Today’s show is about why “more is better” is a lie and why there are a lot of lies that we believe about correlation between things that we want and feeling better, more money, more power, more success, more children, less children, possibly.
All of the things that we think will make us happier and how a lot of them are incorrect. They’re myths. Okay.
As I have been thinking about this episode for months, really, I’ve just been considering this idea and in my head I call it the correlation confusion, but then that didn’t seem like a very easy title four, a podcast episode.
So, but this is what I really think about. I think about how we as a society are sometimes confused about what leads to the feelings that we hope to have because at the end of the day, our lives are about how we feel and oftentimes really, really often our actions are to bring some sort of feeling into our lives.
And also very often we are taking action maybe on the wrong things or in the wrong places. And so we are confused about what will actually bring the types of feelings that we want, where those come from.
The Big Lie
And, and this is the big lie, this is the big, this is kind of like the treasure hunt, how to be happy, how to be fulfilled and content and satisfied. And I don’t have it all figured out, that’s for sure. But I definitely feel like I’m getting there. I feel closer and closer to recognizing on a very regular basis that the life that I am leading is exactly the one that I want. That who I am today, the things that I am choosing and the circumstances in which I find myself are just right even when they aren’t things that I can control.
And that has become really powerful for me. It’s been really, really interesting and exciting and powerful to feel not only okay with my life but to feel enamored with it, to feel thrilled by it and to feel like things are really great most of the time.
So if you are someone who wants to feel a little bit more like that, who wants to wake up in the morning and look around and think, Gosh, everything is great. These things in my life are wonderful– even the ones that I can’t control or that I, that I can’t do anything about that you– even the things that you would change if you could, that you can find a place of acceptance and joy within that circumstance. I’m excited to hear what you think. Of course, I love starting out each show with the segment and today I’m going to share peaks of the week
Segment: Peaks Of The Week
In this segment, I share a couple things that I have been digging this week and I’m going to start with number one, taking myself on dates.
1. Taking myself on dates.
Do you do this? Do you sometimes just take yourself out to lunch to a fun restaurant or pack yourself up and go to a late night movie. I did this last night and it reminded me how much I love it.
I left to do a little bit of work after Dave came home. He put the kids to bed and I went to my office and I was doing some work and I looked at the clock and it was about 10 o’clock and I thought, I really feel like going to a movie. It had been a little while since I’d gone to a movie in the theater and I love that. And it was also a Monday. And so I kind of needed like a, uh, end of Monday boost, psychological boost.
And so I just texted Dave and said, “Hey, I’m taking myself to a late night show and don’t wait up. I’ll be home late.” And I took myself to a 10:45 PM movie and I also treated myself to a hot pretzel with cheese, which is one of my favorite snacks. And normally movies don’t have that. So it was kind of like a bonus.
It felt so good to just take myself on a date to go do the thing that I wanted to do. And I, of course this flies in the face of a couple episodes ago we talked about mothering your health and getting sleep and you know, taking care of yourself that way, telling yourself it’s time to go to bed and taking yourself to bed. And I had that advice, my own advice in my head. And I decided as an adult that I was going to mother myself and say, take yourself out.
This is something that you need that will just feel fun and just feel like a little bit of a release. And so I took myself to the movies and I ate my hot pretzel and I just enjoyed the experience of being in the theater, not having to take care of anything or anyone and just enjoy.
So maybe this feels new for you. I know I had a bunch of people comment on Instagram and say, “Oh my gosh, I’ve never thought of taking myself to a movie.” And to be totally honest, if I had thought about it a little bit sooner, I probably would have texted a couple of friends and say, “Hey, do you want to meet me for a late night movie?”
But as it was, it was a spur of the moment decision and I wasn’t going to let not having preplanned it and not having a companion hold me back from doing the thing that I felt like doing, which was going to the movies.
So if you need a date and you don’t have someone right now to go on a date with, you take yourself on a date. Even if you do have someone. I love going to the movies with Dave and I also really liked going to the movies by myself, just for fun. I used to do this in Texas at the Alamo Drafthouse because it’s such a fantastic theater and I would get loaded tater tots.
