Okay, continuing the life is simple theme, let me give another example.
(How did I come up with the life is simple theme? From my complimentary coaching session with Joanna at Cup of Tea Coaching!)
I’ll admit the last example was complicated. My explanation and rationale was complicated. But that’s because it was exactly what was growing through my mind. I wasn’t filtering. I didn’t edit. I wrote it exactly how it came out. Now for a more simple example.
– I want to be happy. Doesn’t everyone? I want to be happy. Saying it (or writing it) is harder than you think. Why? Because you’re admitting that you might not be happy. Incredibly vulnerable. But what is happy? It’s different to different people and again, we over complicate it. We try to think of the ultimate way to be happy. Of what is going to make us happy forever. Of what is going to make not just us happy, but everyone around us too. Let’s simplify it. What makes me happy? Here are 5 quick things that came to my mind right away.
1. Having things clean and organized. Can’t deny it, I am my mother’s child.
2. Being around people.
3. Being healthy.
4. Making people happy (I know I said before that we complicate it by thinking of other people, but what do we do when making other people happy is what makes us happy too?)
5. Being creative.
Now for the simple answers. No complications.
1. Clean up! Put the clothes away. Do the laundry. Wash the dishes. But remember that a clean house shouldn’t get in the way of other things.
2. Get out of the house. Write and read at Barnes and Noble. Walk around the mall. Invite friends over for dinner.
3. That walk around the mall is exercise! Going to the gym also puts you around other people. Cleaning is exercise too (yes Mom, I have been listening all this time).
4. Send a card to a friend. Help a stranger load their groceries into their car. Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. Tell your parents you love them.
5. Write. Do a craft. Make a gift for someone. I also consider reading to be a creative outlet.
The best thing about that simple list? So many of my answers solve multiple problems. By making a gift for someone I am being creative and making someone happy. By inviting friends over for dinner I am being around others, being creative, and making people happy.
What makes you happy?
Sometimes things in life are just so simple. We over complicate things so much in order… to make ourselves happy? …to do what we really want? …to have an excuse? …to stop ourselves from doing what we actually want but think others would disapprove of? There are so many reasons why we over complicate things but it really does come back to the simple. It’s just simple. Let me give you an example.
– I was laid off. My job gives me a company car, car insurance, gas, and pays for my home internet/tv bundle because I worked from home when I wasn’t traveling. So now that I am laid off I have to get a car, pay for car insurance, pay for gas, and do without some things like cable and a social life. Here is my complicated reasoning on car buying: I want a car, I want the independence, I want the freedom, I want a car that matches what I want people to think of me (ie, I don’t want a ghetto mobile). The fiscally responsible decision is to do without a car for a while, save the money, and get one when I truly need it since I live in a town where public transportation isn’t that bad and there is a bus stop right outside of my apartment. But I WANT a car. I WANT the independence. I WANT people to see me in a nice car. But what do I NEED? I NEED money. I NEED to be fiscally responsible. So how I can I align what I want with what I need? Well, there is a car that I could have. My brother’s car is sitting at my parents’ house unused because he lives in NYC. Do I WANT his car? No. It’s a ghetto mobile. It’s stick. It’s not nice. So how did I over complicate this decision?
1. It’s stick and I’d have to learn to drive stick.
2. It’s my brothers and it would inconvenience him the few times he comes to my parents’ house and wants his car.
3. It’s ghetto and I’m not.
4. It’s ugly and I’m not.
So in my mind I shouldn’t use his car and I should get my own. But let’s simplify this decision.
1. You learn stick, you learn a new skill.
2. Is he really going to care? Ask him.
3. Everyone knows you’re not ghetto.
4. The ugly car doesn’t make you ugly.
So am I going to make the fiscally responsible decision and drive his car? I don’t know. Sometimes we have to mesh the smart decision with the happy decision to find the best decision for you. So maybe driving his car is the SMART decision and maybe the HAPPY decision is getting the car I want. So what is the BEST decision? I’m still working on that.
Now I’m sure you’re all wondering how I am so smart and figured this out. The truth is, it was in me. I knew all of these answers all along. I just couldn’t get them to come out. Probably because I didn’t want them to come out. Who really wants to face truths like this? No one. But sometimes talking them out with someone who understands, who won’t judge, who is unbiased, and yes, whose job it is to do those things helps.
I had the unique opportunity to take part in a complimentary 45-minute coaching session with Joanna at Cup of Tea Coaching and it was the best 45 minutes (okay, it went to about an hour) I’ve had in a long time. I hung up the phone feeling validated, lighter, and excited. I was the one who brought up the smart decision and the happy decision but it was Joanna who made me realize I need to find a way to combine the smart and happy decision in to the best decision for Jacquelyn. I was the one who said I was over complicating the car decision by making my brother’s feelings a huge factor in why I shouldn’t drive the car. But it was Joanna who made me realize that all I have to do is ask him. Yes, I knew that all I had to do was ask him but that thought wasn’t reaching the front of my brain. I didn’t even know it was there. Talking with Joanna and answering her questions brought it out. She doesn’t tell you what to do, she just makes you realize what you need to do.
She also gave me homework assignments. Don’t worry. I’m not groaning. They are exciting assignments. I wrote them down in my notebook. And over the next few posts, I’ll be doing my homework assignments here so you can see how her coaching works. My first homework assignment? Talk to my brother. Tune in to find out how it goes. My guess?
Me: Sean, do you mind if I drive your car while I save for my own?