"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life" - John Lennon
I came across this quote recently and it got me thinking...
It got me thinking about the truth that at the core of every goal and every desire, what we are all really after - is happiness.
In fact, so often where ambitious people tend to lose this connection, is that they focus on what they think will bring them happiness ('a means to an end' goal) rather than the end goal itself.
Let me explain this with an example...
a ‘means to an end' goal would be something like, ‘make 6 figures.’ But making 6 figures itself is not exactly what you're after...it’s what you believe you will be experiencing when you're a 6 figure earner that you are truly after (such as comfort, contribution, freedom, and accomplishment).
So here we are, focusing on the ‘means to an end' goal (6 figures), rather than the end goal itself (comfort, contribution, freedom, accomplishment) and at the end of the day we wonder why we aren’t happy. We wonder where it all went wrong...where we went wrong. We think something is inherently wrong with us for not being truly happy, yet no one ever taught us how to get there, let alone to even really consider what that might actually look like for us.
Sadly, it’s created a world of generic, general goals we are all chasing because we think happiness is on the other end of that achievement. And some of us are so far deep ‘in it’ that we feel stuck on how to get out. There’s so many bills to pay and so much to do..."how will I ever have the time to consider my happiness?!? I’m just trying to get through the day.”
And you know what? That’s a choice people make over and over again, every day until they don’t have to ‘just get through’ anymore days.
So then it got me thinking about a solution, rather than just the pain. And I started to seek the truth of what it actually takes to create a happy life.
I started thinking about what in my own life has made me happy....I mean really, truly happy. The things that get me out of bed every day with a smile on my face.
Here are 5 things I came up with:
- my love relationship and how extraordinary it is; how we work daily to keep it extraordinary and how we both stand for our relationship with integrity and compassion and decided that it comes before all else.
- my work in the world and how creative I get to be, as well as how I get to contribute to others lives in a meaningful way.
- travel. Learning about new cultures, foods, beliefs, ways of life. And in particular traveling to countries that have given me a deep sense of gratitude for the life I live.
- my ‘possibility’ mindset that keeps life exciting, like a game or a piece of art. I am always thinking, “what’s possible? What’s next?” It fuels my imagination and innovation and allows for me to engage daily in the wonder of life. This mindset allows me to create powerful life changing beliefs, such as, we all age, but getting old is a choice (these beliefs in turn have me making very different decisions about my life and what is possible for me)
- my health. the fact that I have endless resources at my finger tips (we all do) for staying healthy, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
So then I started asking myself, “what did I have to do and who did I have to become to create this happiness in my life?”
What I noticed loud and clear was eye opening...those things above, called me to develop a deep and profound relationship with CHALLENGE.
It took me committing to those desires/creations and then showing up for them everyday...even when it was hard, even when I wanted to run and hide, even when I wanted to give up, even when I thought I wasn’t good enough, even when I saw clearly the easy way out (excuses) was right there for me to choose, if I wanted.
Here is the truth no one is talking about...creating a life of happiness takes energy, focus, commitment, perseverance, tenacity, courage, and us ‘getting ok’ with CHALLENGE. Happiness does not = a challenge-LESS life. Happiness = getting out of your comfort zone.
The important thing to understand and the good news...the more you do it, the bigger the challenge you need to actually challenge you. It’s like training your muscles. When you first start, everything hurts. And then you keep showing up even when it gets boring, or hard, or you aren’t seeing results fast enough...and then pow! one day you realize your ‘new normal’ is different. Things look and feel different. You aren’t challenged as much by what challenged you before. You are now working out weekly for maintenance, rather than creation. Well, that’s how it works across the board my friends.
I remember when it was SO hard to deal with myself when I was in conflict with someone I was dating. I always ended up leaving that relationship, rather than doing the challenging thing and exploring where I was showing up again and again with the same old patterns. The extraordinary relationship I am now in is the best thing I have ever been a stand for, and it comes with a cost, it comes with challenges. You think mediocre relationships come with challenges...well how about you decide to create an extraordinary one! But guess what my friends, those same challenges also come with the most mind boggling, heart uplifting, soul nourishing rewards as well.
Same with owning my own business...holy moly do I want to scream and run from it sometimes. I wear so many hats that it takes the most insane organization skills (and support - I don’t know what I would do without my support) to keep it all together. And not only does it challenge me mentally and financially, it challenges me emotionally. My work is my life and often keeps me up at nights thinking about it. But you know what, I would not change it for all the money in the world. I wake up each day EXCITED for the challenge. I feel so deeply blessed to do the work I do and spend my days doing what I love and what I am good at. But was it challenging to get here? oh my lord, yes! And does it still have it’s challenges? certainly, those challenges are just different now. In the past few years, I have learned to appreciate challenge, in fact I self create challenge all the time. I create things in my business I DON’T KNOW if I can accomplish. I stretch myself and challenge myself so that I can be part of the ‘truly happy posse.’ Because you know what, I haven’t met a happy person yet who doesn’t challenge themselves, who doesn’t step out of their comfort zone often, who doesn’t take risks.
Their perspective about life and possibility is full of curiosity and REALITY around what it takes to actually BUILD the life they want. They aren’t complaining...they are creating. And most importantly...they understand what a privilege it is to have happiness so accessible to them.
And here is the kicker, from what I can tell so far, challenge is going to exist in your life no matter what choice you make...so you might as well make the choices that are truly going to make you happy.
So, are you complaining or challenging yourself and creating the life you actually want? Or maybe you are just wishin’ and hopin’ it’ll fall into your lap one day by doing the same things you’ve always done?
In other words… are you more focused on SURVIVING than you are on THRIVING?! Which do you think is the choice that will bring you true happiness?
If you are really ready to rise to the challenges that go along with creating a truly happy life, and bring your big change-making dream(s) into the world with power and presence, to truly create a life of fulfillment - then I invite you to explore how The Changemakers Circle can support you on that adventure. I am here to show you that creating an extraordinary life is not only possible, it's fun!
Learn more and apply here: http://www.ambercampion.com/the-change-makers-circle
In honor of building an INSPIRED world that is...
Focused on growing, giving, and celebrating
Free from living a life of 'should's'
Fulfilled personally, professionally, and spiritually