You guys, it was so good like just eating bacon, cheese, tater tots in a movie theater by myself, like cuddled up in a blanket or a or a heavy sweatshirt, like just so cozy. So if you need to take yourself on a date, make space in your life for that. That is my number one pick of the week.
2. Awesome With Alison Podcast
My number two peak of the week is a podcast that I’m sure most of you are familiar with. Awesome With Alison, with Alison Faulkner and Eric Robertson is one of my absolute favorites and I’m not just telling you this because I was interviewed for their show yesterday. I’m also telling you this because I have listened to every single episode over the last year that they have produced and they are some of my very favorites.
Alison is an incredible person. Eric is as well. Alison leads the conversation from a place of wanting to teach you something and I think that’s really different. I mean I feel like that’s where I like to lead a conversation from as well. I’m trying to impart something to you and I appreciate that because it’s very deliberate.
It isn’t a show that just chat about things and she does share a lot of personal experiences, which is really wonderful. She always leaves you with something that she wants you to understand, something to apply to take into use in your own life, and that is so helpful. That’s so wonderful.
Alison does not want to waste your time and her shows are relatable and they’re hilarious. She laughs and she cries and the music is incredible of course because Eric Robertson does all of her sound. He also, I’ve mentioned several times the Pleasant Pictures Music Club, which I am a part of and use all of his music throughout my whole podcast. If you haven’t checked out, Awesome With Alison, I want to invite you to do it, to go listen to an episode.
I was on her, her show just this week talking about my book. And so that would be a fun one for you to listen to and to get a little bit of a more inside scoop of the book itself and some of the things that I share in the book, regardless of the episode you choose, you will find something that you love. Go check out Awesome With Alison. That is my number two pick of the week.
I feel like my life has been changed because of the discovery of a babysitting app called Bambino. I first encountered the people from them being at a conference I was at a month ago called Mom 2.0 I was in Austin and I was wondering around the booths and I saw this app. Of course I was drawn to it because I love the name. “Bambino” is an Italian word that means small child, but it’s also used in a lot of Spanish. And so I loved Bambino. It just felt like, oh such a sweet name.
And then I went to chat with them and I discovered this app is a location based app that connects you to sitters in the city that you live!
The sitter’s sign up and they put their experience, they can have people that they babysat for leave reviews and they put their rate and availability and then you sign up and create your own profile as a parent.
Connects you to local babysitters
So I put in, you know who I am and what my kids’ ages are. And then whenever I want a babysitter, you guys, this is just mindblowing. Whenever I want a babysitter, I go into the app and I put in the day in the time that I’m looking for and it pulls up a bunch of babysitters that either I have used before, but let’s say you’re starting out because you’ve never heard of this, I’m probably telling you this for the first time.
So it pulls up a bunch of sitters nearby. You can also go through and like click on your favorites. You can look through a bunch of profiles and heart the sitters that you think you might be interested in using. And then you can send a request for this babysitting job to all of the sitters that you choose at. Once you can choose up to ten. The app recommends you choose five, you send these requests.
I’ve used it twice now personally, I’m going to use it again as soon as I finish recording to request a sitter for later this week.
You get a response back like, so fast. I have waited maybe ten minutes to get a response back and the first center that responds to me, I’ve chosen all these sitters already. I’ve decided to send the request to them and so I just take the first one that has responded.
I’ve used it personally and loved it!
I’ve used two different sitters but I can see how easy it will be to start using the same sitters over and over because you’ve already used them and your kids know them. And if they’re in your area and they have some, any sort of, you know, regular availability, then you can use them over and over. You guys, it is like the Uber of babysitters. You need one.
I haven’t tried to like get one for tonight in the middle of the day, but I do not doubt that it’s possible.
Dave and I shared an entire section of an episode about ways to find childcare and this I hadn’t even heard of or else I would’ve included. I’m telling you about it as soon as I know it because I think that it’s really truly life changing to have very easy access to local babysitters without a subscription.
