Three Simple Ways to Experience More Joy, Fulfillment and Happiness
By Larry Freeborg
In all the years that I have been working with solo entrepreneurs and my coaching clients, I'm always amazed at how many of them believe that making a lot of money will bring them more joy, happiness and fulfillment.
Well, I am here to tell you: nothing could be further from the truth!
It makes me sad to see so many of these folks needlessly headed for disappointment, discouragement and lack of fulfillment. And the worst part is: It just doesn't have to happen!
If you would like to avoid this fate (and I KNOW you do!), here are 3 stunningly simple ways to bring more joy and fulfillment into your life.
1. Remember that your career is just part of your life, it's not your entire life. Many people intent on making more money pursue it with a vengeance and miss critical things that cost nothing but time and focus. People that keep their job in perspective and balance it with the other important things in their life like health (physical, emotional, spiritual), the quality of the relationships they have with their significant other, family, children and friends, learning, and playing are generally happier and more fulfilled.
Without your health it's hard to enjoy anything, or take care of anyone. Without connection with your mate, your children, your friends, life can feel very empty.
It's not that having money is bad. It's good. What can cause a lot of stress and consternation is the constant pursuit of money at the exclusion of everything else.
2. Effectively managing promises. Few things cause more stress, disappointment, frustration, anger and resentment than broken promises. This includes the promises you give to others, the expectations you create with others, the expectations you have of others and the promises others make with you.
Learning what constitutes a true promise vs. an agreement, and how to manage a broken promise can go a long way in improving one's mood toward life. Accepting that all of us are perfectly imperfect human beings and we all make mistakes helps. When we've learned how to accept, forgive, let go and move on we've truly mastered an important skill for being more fulfilled and joyful.
3. Living life with an attitude of gratitude. No matter how long you've been around, learning how to manage your mood and emotions will have a big impact on how much you enjoy life's journey.
Consider developing a practice of regularly celebrating "blessings". "Blessings" is my term for recognizing things that come to me in my life that I have no control over. When I think of blessings it's like I've been touched with a sunbeam filled with warmth and light.
Just "thinking" about blessings can help, but a process I've found that works even better for me is to regularly write down things that come to me in my life that I have no control over. When I'm discouraged this can make a huge difference in my mood. Ideas like sunshine, blue sky, flowers, trees, birds, water, and air... and then what kind of birds, what kind of trees, what flowers, what forms of water, are but a few examples of blessings. Did you realize there are over 300 breeds of horses? Amazing.
Once you begin to recognize and acknowledge all that comes to you that you have no control over it's very difficult not to live in an attitude of gratitude. My favorite is hot water in a shower. The water, the water heater, the plumbing, the plumber, the faucet, the shower head are all things that I enjoy that someone else figured out.
Few people realize that the mood they are in greatly affects their ability to take action. Moods and emotions are predispositions for action. Through my own personal experience, and the experience of my clients, I know that managing one's mood through the regular celebration of "blessings" makes a major difference in the joy and satisfaction people experience. And the really good thing is once the mood shifts it appears that we attract even more good things.
Initially I started out listing "blessings" because I had a hard time celebrating my accomplishments. At first I struggled to come up with 40 blessings. Now I have 26 pages of 6 point type of all the things that come to me that I have no control over and the list keeps growing. On a bad day I go back and review the list with the intent of seeing what I can add. It doesn't take very long for me to be in awe of all the wonderful things that come to me and for my mood to change. The problems that I might be working on at the time seem a lot smaller and manageable.
The good news: by just following these three simple ideas 1) Enjoying all aspects of life, 2) effectively managing your promises, and 3) managing your moods and emotions by celebrating your "blessings" will make a huge difference in how much enjoyment you bring into your life.
Larry Freeborg is a life transition coach and inspirational speaker focused on working with people in the "Bonus Years" of their lives. His unique experiences working with businesses in strategic planning, business development (marketing & sales), leadership and personal development are blended with his training in life coaching, equine guided coaching, and his personal experiences with loss to form the foundation of his coaching practice, Living The Good Life on Purpose. Larry is available for speaking engagements with his popular "Refire, Don't Retire!" and "Life Purpose Primer" programs. Contact Larry at firstname.lastname@example.org.