Happiness is our creation

“Happiness is not a reward – it is a consequence,” Robert Green Ingersoll

Happiness is personal. Happiness is created. Decisions must be made to achieve happiness. Be aware of the decisions you make.

Happiness does not come. Happiness cannot be bought. Happiness is not found in others. Happiness is our creation.

Time is the ultimate allocation of priority. Make happiness a priority. Spend your time where you can be happy. This may require difficult changes to work, lifestyle and income, but you may be surprised at the ease with which happiness comes.

Attitude is for many people a choice. The same circumstances approached with different attitudes produce different levels of happiness. Choose the attitudes that foster happiness. Generosity, forgiveness, openness and a little equanimity go a long way. Seeing yourself as an empowered and responsible actor with choices helps too.

Action brings happiness. Action has an intrinsic value but also leads to better outcomes. If you are not happy, what can you change to be happier? Make small changes. Experiment. Find a way to make things better step by step.

The greatest barrier to happiness is the feeling that things can’t change. We experience enormous change every day. We can find new ways to change those things blocking our happiness. Abandon hopelessness and start making change.

Finding a way forward takes awareness of what gives and takes from your happiness. Without focus on the choices we make they slip by feeling like the force of circumstances. Put a small step of reflection and find new paths to happiness.

Happy New Year

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration; I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Reflection Transforms You

Today I was talking to a former colleague who reflected that after a year our personal approaches to work had changed dramatically and the way we see the world had changed too. My response was that if you reflect on your work that outcome is inevitable.

The process of daily reflection identifies ways to change and to improve. Lots of daily changes driven by reflective practice accumulate. In pursuit of mastery your approach to work becomes barely recognisable to where you began. Reflection transforms you step by step.

Working Out Loud Helps reflection

Harold Jarche recently made the point that working out loud isn’t much value without reflection on the value to you and to others of what you are sharing.Reflection is required for working out loud but it is also driven by the practice.

Reflection is a key driver of the benefits of working out loud. The practice of working out loud will accelerate personal learning and transformation through:

Purpose: Working out loud helps you discover the purpose behind your work and enables you to better focus your efforts. Things that bubble up to be shared are more likely to be purposeful for you. Purpose will also be near the things we choose to do most often. Understanding why you work is a key element of any transformation
Awareness: sharing your work sharpens awareness of what it is you do. Awareness is the beginning. As they say, knowing you have a problem is the first step.
Sharing: framing your work to be shared can give you a new perspective too. Asking yourself what others will see and what tacit knowledge you rely on is a valuable reflection process.
Engagement: the questions and observations of those with whine you share drive new insights and new lessons.

Work out loud and the connections and reflection will change you and your work for the better.

International Working Out Loud Week is 17-24 November. Get involved at wolweek.com.

Obstacles are the work

Is it really December?  Businesses and schools are winding down for the summer break. The cricket has started. Christmas is rapidly approaching.  With that comes a quick close to 2013.

2013 has been a year of adventures, obstacles and challenges. More than anything else it has been a year of new momentum. I could not be more excited by the incredible opportunities that have arisen this year:

Embrace the Chaos and all its Obstacles

I was reflecting on all that has happened this year when Dany DeGrave tweeted yesterday about the need to maintain momentum in the face of obstacles:

Obstacles are the work. They show you have chosen to have an impact. They help us see our purpose. They provide the challenge and interest.

Obstacles are proof that your work matters to others. These challenges remind us that change is human and social. They encourage us to share knowledge with our networks, to work aloud and to pay attention to the knowledge moving around us.

Obstacles help us reflect on what matters. Pushback make us ask new or obvious questions.  An orderly progression of success can be quite tedious and generate its own doubts.  If success is that easy, are we missing something?

If there weren’t obstacles, our talents would not be required, we would not learn and not grow in the work. If there weren’t obstacles, we would not get the rewards of overcoming them.  If there weren’t obstacles, we would not have the joys of collaborating with others to move forward around over, under or through.

Your Obstacles. Your Momentum. Your Year.

So next time you are considering a year of obstacles, remember the hard work proves that you are on the right track. Obstacles are proof of your momentum.

I bought this poster at the midpoint of this year. It has been a reminder ever since that every year is my year.

image

Every year is your year too. Move past challenges. Reflect on the successes.

Maintain momentum in doing whatever you need to do to make it your year. Your impact is up to you.

If you would like your own or other great posters, the source is The Poster List. 

I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration; I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming. –

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

(via scpb)

Follow your heart

Keep following your heart and your biggest dreams, no matter how far away they might seem at times – Commander Chris Hadfield

Dealing with big career choices, or even little ones, can be a bewildering process.  There are always too many pros and cons, there is lots of helpful and unhelpful advice, there is too much uncertainty and often we don’t even well understand our own thinking and preferences.

Mentors can play a critical role in providing an external perspective in these choices.  They can also help straighten out tangled thinking and the influence of other’s views.

Most powerful of all is the question that a mentor can ask:

‘what does your heart tell you to do?’

For many people, when they put all the logic aside the answer is crystal clear.   Their heart knows what choices they have to make to move forward on their passions, to realise their career ambitions and to live without regret.
 

The voice of the heart can be muddied by all the complexity and pressure of a big choice.  Find the time or the help to listen to it, however quiet, and you will move forward with more confidence.

Follow your heart.

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands and you find yourself in a great and wonderful world. You discover yourself to be a greater person – Patanjali

…one enquiry only gave occasion to another, that book referred to book, that to search was not always to find, and to find was not always to be informed; and that thus to pursue perfection, was, like the first inhabitants of Arcadia, to chase the sun, which, when they had reached the hill where he seemed to rest, was still beheld at the same distance from them.

Samuel Johnson