In case you didn't know, today is the #InternationalDayOfHappiness! Here is my story on how I made the decision to choose to be happy.
A few years ago I went through a big "Happiness" phase reading as many books as possible on the subject including Dalai Lama's The Art of Happiness, Dan Harris' 10% Happier and Gretchen Rubin's books The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. I spent a lot of time focusing on what I could do in my life to be happier. I began meditating, found more joy through running, focused on little traditions with my family and many other small things. And in general all of those little things worked, I became much happier. At home, in my personal life.
However, I ignored a large part of my life. My career. I think in large part I was conditioned that I couldn't have it all. I had a job that gave me freedom, gave me flexibility and I was doing something that I was good at. However, it didn't leave me feeling fulfilled. And during stressful times in my job I couldn't sleep, laying awake for hours stressed out and worried. I stopped meditating, because I became too afraid to tap further into that unrest and unease, I was scared of my own thoughts. I would feel sorry for myself and then I would feel guilty for feeling sorry because I didn't have it so bad and who was I to think that I deserved it all. It was a vicious cycle.
Then things changed. My grandfather passed away, someone who strived for it all, someone who in his 80s searched high and low for a company that would let him skydive and when he couldn't find it he "settled" for paragliding! As clichéd as it sounds, his death woke me up. Well technically I was already awake, one of the many sleepless nights worrying and stressing now with an added layer of grieving. Why was I staying with something that didn't leave me feeling fulfilled? I wanted to help people but wanted to continue to work from home and for myself. So I made a choice. I chose to make it happen. I chose to try and work my hardest to have it all.
From that day on I put in the work. I found Classy Career Girl's podcast and did my own introspection on my interests, motivations and skills. Realized that this is what I had wanted to do all along. I began conducting informational interviews with other career coaches, finding mentors, learning about starting a business, designing my own webiste and am still learning so much every day. And I am still recruiting, as I have a client I love, meaning I am working longer and smarter each day to make it all happen. At night though, I meditate (I'm not scared of my thoughts anymore), and go to sleep feeling satisfied and fulfilled. Because I made my choice and make that same choice everyday. I choose to be happy.
If you are feeling unhappy in your current job, you can make a choice to change! Don't know where to start? My Job Search Roadmap email course is a good place. Also, feel free to book a free strategy session, let's chat and brainstorm how to change your life.
Sara Curto, Career Management Specialist. Working with you towards Career and Job Search Success.