What Do You Mean, Success Isn’t the Gateway to a Happy Life?
Somewhere along the line you and me both got life ass-backward and decide that for your life to feel a certain way—successful, joyful, love-filled, happy, choose your warm-fuzzy—you had to create the right external circumstances—the right job, partner, living situation, dog, whatever—and shizam, your life was supposed be magically transformed into the yummy feeling you had been pining for.
Have you noticed how that never really works? Sure, you may get a sort of sugar high for a moment or two (or a day or two), but then the sheen rubs off the bauble and you are back to the same unsatisfying lump in your stomach that you get when you’ve had ice cream for dinner too many times in a row.
Example: Being Happy Comes Before Having a Happy Life
Yes, you got it ass-backward, my honey. The problem is that when you choose from the menu of externals that appears available to you, you are choosing from the things that other people, society, media, politicos, Mad Men (and Mad Women), school etc. has spoon-fed to you. They, in their unknowing (except for the media, politicos, and Mad Folks, who have spun this silk into an art form) pre-select for you the culturally-acceptable feelings that they tell you be satisfying to you, and then they create a storyboard in your mind of the limited ways that you can achieve them. Remember in school when you said in your innocence that you wanted to grow up and do something to help people, and they listed off things like fireman, teacher, doctor, nurse, but never something more fun and kicked-back like a surf-instructor? You know where I would without my surfing instructor? Shark bait. Very, very helpful, those surf-instructors.
Choose from Life’s Feeling Buffet
The point is that when you opt for the ass-backward, pre-selected menu, you miss the buffet that life has to offer. Let’s look at achievement for a moment as an example. Achievement is the crack of modern Western society, and is hyped as the precursor to the heroin of society, Success. Achievement tests, achieving a degree, achieving a career, and succeeding in all of this enough to get a solid retirement—you know you’ve gotten somewhere when you have achieved enough success that they have to add an extra column in your obituary to list all the noteworthies that you got done. Achievement is the ass-backward shiny bauble that they tell you will get you feelings like fulfillment and satisfaction—the emotional equivalent of a solid meal. When you reach for achievement the ass-backward way, you attach to your achievement/success baubles the feelings that you desire (like fulfillment and satisfaction) and you set out, sometimes for years, to achieve the goal—in the hopes that the feelings will arise.
But they rarely do. So, like the slow-learners we mostly are, we (I totally include me here, you’ll see why) decide that it was the achievement that was faulty and not the process, and we look for another achievement to attach our desired feelings to. This may be why I know a number of harried and unfulfilled doctors, but no un-blissed-out surfing instructors, who mostly love their lives and have fun making money helping people like me balance long enough to avoid sharks, coral reefs and spiky, poisonous things.
Feeling Your Way Into a Life That Works For You
So how do you flip out of ass-backward and into a life that works for you? Choose how you want to feel, practice feeling it, and let Life bring to you the buffet of choices that match that feeling you want, and from those you can select what fits your palate. The difference is like being in a restaurant and matching your palate to the menu offering available, or, saying that you have a taste for pasta, and having them bring out 50 pasta dishes for you to select from.
What does this have to do with you and You? Well, the shortcut to a whole life that really satisfies is to really know what You feels like and practice You so that all You want shows up in a fun and satisfying way–no idea what I am talking about? Click here for the cheat sheet. I get how hard it can be to make that kind of flip all of a sudden, though. I mean I know this stuff, and still last week I was all caught up in the stress of a bauble-directed life—thinking that if I did all the right stuff I could THEN get the succulent-feeling life that me and Me wanted (see how that is just SO ass-backward.) Little was going right, and I felt stressed out and pissed off. So I asked the Universe what the deal was, and it just rolled its starry eyes and retorted, “Well, duh…” and then it clicked—I was in ass-backward mode.
So I took Life for a new test drive, gassed up with the feeling of a slower, more balanced and leisurely life, but one that had even more momentum in certain areas than it currently had. It’s a selection generally not on the menu in bizarro-world, so I wasn’t sure what my options would be. Somewhere in the slow-moving whirlwind of the next few days, a few of things in my life have sped up—like my business, but my internal speed had slowed way, way down. And it feels really good; it feels like what I wanted and had tried so hard to ACHIEVE through my ACTIONS—get it?
Play With The Feelings You Want In Your Life Today
Today’s play, then, is to choose one area of your life that you would like to feel different in—want to feel more loved? More fulfilled? Happier? Whatever it is, call that emotion to mind—and it’s okay to imagine the baubles attached to it to get the feeling grooving inside you, but once you get the feeling, let go of the baubles and just hold the feeling. Keep practicing that feeling, consistently, for at least two weeks, and see what shifts in your life without any effort from you, and notice what fun selections Life presents for your perusal.
Then send this post to five of your friends and build your own You tribe.