Happiness And The Power Of Yet
Welcome to Episode 2 of my four part series, Break Through For The Real You.
Last week, I talked about control and controlling relationships, and the revelation that having thought I had broken free of abusive relationships, I realised that I was actually still in the most controlling relationship of all - one with myself.
This struck a chord with a few listeners, who messaged me to tell me their stories, and it leads on very neatly to today's topic - happiness.
I posted this on Instagram today, and I wrote that - as we all know - happiness is an inside job, and that it is a beauty secret you'll never see shared on TV! It makes your skin glow, your eyes shine, and your hair glossy (plus it doesn't cost £100 a jar or require surgery!)
It's a circle - the more you do it, the better you feel and the better you feel the more you do it. It can be a challenge for most of us, certainly was for me, and although I think I'm a happy person at heart, I'm not always good at being kind to myself - and happiness and kindness go hand in hand. They're two of the most powerful things we can have in our life and best of all THEY'RE FREE!
You can have as much of it as you want, we all talk about wanting an abundant life; these two things are free, they're everywhere (you just need to look for them), and if you give them, they come back to you in spades.
So why then, is it, that perhaps we stop ourselves from being happy?
I think it links in with controlling ourselves, staying in a little jail cell where we become our own jailer - it's all to do with confidence, and that trash talk voice that sits at the back of your head.
I had a think about some of the things that people have told me over the years about why they can't be happy (and some of the things I just may have told myself too...), that I think contribute to us not being happy.
- I dont deserve it
- I'm not a good person
- Other people deserve it more than me
- Im going to put other people ahead of me
Let me remind you that last week I asked why if you wouldn't say it to your best friend, why would you say it to yourself, and this is the same.
I want to say this to you right now:
Forget the excuses (because that's what they are); you don't want to have to face up to what you might have to put right or what you need to do to move forwards.
But you can, and you should.
And here's why...
1. It is never too late: Any time you say to yourself 'I missed an opportunity, or I can't do this right now because I missed an opportunity', I want you to remember this - it is never too late, you always have an opportunity, there's always a second chance, and you can always make a change. And crucially, it's never too late to turn your life around, and make yourself happy.
2. You are never too old. I laugh - because of all these 'excuses', this is the one (and those who know me will agree) that I sometimes say! Before I turned 50, I thought life was over - so I took a step back, and re-evaluated, and have now put lots of things in place to ensure that I do what I want, and make myself happy. 50 or no 50! If I can believe it, then you can believe it! You're never too old!
3. You're never too inexperienced. I have worked with a lot of young entrepreneurs who would worry that clients would ask what they knew, and why they could do the job. I told them that their thinking was fresh, and that their knowledge was bang up to date; that they needed to put a spin on their age and use the positives. We're never too inexperienced to have a go, or to not know enough, and then learn.
4. Don't subscribe to the view that you never have enough money or time. Money should never be a barrier to doing whatever you want to do. As an entrepreneur, I have started countless businesses with nothing - just my computer, phone, brain (skills), and a pen/paper. Lots of entrepreneurs do the same; there are lots of free or virtually free resources out there. If it's something else you want to do, stop thinking you have to start at the top; you don't. Take little steps to get to where you want to go, and work up according to what you have. It can be done on the smallest of budgets.
And on the time front; Eckhart Tolle said that we all have time - stop thinking in the future, or saying you don't have time/I'll do it next week, the time we have is now. Right now. We have the time! We can make a change, right now.
So how are we using these excuses to frustrate our chances of being happy?
I think for some of us, being unhappy (or not being happy) is a considered decision.
We don't think we deserve to be happy, so we set ourselves up to fail, throw big barriers and challenges in our way, to stop us from achieving what we want to achieve because we might be frightened of what that might bring us. It might bring us nice stuff! It might make us happy! (Oh no, how will I deal with being happy, that takes me out of my comfort zone, perhaps I quite like not being really 100% happy. Maybe being happy is one of the most frightening, most vulnerable places I'll be, and maybe I don't want to do that or go there).
I'm just throwing some suggestions out... If that resonates with you, perhaps you might want to think about why you do what you do, say what you say, and what you're trying to hide from.
There's always tomorrow of course (even though, now is the time) but if you don't get it right today, and you're blessed with tomorrow, then do it tomorrow. Don't put it off. Don't think, Don't overthink. Don't analyse. Don't over-analyse. Stop stopping yourself from being happy. Life is too short, and it's just not worth it. We don't know where we'll be or what might happen.
I didn't know my marriage would end, and I didn't know I would lose my daughter - if I had known that, I would have made some different decisions, and made the most of the time I had with her. None of us know what might lie ahead. Make the most of now.
So what is the power of yet?
I don't know what I need to know v I don't know what I need to know YET.
This suggests that you can learn what you need to learn, be who you want to be, it just might take a little time. It's not a done deal. It's not the end. You can be happy.
It's taken me a while to become really happy, not least because I used to base my own happiness on the happiness of the people around me, the people I loved most. As long as they were happy, I was happy. It had a massive part to play in me being happy but I forgot about myself.
Now I realise that if they are going to be happy, I need to be happy too. I can't make someone else happy if I'm not.
So I decided this year that I was going to do things that would make me happy - travelling, learning to write a screenplay, and playing the classical guitar again after a gap of 25+ years. I refused to listen to my excuses any more - especially the 'I'm 50 and over the hill' one!
How can you raise your own happiness?
I want you to list all the things that have ever made you happy. Whatever they may be. Now and in the past. It'll be a long, random, list.
Then look at the list and ask why you're not doing these anymore? Or why you aren't doing them enough?
if you're not happy, you need to remind yourself of the things that made you happy, and then start to understand why. What's got in the way of doing them? What's taken up your time?
And start doing them again.
Take time to start making you happy. Remember what Eckhart Tolle says; you have the time, because you have now.
Write your plans at the bottom of your list, or email me your ideas if you want me to be your accountability buddy - I'm happy to do that for you.