“I just want to be happy,” my client quietly admits, “I should be grateful for all that I have, but I’m not happy.”
Wanting happiness is so common, but often misunderstood and misses the mark to a fulfilled life – what we are truly looking for.
Common Pitfalls To Lasting Life Fulfillment
So, let me start by sharing my journey with you when I first started ‘looking’ for so-called happiness.
Belonging – looking the wrong way
I never realised I was THAT different until I started kindergarten and I didn’t speak a word of English, even though I’d already been in Australia for a few years. To make matters worse, I had intense jet black hair with a ridiculous yet common Chinese ‘bowl’ haircut (it’s Anna Wintour’s classic do now – how times change!).
Envious, then ashamed of my envy towards my classmates, who had long, beautifully plaited hair in brown and blonde… I felt like a freak of nature and spent recesses and lunchtimes alone. Silently judging from the sidelines – cute thinking about a small 5 year old me scorning about though!
Me in my ‘bowl’ hairdo in jet black
Racism wasn’t as overt in the 80s and 90s in Sydney, but there were heavy campaigns around assimilating. So, without the ability to change my appearance, I assimilated through speech – my kindergarten self would studiously plonk in front of the TV each and every afternoon after school, and parrot their words and accents for hours. With wits and the language to express it, I became one of the most popular kids in my grade – and I was happy, but not for long before adolescence kicked in.
To fill the void of being a ‘freak of nature’ feeling and to finally assimilate through my appearance, I religiously bleached my hair and wore coloured contact lenses to look more ‘Australian’ and ultimately, ‘prettier’ than with my jet black hair.
Was I happy? No.
I wasn’t immune to, “go home” remarks and assimilation made me neither Australian nor Chinese.
TAKE AWAY: Assimilation or any actions out of fear of rejection will never work. Embrace yourself for who you are inside and out.
Choosing to take matters into my hands
Persistent in my pursuit to be happy, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I will dominate through excellence in my career. Dominate who? EVERYONE. Because everyone had disappointed me up until that point.
I would work long hours just to get the next promotion, as if that would finally give me happiness, but my health and relationships paid the price.
If life had continued on in this trajectory, I would end up as a lonely cat lady, being a bra-burning radical feminist, berating strangers who used plastic straws at restaurants and lodging noise complaints against neighbours to the council every other week. (You may be laughing, but it was a truly viable option!)
But something intervened — another story for another time!
In the pits of injustices, I remembered there were pockets of kindness.
There was kindness from my kindergarten teacher who showed that she cared about me as an individual, and not the odd one out. There was kindness even when I became a popular kid amongst the classmates of different backgrounds. They chose me, not because I made them roar with laughter, but saw me for who I was and I chose them in return.
Simple and pure friendship.
TAKE AWAY: Reacting to rejection by dominating or shrinking away from groups will leave you alone. Remember and respond with kindness.
After working with politicians and executives of stock-listed companies to stay at home parents over the years, one thing stays the same – they all want to be happy in all areas of their lives; work, health and relationships.
Happiness, although important, is afterall an emotion that is subjective and relative to our perception of circumstances. It never satiates the feelings of being ‘never enough’ as a child nor a life well lived – both necessary elements to true fulfillment.
What people truly want is not happiness but fulfilment in life – or what I call LIFE Happiness™. A life fulfilled and lived out well in all areas of life; work, health and relationships.
Tips To Fulfillment
1. Lightening our load of ‘should’s
The first and foundational step to The LIFE H System™ is Lighten.
We lighten the load to The 3-Spheres of Life™, and the centre sphere is Soul. Only by lightening the load to these ‘shoulds’, can we see clearly what our soul’s calling is. Who we truly are, before disappointments, betrayals and hardships calloused our hearts to believe, trust and hope.
- Throughout the week, stocktake all our responsibilities and to-do list (including the ones that have been there for ages – yes, those ‘one day’ ones that have been on our minds and lists, living rent-free)
- Question each and every one – yes, every one
- Now, decide if you want to keep it or just lighten it off your load
2. Connect with our inner-child
Inside each and everyone of us is a smaller, younger us. Who longs just to be seen and loved unconditionally for who we are – not what we achieved, let alone how we look.
Before we realised that happiness was a feeling through its opposite emotion, it’s still relative to our circumstances and our younger self often guides us.
- Sit in a quiet space and meditate or journal the very first time you felt truly happy. (I use a unique blend of hypnotherapy and other cutting-edge modalities, making the process faster and more effective, but journaling is an awesome start!)
- Engage in that memory with all your senses – if you find it hard, go with the feelings. If it stirs up negative emotions that are too much to handle, gently move your fingers and toes and come back out and seek professional help.
- Have a conversation with the small, younger you. Finding out what they want and how you can support them now as an adult.
3. Living out our soul’s calling
I’m known as The LIFE Happiness™ Consultant and also a straight-shooter who can laser cut through the ‘shoulds’ and excuses blocking one from their soul’s calling. Sometimes unnerving high-profile clients with one stare.
Procrastination is a self-sabbotage that kills our dreams and souls, even before we are physically buried. This can commonly masquerade as being ‘responsible’ by staying in a highly paid, deadend, soul-sucking job that serves little more than a fancy postcode, kid’s private school fees and holidays to Europe.
There’s still 30 more years until retirement – still got no plans to make a smart change?
- Call out the crap – all the excuses that are holding you back from your soul’s calling:
- Your family
- Your education
- Your upbringing etc.
List it all – I’ve seen lists of over 100!
- Take responsibility. It’s nobody’s responsibility than yours to live out your soul’s calling. Nobody will live your life, so why give them the responsibility?
- Make it part of your life. Usually, when clients work more closely with me, we use The LIFE H System™ to fine-tune a habit formation system that works for them, so that they can make consistent steps towards their dream life.
So my response to clients who say that they, “just want to be happy”?
- It is not happiness that they seek, but LIFE Happiness™ and fulfillment in all areas of life; work, health and relationships
- Reclaim the first moment/s of true fulfillment, usually from childhood (seek professional help if needed)
- Uncover and live out your soul’s calling each and every day through lightening the load to ‘shoulds’ with the first and foundational step to The LIFE H System™.
Thank you for reading and saying yes to stepping one step closer to making your dream life a reality.
See you next week!
Photo credit of dog: Unsplash