Are you successful, happy, and content?

Why aren’t you getting what you want out of life?

Starting today I want to talk with you about where you are in your life, where you want to go and how you get there.

Success.

There are lots of people who talk about success. How you feel about what you have achieved is a matter of how you measure it. People we might call successful, report they are far from happy or content. If you measure you success based on how much money or material possessions you have, those things can disappear in an instant. The collapse of the housing bubble and the recent recession has proven that financial security is an illusion.

There is nothing wrong with wanting success, wanting more money and things, just be aware that things by themselves won’t make you happy or content. So if more financial security, more freedom to do what you want when you want is on your list, stay tuned.

High on our “to do” list will be figuring out what really matters to you. I know what matters to me. Are you sure about what matters to you?

In my counseling and life coaching practice the hardest task for clients is figuring out what they want and then going after those things. We are used to the scarcity idea. If you succeed then someone else has to lose. That myth keeps you poor in spirit as well as in money.

You will also need to look at why the things you thought you wanted did not make you happy or content.

Make sure you trust that yardstick you are using. If your idea of success is more money, then how will you know when you have reached the “more” point? No matter how much you have there will always be more you could have. Do you really fancy being the richest person in the grave yard? If you had more money what would that mean?

People who decide then want enough money to be comfortable and not have to scrape from paycheck to paycheck discover it is not the size of the check but the size of the wants they need to pay for out of that check that determines if you are successful.

So in future posts we will need to look at ways to make more money and have more financial security without sacrificing happiness or contentment.

Happiness.

There are lots of courses on creating wealth, very few classes on creating happiness. The mental health waiting rooms of America are full of unhappy, depressed and miserable people. We find depression in the poorest of neighborhoods and we blame it on the poverty.

We find suicidal depression among the wealthy in far greater numbers than we should expect. That we blame on the stress of success. Poverty may breed misery; but there are clearly some happy low income people. There are way too many unhappy wealthy for me to any longer buy the idea that money equals happiness. What money does is give you options. How you use those options determines your happiness.

The art of happy living is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced separate from the art of earning and having. If your current income has made you happy enjoy it.

If you are not happy, then do something about it. The first step is to learn how to be happy with the process of living your life. The second step is to be effective in reaching your goals while on that life path.

For the record, happy individuals are overall more successful at reaching goals and earning a satisfactory income. Happy people often have more opportunities than they can use. Unhappy people can’t be successful no matter what is in front of them.

Contentment.

What exactly is contentment and would we want it if it was on sale at the mall? The dictionary definition of contentment includes things like peace of mind, being satisfied and arriving at where you wanted to be.

The reason so few people are contented is because they have no idea who they are, where they are or where then want to go. So setting goals, taking the steps to operationalize that plan and then monitoring your progress are all parts of achieving contentment.

Stay tuned for more on Success, happiness and contentment and how to achieve them.

I will give you a hint, you will find you need one tool to achieve all those goals, that tool is not dependent on how much money you have or where you shop. Spending a lot of money may get you a good teacher on how to use your tools but it won’t get you a better tool.

I can’t sell you that tool. You may be able to create this one important tool yourself from the hints I give you.

Next time – acquiring your life changing tool and lessons on how to use it.

For more on our counseling and therapy services in Fresno California see the David Miller Licensed Marriage and Family therapist page at http://www.counselorfresno.com/

Besides the posts here on counselorfresno.com you will find over a thousand other posts on the topics of mental healthsubstance use disorderslife coaching and life hacks on our sister blog counselorssoapbox.com

For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is here at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is at http://www.counselorfresno.com/recommended-books/

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