The joy of life sometimes alludes us. We chase it in in so many different ways. Buying things, eating things, drinking things, earning more money and doing yoga. But the joy of life is not found in those pursuits. The joy of life comes well before we do, eat, sleep or make great love.
The pursuit of happiness is the common ground on which we all walk. We want it, we want to give it. We hope to have more of it. We do all sorts of things to get it. In my work, I believe that happiness is not a privilege, but more so, it is a necessity, a right, an essential part of health, wellbeing, wealth creation and most important of all, success at home and at work.
What makes you happy?
Short term happiness is easily achieved. Buying a new suit, a new perfume, getting a PB at the gym, a great night out with your loved one, a success at work. But few people understand the cost of such momentary happiness.
IF and When I
The addiction to things, people and circumstances to make us happy corrupts us all. We buy an ice-cream knowing it’s toxic but, it’s cooling, delicious and in short, makes us happy. The ice-cream is the profitable commodity created by clever marketing experts and brilliant chemists who combine to create memory in our mind that this is a worthy use of our time and energy, ie money. Hence, there are queues at Meccina Ice-cream shops where we pay a premium to wait in line to eat, what is essentially, junk that tastes great. (I do it regularly)
Separating personal happiness from things, circumstances and events around us is ultimately what we call spiritual. I love this word because it can mean anything from peace on earth to save the whales, to fight for freedom and love. It moulds itself conveniently into whatever we think will make us happy. And in the pursuit of happiness, spirituality is as corrupt as ice-cream. Both promise happiness, both deliver it while you consume it, but leave you wanting for more at the end of it.
Happiness, I mean real happiness that I prefer to call joy, is a state of mind. And while a state of mind is conditional on the weather, a person, success, pleasure, diet, body shape, car type and cosmetic appearance we are powerless, and know it. And, powerlessness in the face of the pursuit of happiness is the deepest suffering.
Thirty odd years ago, when I realised that my happiness was dependent of my wife’s mood, I worked to make her happy so I would be happy. That didn’t work: The purpose of a relationship is not happiness.
Fourty years ago, when I realised my happiness and my self-respect were linked in some way, I competed in sport at the highest level. When I won I was so happy. But when I lost I was not happy. And given that sport has a combination of winning and losing, this provoked a sort of gorilla mindset to winning. And nothing causes failure in sport, or business, more than a gorilla mindset.
Twenty-five years ago I built a world class business. After sport and love failed to make me unconditionally happy, I thought following my life purpose, changing the world, making money and living the good life would be perfect. But success does not cause happiness. Happiness causes success. And driving my Porsche down to the marina to go sailing on my Yacht with my gorgeous partner, I still stopped for ice-cream to make me happy. The addiction to IF and When I in the pursuit of happiness had grown along with my business success. In some ways I was far worse off now than ever.
Along the way, I’ve climbed mountains to find happiness but found the same opportunity for misery and unhappiness can travel with me from the bottom to the top. Chris at the base of any mountain is no different than Chris at the top of it. I guess I could have learnt that reading a book, but, really, I’ve never learnt anything from a book. Life itself is the book I read. It’s called experience and sadly, experience is the most expensive teacher on earth.
That’s why I coach. I’m trying to save you the cost of experience. I do know how to be unconditionally happy. I do know how to bring that happiness into my relationships. I do know how to turn up happy before work instead of because of it. I do know now how to live and love life and enjoy an ice-cream without being manipulated by marketing and clever chemists. And this learning I have has come at a huge experiential cost, there’s just no need for more than one of us to pay that price.
I want to save marriages from the ravages of personal stress created by work that’s done in the pursuit of happiness, or success or approval or self respect all of which come home in moods, expectations and spoil the honeymoon that is life. I want to demonstrate how to hold a mindset that solves problems in life without becoming so entangled in the solution or the problem that unhappiness becomes a default.
Mindset – how to think, how to bring spirituality to reality. This breaks the mould of the majority. It separates organised religion and its incredible value to life from happiness for which it was never designed. Mindset also dissipates stress at the cause. Instead of offering stress relief, I offer stress prevention. Happiness before work, love, success, and victory. Happiness, sustainable happiness is a state of mind.
In this mission to help you find the holy grail of life and then turn up, irrespective of the circumstances, happy, I am faced with some resistance. So many “ice-creams” are sold as quick fixes to the problem of unhappiness that we unconsciously become addicted to them. Breaking addictions we don’t know we have is hard. It goes deep sometimes. Like associating a loving relationship with happiness because our parents didn’t have one, like winning business deals because this has, unconsciously been associated with self-respect and self-belief which in turn has been inadvertently and accidentally associated with happiness.
Unhappy people die young. Unhappy people stress the world. Unhappy people are powerlessly addicted to others opinions for their life. Unhappy people earn money to prove their worth and to mask their misery. These do not work. Unhappy people simply choose to think wrongly and the longer it goes on, the more addicted unhappy people become to the substitutes and masks. They even start writing and coaching and selling the dream of “When You” – but it’s all clever ice-cream marketing and chemistry.
Gratitude doesn’t make you happy. Peace doesn’t make you happy. Simple living doesn’t make you happy. Organic food doesn’t make you happy. Go into any organic food shop or peace loving book shop and you will definitely meet a good selection of people addicted to the idea of hunting for happiness.
Happiness is not a pursuit
imagine just for one moment that you find happiness and know how to sustain it. You sleep happy, you wake happy. You are not motivated to find happy, you are happy. Deeply. You automatically find purpose in life. You no longer hunt for it and therefore your decisions are made with a great deal of joy. Love is not the root of your happiness and therefore your relationship is loving without all the usual games. You work clear headed and lead to the future based on great value criteria rather than bent motive. Stress lasts seconds and not weeks or years and you give to others what you’ve got an abundance of, happiness. You choose your car, your clothes, your actions and reactions with such joy that what others think doesn’t even enter your mind. You are happy, you are free, and with that comes love, success, health, longevity, and gratitude. You see, while the world seeks happiness from love, success, health, longevity and gratitude you do the absolute and complete opposite. You are happy and from that, flows everything you could possibly dream of, naturally.