This may seem like a strange thing for a coach to say… but so many times, goals get in the way of happiness.
Our whole profession is built on helping people achieve their dreams. But challenging circumstances can block us from feeling happy about our lives, and sometimes we get so caught up in hitting the next goal we miss out on the joy that came from the previous one. So this week’s episode is all about how to find your happiness when it seems to have gone missing.
In Tales From the Coaching Front, I share a challenge from my own life with a client who is struggling to be happy due to circumstances out of her control. What I’ve learned is that there’s a difference between being happy about something—your overall feeling about a situation—and being happy, which is a feeling in a moment. And I give her (and you) a powerful strategy for accessing feelings of happiness, even in the toughest, most challenging times.
In Ask Coach Pamela I bring up a question from a talk I gave for The Harvard Business School Club of South Florida. (A very driven group of people, as you might imagine.) One of the audience members had accomplished her reinvention goal, and was wondering how she should plan for her next step.
Here’s the radical advice I offered: Stop planning.
Being so focused on reaching goals is like setting sail and training our sight on ending up at the horizon. The problem is, no matter how much progress we make the horizon always moves and we’re never actually there! And when we’re always looking to reach some point ahead of us, we miss the joy of the journey.
What I recommended to her (and to you) is, for a time, consider goal-free living. Even though it may feel scary, here’s the huge benefit– when you stop striving to get ahead, you get to enjoy what you’ve already accomplished. It shifts your attention from deficit (“I lack my goal”) to success (“I’ve got my goal”).
Hanging out in the space of fulfillment for a while makes it easier to create your next step, because then it becomes about wanting to amplify feelings you’re already experiencing instead of trying to close a perceived gap. And what I know as a coach is that this is the easiest, most powerful way to achieve your dreams!
How To Be Happy When You Are At Your Lowest Moment