Could you be happier?
I saw a great coaching question recently: “Could you be happier if nothing around you in the world changed?” Be honest, what was your immediate response on reading that or are some of you still weighing it up? My immediate response was “Yes of course!” My answer surprised me as I consider myself a happy person and happy with the life I have. The mere fact that I thought I could be happier even if nothing else changed made me think.

It reminded me of a situation when a friend was asking me about how I had managed to stay so happy and positive when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. There were a couple of other ladies with her and when I had finished my story one lady said, “It’s all very well being positive and staying happy but won’t you feel stupid when it comes back?” I was pretty dumbstruck at the time and think it said a lot more about her than me.

I could have approached breast cancer in two ways: woe is me and get very stressed about it or be happy and get on with it. The choice was mine. I know stress isn’t good for you and so being stressed out about it wouldn’t have helped me in the least and stress is contagious. Have you ever noticed that when you are around people who are stressed it starts to rub off onto you? The last thing I wanted to do was to create a stressful situation at home for my family and friends so I chose to be happy, not angry or resentful as that wouldn’t have changed my condition. Actually come to think about it, it could well have made it worse! In terms of the question above I had chosen to be happier even though nothing in my world changed.

When you are feeling stressed, stop, concentrate on your breathing for a few minutes, think a happy thought and ask yourself the question: will this be so important a week from now? A month from now? A year from now? Change your thoughts and you’ll change your feelings. If you want to be happier then think happier thoughts more often. My challenge to you for this week is that you have to have at least one happy thought every hour of the day no matter what is going on. Do you know how happy you can be? Let’s find out!

By the way, I’ve asked a few clients the same question and everyone’s response so far has been “Yes of course”. Needless to say they have all been shocked and we’ve had a great coaching session.