How many of us regularly sacrifice our health and happiness in the pursuit of our goals? Wouldn't it be nice if we could work towards both our business and personal goals whilst enjoying health and happiness in the process?
This post will explore why we face this challenge and how a values-based approach to life can address it.
If you're looking for our post on how to craft values it's here.
The lack of emphasis and education around the importance of values in western civilisation is having a significant negative impact on the health and happiness of our nation.
Modern society leads us to believe that achieving goals and status is the key to happiness, but this isn't true.
If we truly buy into this lie, we're setting ourselves up for an unhappy life. Although achieving goals does provide a short term feeling of happiness, as we all know, in a very short timeframe, we move the goalposts.
I'm sure that each of us has multiple examples of times that we have done this. We tell ourselves we'll be happy as soon as we achieve X. Then we achieve X, feel great for a while then set a new goal we tell ourselves is the key to our happiness.
I have many of my own personal examples, but I love to share a favourite example from many years ago when I was coaching people CrossFit.
CrossFit provides a training structure that enables people always to be learning new skills. One of those particularly difficult skills is a movement called a 'muscle up'. This is when someone swings on a pull-up bar and pulls themselves from below the bar to above it. We had a 16-year-old guy training with us, and he was desperate to achieve a muscle-up. I remember him telling me, "All I want is to be able to do a muscle-up; I'll be happy once I can". He was a fit, hard-working guy, and after a few weeks of training and practice, I knew with just a few technique tweaks, he would nail it. I gave him a few cues, and woosh, he flew over the bar making the movement look effortless. I could see the pure joy in his eyes and feel it in myself. Then he dropped down and before his feet hit the floor, can you guess what he said.... "I want to do two in a row!".
We're all like this because it's ingrained within our culture to be this way. When we recognise this error in thinking, we're able to recognise how it's a futile approach to life destined to make us unhappy and never satisfied.
Business owners are terrible at this. We repeatedly tell ourselves, 'we'll be satisfied when: the markets right, we find the right employees, we're making £x and so on.
But the truth is there are always challenges in business as there are in life, there's always someone doing better than us, and there's always improvements to be made. If we fall into believing the lie that we can only be happy when we achieve certain things, we'll never truly enjoy our businesses or our lives.
The worst mistake especially prevalent in business owners is even is buying into the notion that goal achievement equals happiness so much that we sacrifice our health and wellbeing in the pursuit of them.
I'm not suggesting that achieving goals isn't important. It is. So much so that it's something we focus on heavily at Better Happy.
But what's more important is living a values-based life. Renowned psychologist Russ Harris talks about the importance of values-based living in his best-selling book 'The Happiness Trap'.
He highlights that when we live our lives focussed purely on achieving goals, we're destined to be stressed, impatient and unhappy. But when we make our lives meaningful by deeply connecting with our values, we're more empowered to find joy in every moment and still achieve our goals.
You can watch a summary video of the topic - here
You can purchase 'The Happiness Trap' book - here
Most, if not all, people in life have goals they want to achieve, from business owners to employees to our friends, family and children.
But not so many understand what their values are or how important they are to living a meaningful life and achieving their goals.
This is part of the reason why we have so many people sacrificing their health daily in the pursuit of their goals.
I believe we business owners suffer from physical and mental health issues so widely because we're very growth-minded goal-orientated people. Without having a values-based approach to life in the pursuit of goals, we're destined to struggle.
Connecting with your inner values and living a values-based life is like the missing key in goal achievement. It's the missing link that enables us to enjoy the journey of life and the pursuit of meaning.
By developing your ability to connect with your values and create values-based living, you can dramatically improve your own life and the lives of those around you, whether that be employees, your friends or your family.
A happy owner and happy team are essential components of a great business. By excelling in the Better Happy 5 S's - Strategy, Systems, Support, Saw, Soar a business is able to grow through a happy team without reliance on the business owner.
Find out how you're doing, for free, in five minutes by clicking the link image below.
About Mike: Mike believes that a structured pathway to health and happiness is the solution to individual, business and global challenges. Mike was never made to feel good in the schooling system, experienced poor management in military and burn out in his first business. Seeing these problems were widespread Mike Co-Founded Better Happy to help other business owners and employees achieve their visions faster with health and happines.