We all deserve to live a happy and fulfilled life, have goals and accept or create opportunities to achieve them. And once we get there (wherever ‘there’ may be), we deserve to relish in the rewards that these achievements bring and use this as a platform to create new opportunities for ourselves. We do this to feel a sense of accomplishment and in the hope that we will become happier and more fulfilled.
This is fine, in fact this is completely normal….however what most people forget (and I am sure you have heard this time and time again) is that happiness is a journey and not destination. One of my favourite quotes about happiness is by Alfred D. Souza
“For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life, but there was always some obstacle standing in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, , time still to be served, a debt to be paid, and then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. Perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness…happiness is the way. So treasure every moment that you have because time waits for no-one”
I read this quote over 15 years ago, but only now I am appreciating its true meaning. My ultimate goal has always been to ‘’just be happy”. I have had a roller coaster year – some amazing highs and very personal lows. If I had the choice, I definitely wouldn’t have chosen for some events to unfold the way they did. If someone had looked into a crystal ball 12 months ago and told me the way my year was going to unfold, I probably would have had a fallen apart.
A lot of my happiness was dependent on things that I couldn’t control…I’m not naive to think that sometimes our circumstances DO bring happiness, but what I have learned is to not attach too much of my happiness to the things that I have no control over.
Last weekend my colleagues and I attended Fitness Australia’s National Symposium in Brisbane; this was where the winner of the National #ActiveAchiever award was to be announced. Circumstances meant that family and close friends could not not be there and the National winner of the award was not Terri. Those who were unable to attend were sorely missed and we would have loved to have seen Terri be the recipient of that honour. Despite not things not entirely going the way we would have chosen, the team still had the most amazing time and made the best of the experience. We learned lots, met experts in the health and fitness industry and enjoyed the celebrating the success of Terri and all the state #ActiveAchievers.
Of course had these circumstances been different, it would have only added to our enjoyment of the weekend…. But much like life’s journey, you aren’t always given a choice …. You are only given a set of circumstances….the rest is up to you.
I for one, know what truly made Terri happy; it wasn’t the fact that she was named the recipient of Victoria’s #ActiveAchiever. Although she was incredible humbled, the small wins she shares with her clients during training is what brings the biggest smile to her face. Her happiness is seeing people take one (small or large) step closer to their goals….this is enjoying the journey in its truest and most authentic form.
Each day when we wake up we have 2 choices; to be happy because of the current circumstances happy in spite of the current circumstances. Neither is wrong, but learning and appreciating that happiness starts within ourselves gives us greater control and faith that when times are less than favourable, we aren’t going to self-combust in a sea of misery.
I will always strive to improve in all areas of my life and move closer to my personal goals….but I am also getting better at having fun along the way and adapting to the ever changing circumstances and conditions that I’m presented with. I am becoming more comfortable knowing that although I cannot control the situation, I can control my choices – and I choose to be happy.
– Written by Danielle Fancellu, Wellness Coach