For anyone who knows me, my number 1 pet peeve is excuses. Not just excuses about exercise, but excuses in life. I have always had goals for myself and when I see something I want, I ask myself- “how did that person get there?” Then I make a plan and set it in motion. You can achieve anything you set your mind to with determination, consistency, and a solid plan in place.
I think reading helped me keep that spirit and “can do” attitude alive. Since I was little I loved self-help books like SARK Eat Mangos Naked (a favorite in high school). Then, as I got older I found other books like “The Compound Effect,” “You are a Badass” and “Crush it.” It never hurts to keep learning.
On this continual quest for knowledge and empowerment, I was introduced to a podcast called “The Model Health Show.” A podcast I listened to struck such a cord with me, I decided to listen again and take notes. 99% of this blog post is courtesy of Shawn Stevenson’s Podcast from June 14, 2016- “5 Things that Hold Us Back from Happiness” with my own little quips inserted here and there.
In Shawn’s podcast he notes a study from the University of London that states people are 35% less likely to die if they felt happy and content on a typical day. Generally we are happy as children, then happy again as seniors but it is those in between years of the rat race that really wear us down. I can totally see that! Being a working mom with 2 kids, training for races, helping others, and trying to keep my family happy is no easy feat.
So, what holds us back from happiness and how can we turn it around? Here are his top 5 reasons (in no particular order)
This is probably why I loved this podcast so much. Our primary excuses are usually work, money, and health. Things are always so much harder when life isn’t going your way. Tony Robbins said we all have a blueprint set for our lives. For example, maybe your blueprint is you wanted to get a job, get married, & have kids before 30. How would you feel if your blue print did not match your life condition? What if you were 31 and single or unemployed? It isn’t a horrible thing, but since your blueprint does not equal your life condition you may feel unhappy. You have to be mentally aware of this and re-adjust your blueprint. Maybe because you are single and unemployed you can travel the world and paint or volunteer for the Peace Corps? The world is open and you are unencumbered. Change your perspective and make the most of the life you have.
2. The if/then syndrome:
If this happens, then I’d be happy. If I get this raise, then I’ll be happy. If the kids get into college, then I’ll be happy. If I got this beach house, then I’ll be happy. If I got this divorce, then I’ll be happy… This is what Jim Rohn calls living on “someday I’ll”. We can’t wish our life away. Live in gratitude. What do you have now? Sure, you can have ambition and work towards something but we need to enjoy the journey!
3. Skip the Drama!
I never thought about this really before, but I absolutely love it. Don’t bring the drama around you, don’t look for it, and don’t live into it. *To do something for someone else, WITHOUT expecting anything in return is the secret to long lasting happiness*. Oh My Goodness YES. There is nothing worse than having to keep score, make sure everything is fair, and decide when to be nice to someone else based on how they have treated you in the past. I am a HUGE believer that if I choose to care about someone, I will be there for them. I will buy them birthday gifts; I will go to their events… I will be there for them whether they make the same effort for me or not. I don’t measure my kindness or my happiness by how others treat me, but how I treat others. Nit picking and living into the drama does not do me any good. Maybe this is because I believe everyone is genuinely good at heart and everyone’s intentions are pure. Even if that isn’t the case. It makes me happy and I don’t want to turn into a cynic.
4. Future/Past Paradox
Do you mentally visit the past to predict the future? It is a blessing and a curse to think externally. People think past = future. We need to see the beauty in our current situation. If you still live in the past, you miss the power to change your future. A challenge for you is to change your perspective and CHOOSE to show up differently. Bring YOUR energy and happiness to the situation. When you walk into a room brighten that room. YOU bring the LIGHT. Living in gratitude is a reflection of the good things that are happening at the current moment. On a side note, I am LOVING the Instagram challenge #100happydays. It is forcing me to find the beauty in every day. Today it was eating a juicy peach.
5. BELIEF THAT YOU DESERVE IT!
I am amazed at this one. I remember watching “the Biggest Loser” last season and a speech Bob Harper gave to one of the contestants. They were having a heart to heart and her biggest roadblock was her deep rooted belief that she didn’t deserve to be fit, to take the time for herself, to win etc. Once she changed her mind set and told herself that she was worthy and she did deserve it, she started kicking butt! Realize how much you do matter. Enjoy the process, and overcome whatever challenges come your way. You have everything you need to live a good life within you, they just may be dormant. No one is better than you, but people may be different than you. Be 100% unapologetic for who you are. Like Sarah Jessica Parker was told in the movie “The Family Stone” Let your freak flag fly! No one will ever exist like you again and no one was like you before, so be the utmost you.
I just loved all this so much and it is great to be reminded again and again of these important points. Now lastly, being happy doesn’t mean being stagnant. You can have goals and be ambitious. Heck, you should!!! But, enjoy the process. You deserve to be happy if you choose to be, and if you need to make some life changes, make them.
Have a great Monday.