(And a question about my new hairstyle at the end)
Being happy is very trendy.
It's great and important so let's understand what is a crucial element to really achieve it.
The usual advice is to practise tools which are known (even by research) to enhance happiness.
I'm the last person to criticise techniques like exercising gratitude or promoting positive thinking methods. I live by that and teach it.
But this is only part of the story, and if you're still in search for happiness, here's what I think will help you to achieve it:
Start with asking yourself what is important for you in life.
Let me explain:
Looking at what you priorities is looking at your *values*.
Values are an expression of what's important for you in your life, the worth of something in your eyes.
They are the forces behind our behaviour and identity.
Values are a very individual matter.
The challenge is of course to find your own and not what you're supposed to call values according to an outer source.
This can be confusing but is worth looking at deeply.
Once you are clear about what your values are, it is then of high importance to connect to them and *invest* in them.
Because investing in your values will cause a very high ROI (Return on Investment), and a very quick one too.
By default, when you're focused on and invest in your values you'll immediately promote happiness!
Let me give you some examples using my own values:
A bit of a cliche but my family is my identity, my support, my pride.
They are the people who love seeing me, giving me the feeling that I'm worth, respect me and will be there for me.
As I know to appreciate all of the above, they make me happy.
Near them I can be myself.
They make me laugh.
They promote my happiness.
So I invest in my family, both my immediate one and extended one.
And this is why I'm on my way to Israel to my cousin's Dan Orbach wedding even if the visit is going to be so short that I won't even be there for 48h.
"My job is my life" isn't a cliche this time.
When I teach people to become counsellors and coaches who then get to support more people, my value is that I need to do it to the highest of standards.
This job ain't a joke (but thankfully it's fun).
Seeing my students achievements in just the 1st year of their studies fills me with pride.
I also know what good they're going to do in the world and that makes me... you guess... happy!
But it doesn't happen out of nowhere.
Myself and my team of co-trainers are investing time and more time and effort and money to let our students be as supported as possible in their journey of becoming counsellors and coaches.
We call our Counselling and Coaching diploma course a "boutique" course and we certainly give it all and keep to the highest of professional standards.
The results talk for themselves and in return we're happy.
Being professional is also why my trip is so short and I don't even stay the weekend:
Our students from the 1st intake of this academic year are going to have their last training day on Saturday and despite trusting my team to deliver a great training day without me, I just can't allow myself to miss it.
I know that seeing them at the end of the course is going to fill me with joy and pride and that I'll be...
Remember that values are very personal. This is not the most common of values but I've learnt over the years that I thrive on change.
I always need something new and exciting in my life beside the known things.
My name in Hebrew comes from the root of the word 'movement' and I love what it means to me and when I feel "on the move" I feel happy.
So the latest change was yesterday at the hairdresser when I just said to Marina "Cut it short".
And seeing this hairstyle on my head, one which I've been wanting for years but only when Michal Brosh posted her pictures I could say to Marina "Like this please":
Only now I'm finally happy.
So these were 3 of my values explained.
All 3, when I'm connected to them and making sure that they are fed properly, cause me a lot of happiness.
What are your values?
What will help you be happy?
And what do you think of my new haircut?