A couple of years ago, I wrote the book “Fan of Happy” as a way to communicate life lessons for my daughters. The lessons developed into a book that I am proud to share. But since the book was published, I continue to grow and evolve. I continue to learn. And so I have come across some new lessons I would like to share with my daughters…and you. So here are a few new “lessons for my daughters.”
It Might Be a Sign
When you are chasing a new goal or a new dream, it will be hard. Anyone that tells you differently is selling something. So often today, we are filled with memes and platitudes that tell us that “when we find the right path” things will get easy. Or you have heard “when you find what you love you will never work another day in your life.”
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but those are not true.
When you are doing something new, or creating a new path, there will be challenges. You will be stretched. This is not, as some would have you believe, a sign that you should stop. It’s not a sign that you are not supposed to chase that dream. As a matter of fact, it can be the opposite. It is often a sign you are on the right track.
For example, when you go to the gym (or workout in any way), you are pushing your body out of its comfort zone. You break down your muscle, so it can rebuild itself…stronger. The next day (and particularly two days later) you are sore. But you don’t view that discomfort as a sign that you are not on the right path. It’s a sign you are doing the right thing! Discomfort is a part of the journey. Embrace it as a sign you need to keep pushing.
Jealousy versus Admiration
When you see someone else having some level of success in life, especially if that success comes in the form of something you want, it’s natural to be a bit jealous. They have what you want. You are working hard to chase a dream, and it seems like it’s coming easy to them. They are ahead of you on the path. It’s natural to ask “why not me?”
It’s also incredibly unproductive.
When faced with a situation like this, re-direct your focus from jealousy to admiration. Jealousy is a negative emotion that shuts down your creative brain. Admiration still shows you the gap between what you want, and what you have. But that change gives your brain the space to not only admire them, but learn from them. What are they doing that you are not? Who do they know? What training have they done? What can you learn from them.
When you admire someone, you can learn from them.
Start Your Day with Gratitude
You cannot be negative and grateful at the same time. Though I have said that before, I learned a new trick this year that helps me frame my day in the first 60 seconds. When I am feeling overwhelmed with life, my first thoughts of the day have to do with what happened yesterday. What did I mess up? Why did they say that to me? Or I might think about the things I am dreading coming up today.
Either way, I am not living in the present.
When the alarm goes off and my mind begins to race, my new practice is to take just one minute to think about the things in my life that I am grateful for. It’s a simple exercise that takes me out of an immediate state of stress. It also reminds me, on a day when I need to work hard, why I am working hard in the first place!
If you are interested in more lessons like this, you can check out my book Fan of Happy on Amazon here. Oh, and if you want to make sure you never miss an update, sign up to become a VIP here.