As we head into a new year, it might be a good time to consider what it is you want in your life, or even to consider “why” it might be a good thing to know what you want in your life. The benefit of knowing will allow you to start putting in place necessary steps to move you towards what you do want.
On the other hand, if you don’t know what you want in your life, how do you know if what you are doing is moving you in the right direction?
Let me ask you a question: What do you want in your life? Maybe you are not so sure. The majority of the people I work with find this question challenging. More often I receive replies stating what people “don’t” want instead.
Examples of answers to this question might be “I don’t want to have to worry about money” or “I wish my life wasn’t so stressful”.
The good news is this: By knowing what you don’t want means you can immediately deduce what you “do want” instead. It’s a simple process of flipping it. Flipping what you don’t want on its head to find out what you do want instead.
For example, if we take “I don’t want to be stressed at work any more”, then we can simply flip it on its head to the exact opposite to give you “what you want” instead. That could be “I would love to be resourceful, confident and in control at work”. What you will realise by discovering what you “do want” is that you have now found something that you can start moving towards. You are now focusing on the positive instead of the negative.
What do you want in your life?
“Happiness” is an answer I get frequently. And it’s a great answer. Who doesn’t want to be happy?
Here is a little experiment for you to try. Take a moment now and bring yourself back to the best holiday you ever had. Then take yourself to the best moment of that holiday, and imagine you are there right now. Notice everything about that moment, the atmosphere, the sounds, the smells, the temperature. Then really notice what that feels like as you do all that, notice how you are feeling.
I am guessing the feeling you are experiencing could be described as “happiness”.
If you did this little exercise, you have just proven to yourself that you have the ability to elicit a state of happiness merely by putting a few thoughts into your head. And there lies the beauty of happiness, it’s a state that we can bring about any time we choose. We can have happiness any time we want it.
I was discussing holidays with a friend recently. It was a cold winters evening and we were chatting about holidays we had taken and where we might go next year. As we talked we were both eliciting thoughts and memories of fantastic holidays and the great holidays to come. We both had big grins on our faces and were really enjoying the feelings and sensations from the thoughts our conversation was bringing up. Then suddenly, my friend said “Stop, stop, stop”. There was a belief that he shouldn’t be enjoying the thoughts of next year’s holiday right now because he wasn’t physically there yet!.
Choose to have the happiness now.
Paddy Tamplin is a change specialist and runs a successful one-to-one practice called Change Sessions in Co. Galway. In his practice he helps his clients achieve greater happiness through recognition and adoption of more beneficial thinking habits. Email: [email protected] Website: www.changesessions.com