My father once told me that ‘money cannot buy happiness,’ and I used to think, “easy for you to say – when you have a heck of a lot of it!” But then, after deeper discussion, he further explained how he believed happiness is in the journey to riches, not the result of living with riches. It was the drive and discipline it took in seeking it where he was his happiest.
It’s the journey not the destination!
If you think of some celebrities, who despite their wealth and success, collapse into clinics for detoxing or mental breakdowns, have you ever asked yourself this question? With the world at their feet and enough money to last a lifetime, what is wrong with them?
Well, it is probably the illusion that they believed for so many years; that when they reached their pinnacle, they would achieve ultimate happiness. But that is just a mirage on the horizon, which never materialised, and they missed the happiness on the way. Their path towards their achievements was where they needed to find happiness, before making it big.
What is Success?
Paradoxically, I will admit that after achieving the many trips I worked for with Tropic, I did, of course, enjoy the actual trip. It was a fabulous experience with a group of amazing women. But people ask me why did I give the business up when it was still growing and highly successful? Why didn’t I continue up the success plan towards the top?
Well, it depends on what your view of success is. I achieved plenty of success during my six years with Tropic, and I wouldn’t say I was ‘unhappy’ at the end, but it just didn’t align with me anymore. I had changed as a person after my injury, and my purpose slowly changed with it.
Happiness can evolve throughout our lifetime; what made us happy in our younger years can change as we get older. In recent times, I have discovered a new passion with writing which has taken me on a journey of learning and reading. I have always loved learning, so this brings me a lot of happiness, as does reading (which is key to learning how to improve your writing skills). I was no longer seeking the thrills of trips, and glamourous weekends away to meet Lord Sugar with Tropic!
I also discovered that rather than aiming for my own financial gain, my experience in 2019 made me want to give back; to help others. This was a eureka moment where I decided to donate a percentage of my book sales to ‘Back Up’ Charity and to become an advocate for mental health. It makes me happy to make others happy – it gives happiness a whole new meaning for me.
But what makes me happiest of all, is work/life balance, and creating peace in my life. To sit in my cottage with the sun bouncing off the surrounding fields, my dogs asleep by my feet whilst I write, makes me so happy, I could sing from the rooftops some days. (Probably not a good idea considering my experience in ‘Catch Me if I Fall!)
It’s not exclusive!
I appreciate that some may say they don’t have this luxurious choice in life, but I believe we can all make things happen if we really want to. Mindset and making small changes are the first step, and a topic for a whole other blog!
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Now, I am not suggesting that everyone needs to change their job to find happiness. It’s more a case of learn to be happy in the one you already have, find small changes to make in your life, or big ones if need be. But be brave and make the changes. Life is too short to wait for tomorrow.
Happiness is always relative, and I don’t believe anybody can have it all. There are ups and downs in life and some difficulties that seem insurmountable. But creating a life around you that matches the inner world you want to feel is very achievable.
For me, the ecstatic rollercoaster-type happiness is something we have glimpses of and is not sustainable daily. Happiness is a feeling of joy and peacefulness that I have experienced and am still striving to maintain.
There will always be life’s problems knocking on the door, trying to disturb your peace. The trick is to bounce right back and don’t let the bad pebble ripple your waters! Keep returning to your ‘happy place’.