Do you agree that everything we do in our lives, we do in order for us to be happy? We are searching for our dream work, we look for our perfect relationship and getting our dreams come true.
Srikumar Rao, educator, writer and life coach asks the following question that I invite you to answer:
What do you have to GET in order to be happy?
Spend some time to make a list of these things. Is it interesting work, money, lots of travel, perfect relationship? What is your list?
Anything that you can get, you can UNGET. Whenever you get that makes you happy, once it disappears – where does that leave you?
According to Srikumar Rao, there is nothing that you have to GET in order to be happy. It is your innate nature, it is a part of your DNA.
You will ask if its innate, how come that lots of time we does not feel this way?
S. Rao explains that we spend our entire life learning to be unhappy. And the way we learn this is by buying the mental model which does not work.
The mental model we have is the following:
We have to get something, so we can do something, so we can be something.
We need a great amount of money, so we can travel all over the world, this will make us happy.
All this is the variation of IF… THEN model.
IF this happens, THEN we will be happy.
IF we get it – we succeed, if not – we fail.
What is your IF that you are you currently focusing at?
Remember what it was 10 years ago? 10 years ago there were certain things that you wanted, and most probably the majority of them you have right now – however where does that leave you now? Again there are certain things that need to happen so we can consider ourselves happy. ¨If only I had time, if only I could, if, if, if¨.
We spend enormous amount of time changing our IF.
Did you remember any scene when you were ¨caught in the moment¨? When you appreciated what you saw, exactly as it is? You did no try to change the scene, you were just enjoying the view.
At that instant you accepted the situation exactly as it was.
When we do not accept the reality, we are entering in IF … THEN model, we strive with might and may to make it different. This model does not work.
What are the first steps to start getting out of this model, which does not work?
The important mindset that we should come back to, according to S. Rao is the following:
ACTIONS are within our control
OUTCOME is completely outside of our control
Remember last time you started something, you put your energy and then you got completely opposite results? You put a lot of efforts but the result was not at all what you expected? This happens a lot.
We set our goals, we put all the efforts on the outcome – because we want to succeed. We invest in our outcome, and sometimes we get just completely opposite from what we expected. When we don´t get it – do we consider that this is the failure?
The healthy alternative is to invest in PROCESS instead, not the outcome.
How? Famous basketball coach after each game used to say to his team the following:
When its over and you look at the mirror, ask yourself – did you do the best that you capable of? And if you did your best, score does not matter. But I suspect is that if you did the best that you are capable of, you will find the score of your liking.
This is what means investing in the process.
IF we get it – we succeed, if not – we fail – this is the mental model that leads to unhappiness. What do we have to do or get to feel complete? Or maybe our current situation is just perfect for us? Perfect to learn, to change actions and continue?
We shall invest in process – here is what I am, this is where I want to be, and then investing in preparation, in the process itself. And if we succeed, this is wonderful and if not – still wonderful! Because now we have the new starting point, we select, analyse the outcome and keep going.
In other words, investing our energy in something that we can change – our actions, but not into the outcome which does not depend on us, because outcome by definition is outside of our control and spending our emotional energy thinking that we fail because we did not get something – this is what leads to unhappiness.
The perfect personal example I can give you for this topic, is competing in the speech contest. I remember how frustrated I felt when I was not the winner in one of the speech contests, because the goal I had was to win. Instead I could have taken the outcome, put all my energy in improving my performance and participate next year.
How much do you invest in outcome? What else do you need to GET in order to be happy?