This is a continuation from last week’s blog post of Hector’s Listicle of Happiness.
I give you the balance of the aforementioned list:
8 – Happiness is, answering your calling.
If you’re lucky, there’s a moment in life when you realize that you’ve arrived.
I spent almost 25 years as a sales executive, The last five or six years, I’m not proud to say it, I showed up each day simply for the bank. I got paid well doing something I did better than most. However intrinsically I was as empty as the NY State Fairgrounds in December.
Then on some idle Tuesday over 10 years ago, I received a serendipitous email about an introductory teleseminar on the coaching profession. Voila. The rest is history.
9 – Happiness is being loved for who you are.
(Full disclosure, I’m apolitical though I love watching the parade)
Take Donald Trump, one of the conservative candidates vying to be the Republican nominee in the 2016 presidential race.
Every time the Donald makes a politically incorrect statement he surges in the polls.
The public is tired of people who are uber polished. Instead they love to be in the presence of someone willing to be themselves, and brave enough to say exactly what’s on their mind.
Say what you want about him, the people love Trump for who he is.
10 – Sweet Potato Stew!
While on his turbulent, roller coaster, two steps below economy class plane ride from China to Africa, Hector befriends a native woman who invites him to her home to enjoy Sweet Potato Stew with her family and friends.
In this scene, the kitchen is crammed with people of all ages laughing, dancing, cajoling, eating and drinking while basking in the aroma emanating from the stew simmering in the oven.
What’s your “Sweet Potato Stew” that fills your pot of happiness?
11 – Fear is an impediment to happiness.
In his wonderful book, “The Untethered Soul, the journey beyond yourself,” Michael A. Singer explores a myriad of topics one of which is fear.
Singer says the genesis of fear stems from the flow of energy reaching an impasse. When energy hits a wall it’s impossible for the good stuff to stream to your heart.
In turn, your heart becomes anemic and vulnerable to attracting lower vibrations. The lowest vibration is fear. Fear is the root cause of all our problems.
To strengthen your happiness muscle, let go of your fears. Holding onto fears is your way of protecting yourself from getting hurt.
By letting go you’re saying to the universe: “I’m ready and willing for energy to flow through and drench every part of my body and soul.”
12 – Happiness is feeling completely alive.
Following his happy stop of “Sweet Potato Stew”, Hector’s vehicle is carjacked by renegade soldiers and is taken to an undisclosed location and put into a dark decrepit prison cell.
He’s given enough food and water to barely remain alive. Hector has nothing but time to contemplate his life knowing full well that his mortality is imminent.
As luck would have it, and to keep the story going , 🙂 Hector is saved by an elusive pen and freed by his captors.
With a bag over his head, he’s dropped off in the dark of the night on the side of a dirt road.
He removes the bag, dusts’s himself off, and frantically runs toward the friendly village in Forrest Gump like fashion ecstatic he’s terra firma and very much alive.
13 – Happiness is knowing how to celebrate.
During coaching convos with clients, I’m constantly asking them how they’re going to celebrate a -WIN-.
My experience has shown it’s important to take a pause for the cause and celebrate W’s. Each time we applaud a win we create new neuro pathways which reinforces the new behavior that got us to achieve the endgame.
Once I asked a client, “Wow, this is a huge accomplishment. My request for you is to treat yourself to something special. Don’t get crazy and buy a Benz. It could be anything from a nice dinner, a cup of your favorite coffee, or that special dress you’ve been eyeing in the front store window.”
She accepted the request and said she’d give it some thought.
On our next call I asked how she decided to reward herself. “I leased a Mercedes Benz! I’ve always wanted one! Thanks Steve!”
Celebrate even the smallest of wins.
14 – Listening is loving.
This was a poignant part of the film.
While on his flight to Los Angeles, a woman passenger who recently had a brain operation, was experiencing excruciating head pain. The pilot asked if there was a doctor on the flight and Hector came to the woman’s side to provide rudimentary care.
He asked the pilot if it was possible to fly at a lower altitude for the duration of the flight in that it would greatly provide much needed relief to his adopted patient. He acquiesced and the woman’s infirmity greatly improved.
Once they landed, Hector instructed the paramedics to take her directly to see her friend to say her goodbyes knowing she was knocking on heaven’s door.
Before they left the woman told him he’s great at what he does. That of being a loving listener.
15 – Nostalgia is not what it used to be.
The purpose of the last leg of Hector’s trip was to visit an old girlfriend and love from his college days.
They meet at a California beach and he’s surprised to see she not only has one, but two growing children and another in the oven.
While on their way to see an old college professor (played by Christopher Plummer,) Hector looks at her, and in so many words and body language, starts to wonder what might have been if they ended up together.
She’s frustrated by Hector’s behavior telling him how he was never able to commit and missed his chance while he had one. Today she’s quite happy and in love with her husband, children, and their wonderful life.
Thinking about the past is unavoidable. Thinking we’d be much happier if we had taken a left vs. a right is pure speculation. All we have is today.
“We should concern ourselves not so much with the pursuit of happiness but rather with the happiness of pursuit.”