No Subscription, No Hidden Fee
You don’t have to pay for care.com you don’t have to like nothing’s hidden. You do sign an agreement that you will continue to use the app. You won’t just find a sitter on it and then not use the app, but they share their rates right there. So in my area in Richmond, I have seen babysitters as low as $8 an hour and as high as $30 an hour.
So I can tell you that I’m not using the $30 an hour babysitter that that’s on my agenda. But if you’re looking for something specific there is a high likelihood that you might find it.
Find the babysitter you are looking for.
I personally am really comfortable with younger babysitters. I usually use girls who I go to church with who are any where between 13 and 18 years old. But I’m okay with the younger ones. It’s been so awesome though too. I’m choosing like 16 to 18 year olds and that they can drive because I’ve been picking sitters up for a long time.
It just feels like changing and in addition to sharing about it, I also want to give you $10 of credit to try it out. To Try Bambino. I have a code: LIVEFREE
You can go sign up and create yourself a profile and then use the code live for you to get $10 off of your first babysitting gig that you use Bambino to create.
GET $10 TOWARDS BABYSITTING ON THE NEW BAMBINO APP WITH THE CODE: LIVEFREE
That is essentially an hour of free babysitting, a little less or a little more depending on who you choose in your area. Now I understand that the app is fairly new.
I think it’s a year or two old and so every single city in the country is probably not represented, but the only way to know is to try, so go find it. You can look on their website.
You can also just sign up for the app and see. I was really interested because Richmond is not a huge city. So when I met them at Mom 2.0 I was interested to pull out my area and see that there are literally hundreds of babysitters in my area and I should just tell you as well that it’s a location based recruitment system as well.
So if you find when you sign into Bambino where you sign up that there is not, there are not any sitters available in your area and you’re interested in being a community manager for them, you can send them an email and tell them that you’re interested. I think they even pay you, they pay you to recruit babysitters and to recruit parents to get the app going in your own city.
So if there isn’t already a community manager in your area, you may be able to become one. So anyway, I’m just like so happy about Bambino especially because you all know that we have a weekly standing babysitter and she just recently told me that she’s not going to be able to do it anymore and she’s got a lot going on and it’s getting older.
And this is, this happens, you know I’ve gone through three now standing babysitters, but rather than get a new one right away, I’m just going to use Bambino for a little while for our date nights because I’m interested in trying out a few babysitters and kind of getting the ones that we like and then maybe I’ll set up a recurring babysitting with one of them.
But the two babysitters that I’ve had so far I thought were fantastic and my kids liked them and it was really fun. I feel like it’s a great solution.
So try Bambino use LIVEFREE for your first $10 off of your babysitting and let me know what you think. You guys, those are good ones, right my peaks of the week.
- Take yourself on a date. Maybe you want to use Bambino to get a babysitter to take yourself on a date.
- Awesome With Alison Podcast
- Bambino for babysitting.
Why More Isn’t Necessarily Better
Now let’s talk about why more isn’t necessarily better. Why more money doesn’t necessarily make you happier. Why being thinner doesn’t necessarily mean that your life is better.
The idea of something equaling something else, A = B is can be referred to as correlation or causation. And there’s a lot of you know, scientific sort of banter about about what which of those it is. Does something cause something or are they just related and correlated?
I mentioned that I wanted to call this episode the “correlation confusion” because I think that what we do is we think that A equals B in our own lives when it relates to more and different, but that is not necessarily true.
A correlation is an observed association between factors where you can see how one thing relates to or associates to another, but they’re not necessarily always the way that we think they are.
Correlation Isn’t Always Correct
I found an incredible website as I was looking for some information surrounding correlation because I know what I want to say and how I want to talk about this, but I also was interested to see how other people talk about these ideas. I found this website called spurious correlations.
This is a website that has a bunch of graphs where you can see the line going up and down. This could be like the number of Toyota’s sold over the months of 2018, for example. You know, you’d see that go up and down depending on how many Toyotas were sold during that month. Now what spurious correlations does is find correlations.
