One of my biggest lessons I learned during my life coach training was about making changes. When you are deciding to make a change in your life – you make the change out of happiness not in order to be happy. Now when I first heard this I thought it was ridiculous. I thought the only reason anyone ever makes a change is because they aren’t happy with it. I really couldn’t understand if I was happy why would I make any changes.
But this is the trap we all tend to fall into – once this change happens that is when my life will get better and then I will be happy. It’s a common thing to do believe that something outside of us going to make us happy.
Here are some of the classic ones:
- When I lose the weight (usually attached to an amount), then I will be happy
- When I find my soulmate or perfect partner, then I will be happy
- When I find a great job, then I will be happy
- When I make more money, then I will be happy
- When I’m successful or made it, then I will be happy
- When I retire and get to relax, then I will be happy
The list goes on and on. We are lend to believe that it’s the certain body size/shape, the perfect job, more money, the right person – something is what is going to make us happy. And if we can just make the change and achieve it, then we will finally be happy.
The truth is our thoughts are what makes us happy. We can choose to think thoughts that make us happy right now without the change (thing, person, job, etc) or we can choose to think thoughts that make us happy after the change has happened. Either way we always have the choice – we are the ones who are choosing delay or not delay our happiness.
However it still boggles my mind to make changes only when I’m already happy. But I’ve discovered a compelling reason why we would want to do this. It’s trains our minds to know that it’s not something outside of us or the “change” that makes us happy – it’s choosing our thoughts that allows us to be in control of our emotions. The best part about that is you learn that you can be happy any time you want regardless of where you are. Making a change out of happiness leads to more happiness. And in the end this is ultimately what you are really after anyways – to feel happy.