I’m a coach who works with clients on personal and professional development issues. While no client has ever specifically asked me to help them become “happier,” I think it’s purpose, yes? Our goals, plans and dreams are all designed to make us happier.
But what happens when we achieve a goal? Well, have you ever talked to someone who finally got a book published, or won a political campaign, found partner they wanted, had new baby, or got big promotion and found them somewhat down in dumps after a week or so?
It’s a law of physics and a law of emotions that what goes up must come down. We need our successes, and certainly to have our goals and to reach them. This makes life interesting, allows us to explore ourselves and our potentials and talents, gives us a livelihood, and enriches our lives. We celebrate our successes with great joy and happiness, but this can only be a temporary state. What then?
Authentic and lasting happiness is a state of being not a state of mind. It must come from inner states, not external events. When you develop your emotional intelligence, you’re more likely to achieve this state. It allows you to conduct yourself in happiness, in a positive state, through all ups and downs of life.
Why develop your emotional intelligence? As W. L. Shirer wrote, “Most true happiness comes from one’s inner life, from disposition of mind and soul. Admittedly, a good inner life is hard to achieve, especially in these trying times. It takes reflection and contemplation and self-discipline.”
These are all emotional intelligence competencies which you can develop. It’s well worth your time. Instead of focusing on “time management,” or “stress management,” or “leadership,” or “communication,” go to foundational level and develop your emotional intelligence. Instead of taking a part, grab whole. It will keep you off “pleasure roller coaster,” where you expect momentary highs to last forever, or to sustain you through inevitable challenges.
If you expect highs to continue indefinitely, you’re going to be disappointed. You have to be able to appreciate, as well, slow days, calm days, boring days, and ordinary day because on some days that’s reality, and all we have is day we have. You can stay present, instead of going into future or back into past.