Reconnecting with happiness

I’ve been thinking about happiness a lot lately.

Changes in my personal situation and a dissatisfaction with what I’ve allowed to happen with my work forced me to take a look at my life. I decided to give something up so that I have space to pick up more happiness. It was a bold move, because there was a comfort in the work that didn’t fulfill me but paid well. But I let it take over my life, and I no longer had the valued freedom that I had enjoyed .

Don’t get me wrong. The work I’m giving up is great work for someone – just not for me anymore. I want more time with my family, because life moves too fast. And something called “coaching supervision” is an exciting addition to my business that will allow me to get back to a core value of raising the bar on professional coaching.

It wasn’t easy. The income I had was great, but I know that what I’m moving toward is more fulfilling. I already feel happier, and sense that joy is right around the bend. As a result, I’m experiencing a renewal in the executive coaching work that I love.

Are you so involved in your work that you’ve forgotten what makes you happy? Begin to reconnect with your happiness by:

Considering every part of your life not just your work, but your family, friends and the activities that move your spirit. What is missing for you in your work and life? Think about your career but also exercise, family, good food, and more time alone if that is what you crave, need, or want more of. Reconnect with what matters most, and move toward those things. Your leadership will be more aligned when you do.

Take a new look at what you value because sometimes things change around you to make you aware that it’s time to reconsider what you value. Life events: a birth, a death, endings or beginnings of relationships – can move you to rethink your values. Values don’t have to stay static. Life and work events may help you to take a pause and think about your values in a new way.

Being mindful at all times of those things that keep you in a place of familiarity and may not make you happy. It’s human nature to stick with “what is” and avoid a change even if it will create the happiness you deserve. When “what is” is a source of unhappiness, you may allow yourself to stay there because it’s comfortable. Listen to that whisper that lets you know it’s time to move on. Trust your intuition. Be bold, take a risk, and try something new.

Why is happiness important to your leadership? Because happy leaders make a difference. That may sound trite, but when you aren’t happy, your mood impacts everything and everyone around you. Don’t hide from helping yourself to your share of happiness. You and the people you lead deserve your happiness.

I am a former executive in a Fortune 100 company. I have owned and operated an executive coaching firm since 2003 called Aspire Collaborative Services LLC. We partner with great leaders to help them become even greater at developing, improving, and sustaining relationships with the people who are essential to their success. This blog is for leaders and those who help them to be more intentional about relationships at work. My top personal values include respect for others, kindness, compassion, collaboration and gratitude. I work very hard at practicing my values daily and when I don’t succeed, I practice some more. I am married with two wonderful daughters and two spoiled pugs.

2 comments on “Reconnecting with happiness

  1. Good luck with the change Mary Jo. Doing things differently always takes vision and sustained effort.

    In addition to work and life, I have a third category I plan for–self. It is all too easy to squeeze myself out when I am so passionate about my work, family, and relationships. I have to actively work on doing things that are solely for me. Activities and adventures that nourish and replenish myself. Then there is more of me available for everyone else.



  2. Excellent ideas David, thanks for your comments. You are attentive to your own needs, and that is a big key to happiness. I wasn’t attentive. I let myself get too far down the road of doing something that no longer fulfilled me and took over my life with with an excuse that it made pretty good money (all the while it made me unhappy). Its a new day!

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