Are You Happy This Second?
The way we talk about being happy is misleading. Earlier today I said “I’m happy it’s not raining so that I can work outside,” but since taking my laptop outside a few hours ago I haven’t actively felt happy. Not that I’ve been miserable. I’ve been on coaching calls and creating new content, and if I had to characterize my feelings I would say I’ve felt curious, engaged, and absorbed.
Happy is roughly defined as experiencing a feeling of joy and contentment. It’s a great feeling, but it’s fleeting. No one is happy all the time, and we need to experience negative feelings in order to have the context that defines positive emotions. Happiness is a dangerous thing to aim for because not only is it fleeting, but the things that make us happy in the moment may not be good for us long term.
Making Bad Decisions Can Make Us Happy
People feel happy about things that aren’t good for them all the time. Consider these examples:
A sugar addict might be happy to discover and eat a trove of cupcakes even though they had decided to aim for moderation (I might be projecting and wishing for cupcakes).
Someone could be happy to watch a new episode of Ted Lasso late on a Sunday night even though they will be tired the next morning (maybe me again).
Of course, people can also be happy about making good decisions. The point is that being happy has no moral value.
“Happy” is Great for Denial and Escape
Furthermore, chasing things that make us happy can be used as a way to ignore the things that make us miserable.
For example, It might make someone happy to go out with friends and party every weekend, but they might be focusing on chasing that happiness to avoid dealing with a job they have outgrown that makes them miserable.
I Want You to Feel Self-Satisfied
*True satisfaction, not “good enough” settling
What if you aimed for satisfaction? What if you chose to go beyond what’s easy, simple, or expected of you? Aiming for self-satisfaction feels good, but it can’t coexist with denial, escape, and bad decisions.
As a Life Coach, I want you to live on your terms. I want you to live a full life that allows you to explore and engage with what you care about the most and what makes you curious.
I want you to feel connected to others, to yourself, and to what you desire. I want you to know that you can figure out how to live this big life if you want it enough and you are willing to take action.
I want you to feel a sense of anticipation about your future because you know it’s going to be full. I want you to make the impact that you know you can.
I want you to find peace, ease, and flow where it’s possible, and be able to access grit and resilience when it’s needed. I want you to get out of your own way, and I want you to trust yourself and be kind to yourself.
I want you to be safe and secure and also keep learning and growing and trying new things just outside your comfort zone, because humans disengage when they get bored.
I want you to understand that you can handle anything, and you already have what you need to start from where you are right now.
So I don’t care if you’re happy this very second. But I want you to experience the whole range of emotions that present themselves when you strive for a deeply meaningful and satisfying life.
That’s why I do what I do.
P.S. If this resonated with you, check out our online group life coaching program for women.
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