As a coach, talking to people is my job. I talk to a lot of people in any given week between working with my clients, speaking engagements, training events, and prospecting for new business.
I also have a life outside of work where, again, I talk to a lot of people. Friends, family, and all the people in between that I interact with on a daily basis.
During these interactions I’m always listening to how people relate to themselves and the world around them. This is a practice I’ve learned to help me best serve my clients, and it’s also quite interesting to notice in social settings as well.
The bottom line is that people just want to be happy. We want to be happy with the way we spend our time and with whom we spend it. We want to be happy with who we are and what we have. We want a happy experience of life.
Now, this is a very simple way to explain life which is a pretty complicated thing, but bare with me here. Certainly we can agree that life is better when we feel happy and worse when we feel sad, angry or resigned.
Ask yourself this question: Will I be happy tomorrow?
Out of 100 people who are asked this question, I’d be willing to bet, 97+ of them would answer: It depends. Depends on what? Well, it depends on a million things.
Life By Design vs Dependant On Circumstances
What if I told you that it didn’t have to depend? What if you could be happy because you say so? Would that be something you might be interested in? What would that make possible for you?
We’re bombarded every day with thousands of things that could potentially influence our mood. Conversations with other people, media - marketing messages, news, television, stuff happening - sickness, hardship, and even death. Let’s call all of these things circumstances.
Look, there are always things that happen that will cause us to feel some type of way other than happy. And, what if you could be happy because you say so 90%+ of the time? What if you could do so regardless of the circumstances around you? Would that make a difference for you?
This may be a brand new thought for you and it may be the hardest work you ever do. Just like anything else you’ve ever done that was new, you can become great at it with consistent, deliberate practice.
You’re being given your first opportunity to do so right now. Or you could choose to be a victim of circumstance like 97% of the people around you. What do you say?
Choose To Generate
I can almost hear you asking, how in the world does one do this? It’s a super simple answer, and again, one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. You practice choosing to generate the experience of life you want in every moment.
The predictable thing about life is that stuff happens. “Good” things happen and we feel good. “Bad” things happen and we feel bad. Totally normal.
Let’s take a sales goal for example. When sales are coming in and it looks predictable that we’ll hit the goal, we probably feel good. When there’s no momentum and it looks difficult or impossible to hit the goal, we probably feel bad. Totally normal.
The problem with this scenario is that it’s a completely externally driven life. In this model people are victims of the circumstances around them. The best life ever gets is when lots of “good” things are happening. And we all know those moments come and go.
The game to play is choosing to generate the feeling and experience you want to have in any given moment. Then choose it again. Then choose it again, and again, and again. If you focus your attention on doing that one thing it’ll change your life forever. Guaranteed.
This is art. It’s creation. It’s literally designing your life moment by moment, experience by experience. If you want a symphony, you can have it. If you want a hip hop show, you can have it. Anything you can imagine you can create. And if you can’t imagine it, you can’t create it.
Don’t take my word for it either. If you seek, you shall find. There are tons of books, seminars, and programs you can invest in to find out how to implement this new way of being into your life.
I’ve personally chosen to be a lifelong student and practitioner of this philosophy. I look for people who teach these principles and I consume their content voraciously.
I’m not saying this to toot my own horn or to pat myself on the back. I’m saying it with the intention of encouraging you to join me on this journey. The journey of living a great life because we say so. You can do this too. Regardless of all the reasons why you think you can’t. I promise you.
Science tells us that more than 99% of every atom is made up of energy. The small percentage left over is consists of matter. This obviously means we’re mostly energy surrounded by a little bit of matter.
Thought is what controls this energy. There are two kinds of thought - conscious and subconscious.
Conscious thought is the rational part of our minds we use to plan and make decisions. Subconscious thought is the habitual part of our minds that control our feelings, reactions, and everything that happens unconsciously like walking and our heartbeat.
This conversation gets deep and I’m just scratching the surface here. So try to think about this in the context of this article - How does one choose their own experience of life consistently?
The conscious mind is the part that may be telling you right now that what I’m talking about here in this article is impossible. The reason why it’s telling you that is because you have little to no evidence from your experience that it’s true. This part of the mind deals with facts and figures.
The subconscious mind just does what it’s told. It has no decision making capability whatsoever. It doesn’t think about how to walk, it happens automatically. Imagine how much energy you would need to use if you had to think about how to make your heart beat all day. Right. That’s why we don’t have to think about it.
All the familiar ways you already know you’ll react to certain situations are familiar precisely because you don’t have to think about it. You already know you’ll react the way you normally do. It’s habit.
When “bad” things happen, you already know how you’ll feel. What there is to do is practice consciously choosing how to respond instead of automatically reacting. When you do this enough times, you’ll notice a new habit is formed.
Then guess what? After a while the conscious mind passes it over to the subconscious mind so you don’t have to think about it anymore. It’s no longer necessary to use as much energy. Instead of thinking about it, you simply start doing it. Then you begin reliably and consistently being it.
Try noticing when you’re reacting to life from habit vs responding by choice. If you don’t like how you feel and the experience you’re having of your reaction, practice choosing something more favorable instead.
Once you get some facility around that then you can start choosing the experience you want in any given moment. It’s like predicting the future except it’s completely by design. It’s art and science combined.