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Your Goal or Someone Else’s

Should I ?

Should post 1Sometimes we elect to reach for goals that at the time seem to be perfect ones, without questioning whether they belong to us or someone else. I wrote a blog post a while back which is still on this site called “Living in the land of should” In this post I wrote about a fictional place where we are all living in”shouldsville”.

Setting goals are terrific and necessary. We are always striving for something personally fulfilling to us and that makes our journey here interesting and fun but only if they are the goals you choose from your own set of values and beliefs. The most accomplished and fulfilling goals are the ones you set without the input from anyone or anything else. It’s highly critical to your happiness that you evaluate which goals actually belong to you and which goals belong to all of the “shoulders” in your life (and that includes the shoulder inside of you). When you question your goals you might discover that they really don’t belong to you at all.

Whose Goals are These Anyway?

Our culture, society, family, friends, bosses, television, movies all play a role in forming our idea of what we “should” be accomplishing and by when. Rarely do we take a look at these game of life rules that are laid before us almost on a daily basis. Add in social media in the mix where play by play achievements of other people’s lives are posted every second. Every time we see a post of a new author, a promotion, a bigger house, a wedding or an engagement adds another few feet to our ever growing measuring stick. We are always measuring ourselves against others accomplishments and unconsciously and controversially I say we also secretly feel better when we are doing better than others, that too is a measuring stick.

One of the most important things I do is help client’s define their goals. I can pretty much tell from the tone of their voice and the presentation of their goals, whether they are truly passionate about achieving them or they are feeling the pressure of the “shoulds.”

Break Your Measuring Stick Nowbreaking your measuring stick

When you learn to define for yourself what YOU really want you have a much better chance of achieving your goals. Not only will you achieve them with ease and determination but you will also feel more fulfilled as a result. So I encourage you to revisit your goals by understanding your values first. Once you know what you truly value, questioning your goals with a simple “Why do I want that?”  When you have that answer, ask again “Why do I want that”? When you get that answer ask again and again and again until you have exhausted your reasons why you want that particular goal. Your definition of successful completion of goals and accomplishments belong to you and you alone. Then you will take pleasure in breaking your measuring stick and there will be nothing stopping you from fulfillment.

What do you think? Are your goals in need of revision? Your thoughts are welcome. If you are curious about how coaching with me can assist you with defining goals that align with YOUR values and you’d like to break your measuring stick, give me a call or send me a note. I’ll be introducing a local workshop on setting extraordinary goals in March of 2015. If you are local and are interested in this program or need to explore coaching as a means to discover your goals let me know.

Happiness It’s a Jungle Out There

When we attempt to leave our comfort zone and go out into the jungle every day, it can really be a challenge to maintain our sense of well being and happiness.

This prayer sets the tone for the rest of this post:

Dear God,

So far today, I’ve done all right, I haven’t gossiped, haven’t lost my temper, haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or over indulgent. I’m very thankful for that.  But in a few minutes, God, I’m going to get out of bed. And from then on, I’m probably going to need a lot more help.–Anonymous

In the past, my life view was that of a dangerous jungle. I was on alert for bad attitudes around me, crazy drivers who cut me off in traffic, injustice at work and within my family, slights on behalf of friends or co-workers, eye rolls from others, condescending tones of voice, people who were rude and basically on guard for snakes, lions, tigers and bears. And I found them. Does this sound odd? Some people call it having a chip on your shoulder; others might view it as victimization. I call it putting my happiness in the hands of someone else or giving away my happiness.

  • So how do you create a safer jungle, one that won’t rob you of your happiness?
  • How do you protect yourself from potential energy draining people?
  • How do you manage to conquer the jungle with a smile on your face?


The answer for me was practice and more practice. Happiness is really up to you. By realizing you have no control over others is PRACTICE NUMBER ONE. You can’t control other people and their poor attitude. You can only pay attention to your response to that poor attitude. You can’t control erratic and unsafe drivers. Yelling and calling them names is ineffective because I have yet to see anyone who has successfully changed someones driving ability on the road through gestures and face making. I’m chuckling because I’ve tried this and it doesn’t work.  You can learn to explore your  feelings of injustice by examining your  interpretation of the circumstance surrounding that feeling, It is really only you who defines it.  Condescending people have struggles with their own worth, they must put themselves on higher ground in order to feel more confident and worthy, and again it’s your opportunity to redefine it for yourself.

