A few weeks ago, I was in the beautiful Bahamas on a retreat with our Powerhouse Coaches, and I started reflecting on the key ingredients to creating a truly happy life. There in that moment – I had SO much insight on this that we actually had to split it into TWO videos! You can check them out below, or simply read on to gain some insights from my own experience in chasing happiness. My hope is that this will inspire you to look at your own life and your happiness in a whole new way.
What Makes You Happy?
This is a very simple yet profound question. We all are looking for happiness, and we all want to feel good. Happiness to me is an emotion – it’s a state of being and about making the most of every single day. Now, over the last couple of years, I have been looking for happiness in some of the right places, but also in some of the wrong places. I’ve built an amazing career. I became a mom. I’ve built an amazing marriage – I have a great relationship. I also built an amazing business. I spoke on stages and made great money. But there were ups and downs along the way, and although I found myself enjoying moments in my life, I was also not as joyful, grateful and happy as I really wanted to be. So that made me think – what makes us really happy, and how can we be happy more often? Can we actually control our happiness? So I looked back on my life and what makes me happy, and I pulled out a few key ingredients. I’m hoping that by sharing this with you, you’ll be able to create a happier state of being for yourself as well.
The Art and Science of Happiness
Happiness depends, first of all, on your circumstances. Your personality, your mindset, your culture, your upbringing, your religion, and so many other factors can influence your happiness. What makes me happy may not necessarily make you happy.
Despite all that, what I know for sure is that many people are looking for happiness in the wrong places by thinking about what they should be doing, what they must do, or what people expect them to do. They live based on society’s rules and expectations, and a lot of times those rules really don’t apply to us. So, the first thing I want you to think about is what if you went from thinking, “I must, I should, I’m expected to,” to thinking, “What if I could? What if I had all these possibilities? What if I could open my mind to living a whole different life? What if I let go of all these expectations and shifted to a life of more ease and more possibility?” That really is the first step for you to shift away from feeling pressure and living in a way that doesn’t serve you.
Have you heard about the happiness set point? Researchers have studied lottery winners and monitored their levels of happiness over time. Although the levels were very high when they won the lottery, over time their happiness levels dropped back down to where they were before they were rolling in the dough.
So what does that tell us? That it’s not about living from high to high – it’s about living in the valleys. Trying to lift those valleys prevents you from becoming addicted to chasing goals and going after bigger and bigger successes in life, but allows you to actually enjoy the journey.
To help you do just that, I want to give you the eight key ingredients that have helped me to live a more joyful life and create happiness on purpose every single day.
1. Take 100% Responsibility
Before you can apply any of the other factors, you need to begin to take real responsibility for your happiness and stop expecting other people, other things, and circumstances to make you happy.
When I realized this, I felt a weight come off of my shoulders and I experienced real freedom. I have the power to experience happiness every single day – which does not come from my husband, my kids, or the money in my bank account making me happy – because those things come and go. The past is gone and the future is unsure, so we need to live in the present moment.
People who don’t take responsibility for their happiness are the ones who blame circumstances, the economy, their spouses, their business partners, their colleagues, and their friends for feeling unhappy. And that is a very sad existence because when you can’t control what’s around you, you are always at the mercy of what’s happening to you instead of actually consciously creating the existence and the state you want to be in.
2. Radical Self-Love
Human beings are built for loving others and receiving love, but many people forget about loving themselves. That’s why so many people chase money, success, and things outside of themselves and become very unhappy and dissatisfied. People that don’t love themselves first will always battle a sense of unfulfillment, and as a result, will always be chasing and looking for more.
In the past, I experienced this myself when I went from coming to the country with nothing to having a career. I built my business and built up wealth, grew my team and worked with clients all over the world. But it took me time to leave behind my past and celebrate who I had become to learn to feel enough – because without that sense of self-love and self-worth, none of that mattered. No matter what you have, no matter where you go, you never know what’s going to happen. But when you feel enough for yourself, you’re able to enjoy the things that are coming to you so much more.
What happens when you live in lack? Things are never good enough. You never have enough money. You never have enough love. You never have enough time. You’re never ever thin enough. You’re living life in a state that’s never good enough, so you’re always longing for more and feeling unfulfilled. To move away from the state of lack, practicing gratitude is something you can easily incorporate into your daily ritual.
