Community//

How I Found out That Happiness Does not Come from Achievement

Happiness is always one achievement away...

I remember sitting on the bottom of my staircase, wondering if a bigger house will be the thing that brought me joy. It was 15 years ago; I had just finally started to recover from a severe case of adrenal fatigue and PTSD. A lifetime of stress, anxiety, overworking and neglecting my body had finally caught up with me. My condition was severe. The activity of my adrenal glands was so diminished that I had difficulty staying awake for more than a few hours per day or walk more than a few hundred feet. I had no strength; I could barely pick my 1-year-old son without him slipping out of my arms. I also had difficulty keeping food down.

My body was significantly impaired, and I had many other symptoms, such as weakened immunity, sleep disturbances, hair loss, allergies, and an inability to handle physical or emotional stress. I saw many doctors, and all told me that there was no solution for this condition.

Not being a person who is known for quitting easily, I decided to look for an answer in natural medicine. Therefore, I started applying concepts of natural medicine to my life, including nutrition, herbs, meditation, spirituality, energy medicine, and personal counseling, amongst others.

Through my journey to health, I learned the importance of the mind-body connection, the power of compassion, and how the food we eat and the thoughts we think affects our physiology. I also discovered that the standard American diet destroys your health, accumulated stress, and other negative emotions also damage your health, and exercise is an essential part of life, as well as having fun.

It took almost a year to heal and restore my body, and I did it with herbs, a whole food nutrient-dense diet as well as meditation and connecting deeply with people. More than a decade later, I am healthy and happy. You would not even suspect that I had suffered from adrenal fatigue.

This experience taught me the importance of living life to the fullest, to reach for my dreams, helped me find my life purpose, and inspired me to share this knowledge with others. I know now that my purpose is “to empower and support people on their journey to health, happiness, and self-love, so they are free to focus on creating the life of their dreams.”

I don’t believe in incurable dis-eases anymore; like Louise Hay states – “illness is an invitation to change your relationship with yourself for the better.” ​There is always an opportunity to heal. I believe that you can, by taking some simple and inexpensive measures, such as taking good quality herbal supplements, watching what you eat and what you think, can extend your life and your years of well-being.

However, your habits shape your life far more than you realize. So, what is a habit? Simply said, a habit is something you do so often it becomes easy. In other words, it’s a behavior that you keep repeating over and over. If you persist at any behavior, eventually, it becomes automatic. For me, overworking and consistently achieving were a habit.

Therefore, the minute that I felt better, the pattern kicked in. I was up for my next adventure. To buy a bigger house. Thank goodness my health scared was so impactful it made me consider everything I had learned over the past year. And at that moment, I asked myself, will a bigger house truly bring me joy? Of course, the answer was “no.” For high achievers like me, there are always new goals to take the place of those that have already been fulfilled. We go for more clients, larger projects, larger raises, better jobs. We keep upping the ante. Happiness is always one achievement away.

However, what I learned is that I do not need a bigger home or a more expensive car or a new complex project to be happy. Joy comes from within and being comfortable with things are they currently are. I was chasing excitement through adrenaline rush that comes with accomplishing big goals (and significant debt). In the end, I found out that happiness is in the journey, not the destination.

Don’t get me wrong; I think goals are absolutely necessary to achieve anything in life; in fact, in my coaching practice, I help people reach their goals, and I still reach for big goals too. Yet, now I’m content with things are they are regardless of what I’m accomplishing or not. Now I also focus on enjoying the journey because it is what teaches lessons, unveils simple pleasures, brings new people into our lives, and incites in us a genuine, internal sense of satisfaction. So now, every day I work on building new habits that help me improve my relationships, have fun, deal with stress as it arises, and to be happy moment to moment.

Why do I do this? this is the thing if you want to enjoy a healthy, happy, and unique lifestyle, understand this—your habits will determine your future. Simple as that!

When you develop a continuous bad habit, life will eventually give you consequences. And you may not like the results. Here’s what you need to really understand: Whether you like it or not isn’t the issue. Life will still give you the consequences. The fact is, if you keep on doing things a certain way, you will always get a predictable result. Negative habits breed negative effects. Successful habits create positive rewards.

You want to use the “no exceptions policy” when you’re developing a new habit. In other words, you commit to your new practice every single day. Say maintaining good health is high on your list of priorities. Then exercising five times a week may be the minimum standard to keep you in shape. A No Exceptions Policy means you will keep this exercise habit no matter what happens because you value the long-term benefits.

Here’s a little known secret: Developing habits takes time. How long does it take to change a pattern? The most common answers to this question are “about twenty-one days” or “three to four weeks.” This is probably true for making small changes in your behavior. And it’s true that after 21 to 30 experiences with a new habit it’s harder not to do it than to do it.

But before you change a habit, you need first to check how long you had it. If you have been doing something repeatedly for 30 years, you may not be able to let go of it in a few short weeks. As well, people with a long history of low self- esteem won’t transform themselves into highly confident individuals, ready to take on the world in 21 days. It may take a year or more to develop positive belief systems. These critical transitions can affect both your professional and personal life.

Another factor about changing habits is the potential for slipping back into your old patterns. Slipping back can happen when stress levels rise, or an unforeseen crisis occurs. The new habit may not be strong enough to resist these circumstances, and more time, energy, and effort will be required. So always be patient and loving with yourself while implementing new habits and never ever give up. Setbacks are part of the process.

Always remember, the habits you develop from this day forward will ultimately determine how your future works out. Only when you truly commit to working to build new positive habits will the true benefits become clear. Do this and expect some major breakthroughs in your life.

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