"Happiness is not a goal
... it's a by-product of a life well-lived"
Eleanor Roosevelt, American politician, diplomat, activist
This month’s newsletter focuses on the secret to happiness
While this may differ from person to person, the findings of the longest recorded research project suggests that the quality of our relationships
is the deciding factor.
Over the years, it has become my custom in Life Planning meetings to assert that no area of the Wheel of Balance is more important than another. And, for many years, I have held this to be true.
But, more recently, I have come to realise that the most happiness and unhappiness I have seen has been as a result of healthy or destructive relationships.
The 'other' is an opportunity
Each Life Planning meeting commences with an exploration of individual personalities. Very often, we find that couples are comprised of opposites: the ying and yang principle.
Don’t imagine that this is negative – different perspectives only enhance our own wisdom and expand our view of life. We become more self-aware, as the ‘other’ offers us the opportunity to discover what we might never have discerned about ourselves.
Sound narcissistic? Not at all! Rather, knowing ourselves well facilitates understanding – why we think and behave the way we do … and knowing when we are acting irrationally.
Much of our thinking is sub-conscious.
Research shows that only 10% of our actions are driven by conscious thought.
Let’s take a practical example: consider that situation in which someone says something that triggers an emotional reaction in you – your heart beats faster, your jaw clenches, your throat burns!
Can you take a step back and recognise that this response has less to do with the words heard and more to do with a past experience?
These moments of tension are more about how we feel about ourselves, and normally have nothing to do with others. What stings us almost always touches on something in ourselves that we haven’t yet become aware of or haven’t dealt with sufficiently.
I have named this instinctive response my “two-year old self” – it is likely to be a hurtful lashing out, often wounding those closest to us. Years of these responses can do irreparable damage to our relationships
Instead, I try to allow myself to take a deep breath and walk away – a response when I have calmed down tends to be more effective.
There are more practical tips on how to become more self-aware, thereby taking control of your responses and benefitting your relationships, in the rest of this article. I hope you will enjoy it: click here.
Please take note of the useful ways to "Invite romance in" in the article of that title in this newsletter. I am a great advocate of finding ways to keep our intimate relationships alive.