7 Principles for blending healthy psychology with achieving your goals
by Louann Hillesland, MA, LPC
Shhhh, the Real Secret is that it’s an inside job. “What?” you ask. “And just what is that supposed to mean?”
We are constantly looking outside of ourselves to find answers to the secret of life satisfaction, happiness, and effective living. Suppose, just for a moment, that we’re looking in the wrong place.
Let us say that you keep thinking you’ll be happy once you get that raise, bill paid off, man, woman, new job, car, house, get married, have a baby, lose weight, or achieve that degree. Or maybe you are sure that you’ll be happy as soon as your spouse, the President, boss, or teenager changes.
We have all achieved goals, in the past. Think about one of the goals that you achieved. Did it make you happy for the rest of your life? Of course not! Why not? It is well documented that the satisfaction and happiness we gain from achieving goals is fleeting.
Also, there are many situations and people over which we have little or no control.
Does that mean that we should not have goals? No, it doesn’t. However, it is important to look at the bigger picture…your life and beyond, and how the big picture, as you see it, relates to your goals, otherwise you are likely spinning your wheels.
It turns out that the Real Secret of life satisfaction, happiness and effective living is inside of you.
Allow the following 7 principles to guide you:
1. What is your life ideal or principle? One way to help figure out your ideal is to decide how you want to be remembered when you die. How will you impact the world, your family, friends, employers and employees, in your lifetime?
2. Are the goals you are working toward right now, positively related to achieving your life ideal, or are you spending your life time and energy on pursuits that won’t matter in the end? You have a choice of spending your life energy on what is important to you or waste your precious time with what is not a priority.
3. Check to see if you are enjoying the pursuit of the goals that you have set for yourself. Life is happening while you are pursuing your goals, so much of the joy of living is in the process.
4. In the same way, the end DOES NOT justify the means. Each minute, hour and day adds up to your lifetime; how you spend each minute does count. Is the means congruent with your ideal?
5. Cut out the blaming. Blaming simply makes you powerless. Your power lies in how you react and respond and even perceive the situations that occur in your life. Take back your power and stop pointing your finger.
6. It’s not your job to change others. It’s your job to change yourself, your reactions, perceptions and even your beliefs. Interestingly enough, when you do change, the people around you will often change, as well.
7. Take a look at your beliefs. Often we acquire beliefs that are not helpful to our well-being. Beliefs like ‘Everyone must like and approve of me,’ or ‘I must be wealthy or be working to be worthwhile,’ or ‘I am less worthy as I get older,’ or ‘ I must be perfect in everything I do,’ or ‘I’m not skinny, young, healthy, beautiful, handsome, big, smart, sexy, wealthy, or hairy enough,’ all serve to make us miserable. Challenge and replace the beliefs that are making you miserable.
These 7 principles can get you back on the road to finding life satisfaction, happiness, and effective living. Remember, the Real Secret is that it’s an inside job! If you would like help in moving toward more life satisfaction and effective living call Louann at Counseling Connection 303-721-0005. See Home Page for 50% off initial consultation coupon.