Think about where you were a couple of years ago, or maybe even a couple of months or weeks ago – and reflect on how far you have come. Even if you have made small improvements in your life, you are moving forward. There is always something you can feel grateful for – so feel grateful right now and really prolong that feeling by thinking about what is good about your life, your surroundings, and your situation in this moment.
4. Live Grudge Free
This was a big lesson for me several years ago that saved my marriage. I went from being full of anger and blame to letting go of grudges I was holding and working with forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a daily ritual – something you want to work on every single day. Because, even though you might not be thinking about it all the time, a grudge is a negative charge against you. If you’re carrying the weight of how someone wronged you, is not supporting you, or what they did to you in the past, you’re doing yourself a disservice. It blocks you from moving forward and prevents you from creativity, and from truly experiencing happiness, joy, and gratitude.
Now, I’m sure there are people out there who have hurt you. Forgiveness doesn’t always come easy and I get it. You’ve experienced unfair situations. Maybe something happened to you in the past and you’re not willing to let that go. But holding a grudge is far more damaging to you than it is to them.
One thing that really helped me is knowing that hurt people hurt people, and then trying to understand what made them do what they did. Why did they act that way? What happened to them in childhood? Maybe somebody else hurt them. Maybe they were abused or wronged in the past, and that made them do what they did to me. Look at them with empathy if you can.
I’m not saying you need to pardon those people or tell them that what they did to you is okay. What you need to do is cut those ties to remove their power over you. This will also remove that negative charge that you’re holding inside of your heart and soul so that you can look towards the things you really want to create, let go, and experience forgiveness yourself.
5. Build An Amazing, Vivid Vision Of Your Future
Without this vivid vision, you’re really just spinning in life. You never know when you actually hit your goals if you don’t have any in the first place. So do yourself a favor – create a plan, dream a little bit, and allow yourself to think outside the box to create an incredible plan for your future.
6. Be Mission Driven
When you’re looking at people who are really successful, many of them are also really happy. However, I would make the argument that most people who are successful and happy are not just happy because they have money and things and accomplishments. They are happy because they are mission driven, and they’re getting up every single day, not to make more money for their bank account, but to actually make the world a better place.
They’re out there to create more freedom, to create a safer environment, to educate people, to free people, or to do whatever they believe in – because to them it’s not work. They’re getting more done than most other people out there because they look at their work as a mission that calls them. It pulls them out of bed every single day and gets them excited about the work they’re doing.
7. Always Live In The Present
Too many people forget about living in the present, and that gets them back to either chasing the future or living in the past. All you really have is the now, the present moment, so make it your responsibility and remind yourself of enjoying that moment as much as you can.
8. Have Faith
I was brought up in a home that believed in hard work. My parents told me to get a good education, start a great career, make money, save that money hard for retirement, eventually have a good retirement, and then leave the earth. And WOW – doesn’t it sound sort of depressing when you look at it that way?
I know many people who live this way, and the hardest part about it is that there is so much pressure on you. When you work to build a business, you believe that every single piece is all on you. There’s a lot of pressure, which leads to overworking and overstressing. And so many people in today’s world feel unbalanced and stressed out like this – and then they eventually burn out. They carry this big burden on their back because they believe that success depends on them and nothing else.
One day, I realized that there was more to life – a bigger power. And I don’t care what you believe in – if it’s God or Buddha or the universe or your guides, or whatever that is for you, there is a bigger power out there that is on your side. And when you understand that, you can let yourself off the hook once in a while. You can say, “I don’t always have to have a plan. I don’t have to have it all figured out, because things will appear to me. I will have new ideas. I can let the spirit guide me because the universe has my back, and all I have to do is move forward joyfully and happily with intention and make the best of it.” When I realized that a lot of things changed for me, and since then I have not only been more successful, but happier than ever before. So do yourself a favor, and really look at your life with faith and build that into your daily practice and your belief system as well.
What can you do right now to create more happiness in your life? Well, if building a true lifestyle business is on your vision board, maybe it’s time for us to talk. I want to invite you to book in a Coaching Session with my Coaching Team to talk about where you are right now, where you want to go, and how we can help you make your dreams a reality. Go to CarolinSoldo.com/BookNow to schedule a chat, and let’s see what’s possible for you.