So line graphs that match but are completely unrelated. So if you saw them next to each other, you, you would say, oh yeah, those two, those two things a must be correlated to be a must be. I can observe on this graph that there is something related between these two things, but the hilarious part is that they’re finding correlations that have nothing to do with each other.
Examples of Spurious Correlation
For example, you can go to spurious correlations. I’ll link it in the show notes, here are some of the spurious correlations. The per capita consumption of Mozzarella cheese correlates very closely to the civil engineering doctorates that were awarded over 10 years.
So the per capita consumption of Mozzarella cheese. If you look at the graph, it very closely mirrors the graph of the number of civil engineers who received a doctorate’s over the same 10 year period. Do they have anything to do with each other? No, absolutely nothing. That’s it is a spurious correlation. Here’s another example. Number of people who drowned while in a swimming pool over 10 years correlate to the power generated by US nuclear power plants. When you look at the line graphs of those two things over 10 years, they are very similar, but they do not have anything to do with each other.
We do this, too.
The point that I’m trying to make by sharing about spurious correlations is that I think that we do this. This is where we get confused. Correlation confusion in our own life shows up with thoughts like “If I earned more money, my life would be better.”
More Money Does Not Equal More Happiness
We plot on a mental line graph that making more money will, as our money goes up, that our happiness level goes up at a correlated rate. You guys! That is not true. And I’m gonna tell, I’m gonna speak to that in a in a minute. What are some other things that we incorrectly correlate?
More Beauty Does Not Equal More Happiness
How thin we are correlates to how beautiful we are. That’s, I know that is not true, right? And it is an American, you know, a very widely distributed, false Americanized ideal that thinness equals beauty.
Some of us falsely correlate in our head the idea that as I lose weight, as that scale goes down, that my self doubt or that my self consciousness will also go down. That you will feel better because you aren’t so worried about how you look. Is this making sense?
More Success Does Not Equal More Happiness
Let me share another one. Some people, especially in a business setting, correlate the idea of moving up the corporate ladder with self worth. We can easily correlate our job title or the amount of power or perceived success that we achieve with our actual worth as we gain substantial audience or power or recognition that our actual worth as a person increases at a correlated rate that is incorrect.
These are lies. These are all confused correlations because the truth is our happiness, our success, our self worth are not correlated in any way to any of those external factors that could be measured. They’re not.
We simply get confused because so much messaging that we here teaches us otherwise. Even really well meaning messages that we receive from, from our parents or from church or from friends.
The idea is that as we achieve that we feel better as we gain more attention or better grades, even that we will be better. That that those things contribute to our overall wellbeing is not necessarily true.
Let’s talk about the research.
I married a scientist but I am not a super scientific person. I do love research though and I love looking into it. I’m not a scientist, but I do love reading studies and reading articles and reading books that share about these things. And so this is all second hand information, but I want to just briefly go over a couple of these things as far as research is concerned.
Then I want to share something that has been really, really helpful for me as I think about correlation confusion in my own life.
I first want to share for a minute about money because this is a big one, right? I don’t know very many people who do not assume that more money is better, right? Don’t we all think more money is better? More is better. That’s what we are taught to believe. That’s what we assume.
And why do we think more money is better? Because we think that more money equals something else. That A equals B, more money equals more happiness.
Well, research shows that unless you are living below the poverty level where things like your ability to eat or have shelter or have heat and you know, basic comforts, your safety, unless those things are compromised because of your poverty, that your happiness does not correlate to your finances.
And this is true for people who had make $70,000 a year and for people who make $70 million a year. The amount of money that you have above that poverty line above about $60 or $70,000 a year. In the study that I read that I will share in the show notes, there is no correlation at all.
So the idea that more money equals more happiness is absolutely false. It’s a myth. Yet we still believe that we still think to ourselves, “How can I make more money?” or “We should make more money!” Or “If only we had more money then…”
Now this doesn’t mean that people who have a lot of money are unhappy. No, it simply means that the amount of money you have and your level of happiness are independent of each other.
