People always ask me, “how do I get more happiness in my life?” My answer…first you need to know what your definition of happiness is. For each of us the meaning can be quite different. Some may find it in financial stability, others in their connection with family. Happiness may show up in the form of good health or spiritual well being.
I was explaining to someone the other day that to me happiness is how I want to feel in between the great moments of joy. Joy being when all is so good you don’t want to move because it will break the spell. The first kiss, a new puppy, the promotion you’ve been waiting for, giving someone the perfect gift are all potential moments of joy. We can’t live in that state continuously however, which by the way, is a good thing. If we did, we wouldn’t recognize the bliss when it hits us as it would be so mundane. Our emotional lives would flat line.
So if happiness lives between moments of joy what does it look like and how do we sustain it? One of the ways you can gauge whether you are moving towards happiness or away from it is to understand what fires you up. Your personal values are at the root of this. Understanding what your top five values are gives you a tool on which to base your decision making going forward. The closer you are to your values in all your choices in life, the happier you will be. You will feel it, not just emotionally but physiologically.
My top five values are: passion, honesty, leadership, beauty and freedom. Not a day goes by, nor a decision gets made without my first checking in to make sure my values are being honored. I know immediately if I have strayed away from them. Simply…I stop being happy.
What does happiness mean to you? What values do you need to stand in to have more of it?
Caird Urquhart is Founder and President of Newroad Coaching, a boutique coaching firm providing one-on-one personal and business coaching services and author of 30 Ways To Better Days: How to Rally After You’ve Been Dumped. Find Newroad Coaching on their blog and on Twitter and YouTube.