Happiness is…a process

Happiness is…a process

If happiness is a journey rather than a destination then the secret is in focusing on the process…

Now this is not to say that the destination is not important; nor that goals are not important. There’s no doubt that setting meaningful and purposeful goals is a great way to achieve happiness and to enjoy other positive emotions such as pride and satisfaction.

But the more I think (as I’ve done lately) about the successes of The Happiness Diet participants on the House of Food Obsessives Documentary the more I’ve had my beliefs reinforced that what really counts, and what ultimately matters is what you’re doing now not necessarily what you’re going to get or what you think will happen tomorrow or next week or next year.

It’s almost become a cliche to say that life’s a journey not a destination but there’s an element of truth in most cliche’s and, I believe, lot’s of truth in this one.

From sports people to business people to happy people, many role-models can be heard to say that their sucess (and happiness) lies in focusing on doing the right things and the results then take care of themselves. This has been very much a part of my approach to coaching, encouraging clients to set goals but then to predominately focus on effectively applying the right strategies, and it was certainly a big part of The Happiness Diet to focus mostly on doing what needed to be done to live a great life, with health and happiness paramount, and allowing the weight loss to become a minor player in the game. Interestingly, taking the pressure off lead to much more happiness AND greater success in terms of weight loss and/or weight gain.

So with this in mind, I happily offer a few practical strategies for allowing the process to take you to your destination (i.e. happiness!)…

  • spend as much of your time as possible living in the present moment and enjoying the “now”
  • set meaningful goals but then determine what you need to do to achieve these goals and focus on these processes
  • be patient, allow yourself time, and enjoy the time resisting the temptation to “get there as quickly as possible”
  • remember that not all obstacles or challenges or setbacks are bad; it’s not always easy to see at the time but in hindsight, many of these waylays or side-roads are the most interesting aspects of the journey
  • and along similar lines, allow and accept surprises!

I hope this helps as you plan your new year and set your 2011 goals. Although achieving these goals should be the cause of celebration and pride, and I certainly hope you do achieve much in this exciting new year, I also hope you find and enjoy much happiness along the way…who knows where the journey will take you?