How to create happiness by being clear on what makes you happy
This last weekend I ran my first ever Spartan Sprint. It was no easy task and to be honest it was quite a humbling experience. A Spartan Race is basically a trail run (this one was 4.5 miles) with 20-30 obstacles dispersed throughout. You can go at your own pace, but I wanted to challenge myself and so the goal was to finish strong. This post isn’t about the race though; it’s about how important it is to recognize a goal or dream and how you can use it like a compass to navigate your life through all of the distractions.
It occurred to me in my morning meditation today that my mindset has taken a bit of a shift since I finished that race. For example, and I’m not mad about it at all, but my first post-race meal was a fried chicken waffle sandwich with maple syrup and fries. I’d never even seen one before, but fuck it, let’s celebrate right!
Almost everything I did leading up to the race had a purpose. I wanted to eat well, rest well and train well so that I could finish the race and still be able to function. When it was 9:30 at night and the crew was eating ice cream, I was able to use the race an excuse to pull back and as a result, I would wake up feeling refreshed and rested as opposed to heavy and heady.
For the past 2 or so months, this race was my compass. Everything I did to improve my health had a purpose and now that it has finished, there’s a slight feeling of being lost at sea. It’s like I lost sight of land and I now need to remind myself why I put these habits into place in the first place.
This is where many people’s long term health and wellness plans fail. A lot of people set a goal, but it’s when we reach this goal, that things go back to the way they were before. This is why having a dream is as powerful if not more so than a short term goal.
A dream is different to a goal. It’s an overarching idea or legacy that you live for. It’s the difference between jumping out of bed in the morning syked to start your day, or banging the alarm clock, already counting down the hours until you clock out again. For instance, I am living my dream right now as I write this for all of you to read. I am Health and Movement coach who loves to share stories and knowledge and help people get out of pain and reach their full potential. I cannot do these things if I don’t live the words that I speak. This dream is what keeps me moving, breathing, sleeping and loving everything that I do and because I am so clear of it, I know that it’s ok to go off track at times and celebrate as I tick off the goals along the way.
At first, finding your dream can be difficult in itself. Paul Chek believes that most people don’t fully realize what their dream is until they are around the age of 35, which I think is a beautiful thing. It means you get to experience life in all different ways and you get to figure what you like and what you don’t like through direct experience. In fact, last week I listened to one of the deepest conversations I had heard in a while between Paul and the CEO of Onnit, Aubrey Marcus in which they discuss this very topic. They also go deep on topics such as what is God, what is Love, what is consciousness and if you are feeling like you need a little bit of motivation in life, you should spend the hour or so and have a listen.
Finding your dream takes time. It takes time being alive and it takes time being with yourself. When I was younger, I always hated the thought that I would plan out my life. I was a wanderer and what ever happened just happened. But I found myself wandering a little bit too much, not sure of what I wanted and as a result I ended up with whatever I could get. I had to make a choice that I wanted something more and so sitting down I began to write down what I wanted. You too can do this at home and when you do, you can become clear of what steps you need to take to get there. When you do this, you will find that what you dream of will make its way into your life a lot faster than you think and happiness will always follow.