Happiness: The How of Happiness Now

Last week we looked at being happy, having happiness now as we also take steps to grow our business, lose weight, begin a new romantic relationship, make more money, improve our health or change whatever we feel would increase our happiness.

So how do we generate happiness now if we have concerns about our business, weight, romantic prospects, bank account or health?

First, become aware that happiness is a choice.  I can choose to be happy right now regardless of any circumstances.

Easier said than done, you say?

I hear you.  

So, onto step two. Create an Instant Happiness list.  Write down as many things as you can think of that almost always move you closer to happy, happiness.

The transformation to happiness as we engage in activities we love - Ann Strong skiing Beaver Creek, Colorado.
I am so happy to start skiing that I’m waiting at the ropes before they open the lift line – quite a happiness transformation from how I felt getting up in the cold and dark just a couple hours earlier!
(January 22, 2011; Beaver Creek, Colorado, USA.)

Here are a few from my Happiness list to get you started:

  • Play with either of my cats, Oblio or Jasmine.
  • Get outside.
  • Coach a client.
  • Grab my camera, get out and take pictures.
  • Play music from my Happiness set list.
  • Play music from my Sing Along set list and sing along.
  • Call my niece, Alisha.
  • Go skiing.
  • Take a yoga class.

Create your own list.  Post it on the fridge.  Refer to it often.  Use liberally as needed.

Then onto step three.  Stop giving your precious energy and valuable time to thoughts or activities that feel unhappy to you.  Use the unhappiness as your wake-up call.  When you notice you’re feeling unhappy, ask yourself what you can shift.  Now.

How can you shift your thinking to a happier perspective?  How can you be kinder to yourself?  How can you change what you are doing to feel greater happiness?  Or, how can you do all three?

Post your own Instant Happiness list and progress in the comments section.

Happiness: Why Not Now?

Any time we’d like to make a change in our lives, we’re hoping that the change will offer us greater happiness.

Consider this for a moment: whether you’d like to grow your business, lose weight, begin a new romantic relationship, make more money or improve your health, don’t you have that desire because you believe that change would offer you grater happiness?

What if you went ahead now with your steps toward that change and also at the same time focused on happines in this moment? 

You can be happy, feel happiness now and grow your business, lose weight, begin a new romantic relationship, make more money or improve your health at the same time!

And how great would that be?!?

Transformation: Committed or Considering?

Committed looks like, “I will do whatever it takes to make this happen.”  Considering looks like, “I’m thinking about it. I’m interested.  I’m getting information.  Maybe I’ll do it if it’s convenient.  I have a lot to consider.”

In any given moment, we can tell what we have been committed to by what is in our life right now.  

I’ve always been committed to living in a nice home, even when I rented.  Anyone who has ever been to any of my homes will tell you that they tend to be small, yet they really feel like home.  At the same time, I have often been considering getting another car, but rarely get one until the one I’m driving no longer runs!  At the moment, I drive a 22-year-old car that runs great.

Am I committed to creating home wherever I live?  Absolutely.  And, I do whatever it takes to make that happen.

Commitment, transformation, spiritual growth of committing to creating home. 
My internal, personal commitment: transformation of a house into a home wherever I live. My current home in Denver, Colorado.

Am I considering driving a late-model car?  Sure.  Am I committed to it?  Not at all.

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book,”Thriving Work,” copyright 2011.)

I have been considering writing a book since 2002.  I have actually written approximately one third of a book.  

Which does not make a book.  So, working with my own coach Jeff in the first week of this new year, I have now committed to getting the book written and published in 2011.  

Whatever it takes.

I’ve started with a commitment to writing for two hours every day for 40 days.  Today is day six.  You would not believe how well I have organized my office as I procrastinate each day before getting to the two hours of writing!

Is doing whatever it takes easy?  Sometimes it is.  Sometimes it’s ridiculously hard.  And inconvenient.  And messy.  Complete with doubt and fear.  And sometimes with pure grace.  

Regardless, I know I am engaged in a process that calls me to express more of who I am and to serve those I am here to serve.  With you as my witness, I am committed to getting this book into the world in 2011!

Transformation: Ensure Wild Success in 2011

Last week, I shared with you my two big commitments for 2011:
– Deepening self-love
– Expanding self-expression

By devoting myself to these two simple, completely do-able ways to be in the world and respond to the world, I have guaranteed an amazing year for myself!

Regardless of what situations I create or find myself in, I will bring self-love and self-expression to the table.  Last night, after being in bed for less than an hour, I woke up with a flaming urinary tract infection.  

In the past, my responses to such discomfort ranged from depression to freaking out to panicking.  

This time, I simply said, how can I take good care of myself until morning when I can call the doctor and get some antibiotics?  Since I will probably be awake most of the night, what would I like to give myself?  Listening to good music?  Reading one of my partially-read books?  Sitting quietly, focusing on my breath?  Sipping a cup of herbal tea?

One of my clients committed to “freedom” for 2011.  Another to “easy.”  A friend is focusing on “deliberate.” How cool is it to look at something as mundane and possibly annoying as extreme, middle-of-the-night discomfort through a lens that gives us a radically different experience than without the lens?!?

Transformation and spiritual growth from committing to a new lens, new way of being.
Looking through a new lens literally evokes transformation in the moment: what was previously scary or maddening is now an adventure in self-love, freedom, easy, deliberative or whatever lens is most juicy and meaningful for you . . .

Wow, can you imagine how different your whole life will be 365 days from now simply by committing to viewing and living your life through a new lens – something that’s really juicy and important to you?  I can’t wait to spring out of bed to see what the new day holds, even if the new day starts an hour after going to sleep!  Having been addicted to 9 or 10 hours of sleep during the winter months for many years, that’s a miraculous perspective shift for me!