring of truth.
And she is right. Happiness is not something you work for, achieve, and then you can forever stare at your happiness diploma on the wall
Do You Feel Like a Happiness Failure?
Happiness is not an achievement at all and I think that’s where many of us go wrong. Happiness is a state of being - it can come and go based on the choices we make and our current level of awareness.
If you feel like your failing because there are times when you are clearly not happy, you are not alone. In fact, floating in and out of happiness is part of the human experience but you can increase the amount of happiness you experience overall.
This is something that hit me over the head recently when I noticed that things that once rolled right off my shoulders started to bother me. My patience was wearing thin and I started to feel unappreciated.
These are red flags for me!
This is an early warning (or not so early warning) system for me that I am exhausted and need to unplug from work, obligations, or anything that doesn’t serve my greater good.
And I do need to unplug.
Despite all my recommendations otherwise to my friends, family and clients, I haven’t had a day off in months.
If I only put in a few hours of work on a Saturday or Sunday I consider that a “day off.”
I know what I’m afraid of: that everything will unravel if I take time for myself.
I pride myself on excellence; it’s one of my core values and I’m afraid I will have to sacrifice excellence if take time for myself and fill it with non-purposeful fluff.
Also, I have a sense that my business is on a precipice. It’s nearing that tipping point where at any time I can suddenly grow and then (yes then!) I can hire someone to take some of this load off my shoulders.
The problem is I know this way of thinking is a trap. I’m more likely to see my business to the next level if I am well rested and enjoying my work.
You and I will not experience happiness if we are running ourselves into the ground. If we are pushing ourselves too hard we may actually be preventing the very experience we are trying to obtain: happiness.