Take Control of Your Happiness

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their mind to be

-Abraham Lincoln

Happy, Healthy New Year!

Please repeat Abe’s adage to yourself throughout this year…I know I will.

I’ve found that to maintain my hope, engagement, and positivity, I need to be happy each day. I assume most people do. Essentially, we’re all “at choice” whether we enter our day happy and positive or skeptical and jaded.

It’s generally easy to be super positive and happy at the start of a new year.  Then the work week begins, tasks pile on, schedules get full and all of a sudden, we’re back at it. Do you find it hard to maintain the new year positivity? You’re not alone.

Turn frustration Into Action

Here’s an example.

One of my coaching sessions last week took me to an executive who I could tell was resigned to this year being a slog, an uphill battle with the board of directors he needed to influence.

As I heard his resignation, I called him on it and asked why he felt this way. From his explanation, I discerned he’d given up the fight, the fight he was hired to promulgate!

After hearing all his reasoning for this, I asked him how he felt about this condition, He answered that it was awful and he was upset. Acknowledging where he was, I said that we could now start to transform this condition from his anger. Being frustrated or angry is a great place to be! It’s a great place because right after it is ACTION.

We then determined where HE was responsible for this uphill battle (which he was) and then proceeded to create a set of critical steps to neutralize this challenge. As a result of being in action and taking control of the situation, guess what? He was back to being happy and engaged.

Three Questions to Help Stay Positive

We completed our session with three questions I recommended he ask himself when issues like this surface:

  1. How can I grow from this?
  2. Who can I influence?
  3. How would I feel once I’ve accomplished it?

Life throws a lot a you. Not all of it good (by contract, not all of it bad, either!). Addressing your challenges while maintaining a positive demeanor and attitude is tough. But as my partner Ellen always reminds me, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

So, how is your year shaping up so far? Drop me a note and let me know!