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.