PRACTICE NUMBER TWO is to expect happiness and you’ll receive it. Expect a pleasant day and you will attract it . Will people attempt to rain on your happiness parade? They may, but if you start your day with expectations of happiness and remind yourself if you see a storm looming that your entitlement is happiness, you can weather it. If you encounter that storm and before reacting you give yourself a moment to breathe, it can make a difference in maintaining your happiness.  Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, this has a very calming effect. If you remember to breathe you can actually imagine breathing in happiness. Notice how when you get upset or stressed your breathing is either shallow or rapid and sometimes we forget to breathe altogether. When you breathe it creates a centering effect , give it a try right now. Breathing also supplies you with a moment  so that you can get centered and choose to respond to the storm rather than react.

PRACTICE NUMBER THREE is to set your intention to keep your happiness today. When you allow others to rob you of your happiness you become their victims. There are people in the jungle who spend their time attempting to steal your happiness. They more than likely aren’t happy themselves. Happy people have a great energy and vibrate it outward; those who aren’t happy are attracted to happy people’s energy like a moth to a light. They want to feed off that energy and transfer their problems over to you; it’s really a cosmic vibration from which they are sensing and feeding .

Have you ever encountered someone and then remarked “I got a bad vibe” from that person”?  They may have not said a word to you, perhaps they are just in the same room as you. You may not even know this person but you can sense something is amiss.  When this occurs you are reading their aura or energy. Becoming a Reiki Master and practitioner as well as my coach training have taught me two great methods of protection. Using your own energy you can create a protective light or shield by envisioning a white or purple light surrounding you, prior to or during an encounter with an unhappy person. You can still remain friendly but with this light you cannot be drained of your happiness energy.

Another technique I have learned in my coach training is to create bigger boundaries. When you come to realize that your energy is precious and so is your happiness, you will protect it and treasure it.  If you know in advance that you will encounter those who drain your energy you can make an agreement to limit the time you spend with them. Picture an imaginary circle, the circle is the space you need around you. No one can enter the circle unless you give them permission. You control who gets to step into this space and who does not. This is your happiness space.

Practice makes perfect. If you start your day with a few tools for creating and keeping your happiness in your personal jungle you will succeed. It takes daily intention setting along with daily practice before before it becomes your new beautiful habit.  Then observe how your life changes as a result. You will begin to notice things just aren’t as difficult any more. People are nicer; those who wanted to steal your joy suddenly find other things to talk about, even your driving experience in the jungle will change. We are energetic beings who vibrate out to the world our happiness or sadness. It’s really  up to you the type of experience you really want to create for yourself.

My coaching practice is dedicated to those who are WILLING to step past victimization and realize their full potential for happiness. If you are ready, I offer a twenty minute no strings attached complimentary coaching session. I also offer long distance Reiki along with coaching for a more enhanced experience  if you choose. Contact me to schedule your complimentary session. Or visit the assessment page for three free self assessments that will assist you in learning more about yourself and your environment. Until next time, choose happy.

Happiness Basics and What You Value

One of the most difficult challenges some of us have is identifying our values. These would be values we consider to belong to us exclusively. Not the ones that we think we “should” have but the ones that truly come from our heart and spirit.

So often we choose values that belong to others just to be accepted and sometimes our values seem more like a chore to live up to instead of a joyful, beautiful and above all, a happy experience. Our culture, advertising, society and schooling sometimes paints a picture of what we “should” value. We then equate those values as “what will make us happy”.

The commercials and print advertisements that continually show us images of  wrinkle free people who are super think with flawless complexions and are aimed at showing us all that is wrong with us. We look in the mirror and compare ourselves to those images and unrealistically we strive to be that person. Instead of creating happiness, it creates unhappiness as it seems we are always measuring ourselves against that image. Those images fool us with just the right lighting, camera angles and the latest software which can straighten and whiten teeth, create flawless beauty with no character defects, fooling us into thinking we need to look that way.  For some this works fine. But if in owning the value of beauty becomes a value of “I should look like that” well then it’s not a heart centered value. It will more than likely create frustration  or a fleeting sense of happiness instead of our intended goal of  heart centered sustainable happiness.  However, if your value is physical beauty and you have a healthy attitude and definition of that value , there is nothing wrong with having beauty as your value. There is no right or wrong in creating what comes from the heart or spirit.

  • How do you identify your own values?
  • How do you know they belong authentically to you?
  • What are the benefits of identifying your values and their relationship to your happiness?

One way to define your values is to identify your interests and characteristics of which you have always been fascinated. These are the values that bring you happiness not the ones dictated by cultural or societal pressure, the “should (s)”.

By knowing your values, your life purpose becomes more clearly defined. When we have basic values met in all areas of our life, it brings satisfaction and a life that is based on happiness, realization and completion. When you comprehend that everything you do, feel and think is shaped by your values, you will then have a basic happiness recipe from which to gage and evaluate your life events; including career choices, relationships, relaxation and goals.

In my coach training I offer an opportunity for a client to identify key values along with a system for creating changes so that you can fully realize which of your current values aren’t serving your basic happiness goals and which of your values you would like to be in full expression.

Value categories can range from adventure, beauty, contribute, create, discover, feel, lead, master…to name a few. There are many subsets of these categories to consider when deciding which heart centered values resonate with you. When you re-acquaint yourself with your values, bewared of your basic happiness quotient increasing. Who can’t use an increase in happiness?

Your feed back and thoughts are valuable on this topic. When you share your thoughts you help other readers understand that others may struggle with this too, as well as providing your individual insight. Please share your ideas here and help others. If you would like to privately contact me regarding this topic or another please use the toll free number, or send an email. I currently offer a confidential and complimentary, no strings attached coaching session of one hour on any challenge you may be experiencing.  To arrange this session visit my site. Stay tuned for more topics based on happiness and confidence.

Happiness Just Jump off the Bandwagon

Please welcome guest blogger, colleague and friend Susan Sullivan, MA, Life Coach . Susan and I became quick friends in our Reiki training class. Not only do we share the same name but many other thoughts and philosophies. I asked Susan if she would consider blogging on the topic of happiness. She agreed to share her view point and her experience with the search for happiness. I think you will find the post below enlightening.

Jumping off the Happiness


By Susan Sullivan, MA, Life Coach

Contact at

I turned on the television yesterday and watched an entire show devoted to happiness. People from all walks of life were searching for happiness, analyzing happiness, and sharing insights to find and create happiness. There seems to be a push in our society to encourage us to jump on the Happiness Bandwagon. Entire industries have been created to help us to be happy.

What is that innate drive that we all feel for happiness and peace in our lives? How can we quench that thirst for inner contentment that we all feel? I wish we could jump on the Happiness Bandwagon and let it drive us to our destination but the path toward “true happiness” is a path that each human being must travel alone.

There is an old Indian story about a musk deer. The deer can smell the scent of the musk and searches and searches to find the source of the scent. On and on it runs through the forest, searching, searching, and searching. Finally, exhausted, it collapses on a pile of cool moss, and realizes the scent of the musk is coming from its own navel. The deer had searched in every place possible except himself.

We are like the musk deer–searching, searching and searching for happiness and inner peace but always on the outside. More money, a bigger house, a better job, the right spouse, the perfect children, it goes on and on; always encouraged by society, the media, our friends and family to jump on the Happiness Bandwagon.

We are unique and each one of us must take the time to find the path that leads us to ourselves–our true selves, our immortal selves, the self that has no beginning and no end. This is who we really are and until we do a “meet and greet” with our true self, we will always feel that nagging, uncomfortable feeling that we are not complete. We will always be jumping on the Happiness Bandwagon.

When we open our hearts to begin our quest for true happiness amazing things start to happen. People, books, teachers, and classes appear, questions are answered and our path begins to unfold; a guidance system develops that is easy to trust, and “coincidences” become an everyday occurrence.

Just for today, jump off the Happiness Bandwagon and take that first step toward true happiness. Write us and share your experience of your “jump”

With love,