They are not correlated. You can be absolutely significantly glowingly happy and not have a whole lot of money, just like you can be a bazillionaire (And I can think of a few that I don’t know personally, but just from the media) that don’t seem very happy regardless and in spite of their money.
So the way that without the research that you can bring this home. As we talk about the different things that you may equate with being better, where more is better. I want you, even if you don’t have access to research or there is no research done in the particular category that you struggle with, that you think if this then that I want you to just simply consider fill in the blank with someone that you know.
Is the happiest person you know also the richest?
If more money made you happier as a direct correlation than the very happiest person you know, would probably be the richest person. You know? Does that hold true in your own life? If you think about the very happiest person that you know who’s smiling and optimistic and seem satisfied with their life and content, is that person the very richest that you know. In my life, that is not the case.
The very happiest people I know do not happen to also be the very richest people that I know. And just that simple question allows me to dissociate finances from happiness.
The amount of money that I have does not have to in any way affect the level of happiness that I feel.
Is the most beautiful person you know also the happiest?
Let’s talk about a new one. How about weight or appearance?
When I get to my goal weight, I will feel better than I ever have before. Can that be true?
Are there some of you who have lost weight down to your goal weight? Maybe it’s after you had a baby, maybe you, you know, worked on some habits and you feel better than you ever did when you got to your goal weight. That can be true, but is it the losing weight or becoming thin that caused your happiness? The truth is that it can’t be.
It is not because those things are not correlated. What caused your happiness in that case where your thoughts associated with your idea of being thin? In preparation for this episode, I read a few different studies that actually showed that people who weighed a little bit more, we’re happier and that didn’t make me want to go out and gain a bunch of weight because I’m satisfied with the body that I have right now.
But it was an interesting idea that we, especially people who struggle with weight in their head, they think when I lose the weight I will be happier, I will feel different, I will feel better and that those things are independent. The actual number on the scale is independent of your actual happiness. Now again, let’s put this on a personal level is the most beautiful person you know. Also the happiest. I know lots of really beautiful people.
I also know lots of very fit and thin people and some of them are really happy and some of them don’t seem super happy and in fact I just have to share that. I have found with my own friends and family members that sometimes the people who are the most concerned about their fitness and their thinness and their beauty are actually the most unhappy when it comes to how they actually do look and feel because they, they kind of get obsessed with it and they, they directly tie in their head how they feel to how they look when there doesn’t have to be a correlation.
Because people who are not traditionally beautiful according to all outside standards can be magnificently happy and people who are incredibly beautiful and incredibly thin can be incredibly unhappy and so there is a confusion in our correlation outward beauty and fitness and fitness and and incredible clothing and shoes.
We confuse our correlations.
These things are independent of our level of fulfillment, satisfaction or happiness.
Let me share another example. You all know how I feel generally about home size. I’ve shared some episodes about our downsizing and living in a smaller space, but I think that generally a widely accepted idea is that “When I have a bigger house, I will be more satisfied with my living conditions!” that “If I could just get a couple more rooms and one more bathroom…”, “If I could just have a garage”, “If I could just have floor to ceiling windows…”, “When I paint the cabinets white…”, “When I XYZ of my house, the I will feel better.”
And the truth is those are also independent ideas. Having a bigger house does not directly correlate to being more satisfied with the space that you live in. And I haven’t looked up a study, but I can tell you from asking myself this, bringing it home into a personal example is the person I know with the largest house, the most happy.
If there was a direct correlation between how size and happiness level that would be true and it’s not, it’s not. And I can also ask myself, “Okay, well then the happiest people that I know, the people that I want to be around, that I love their spirit and their souls and their vibrancy in their energy. Do they have a ton of money? Are they the most beautiful? Do they live in giant homes? Do they drive super nice cars? Do they go on all the best vacations?”
We are all so individual.
All of the things that all of us are so different, right? So the things are our own ideas about the things that we want more of in our own lives are going to be vastly different. Some of you may be thinking that you would just love to have like a giant closet filled with clothes and shoes that are the latest trends.
I am not in the least interested in that at all. I’m super happy with a small amount of clothes and shoes because it means less decisions I have to make and less laundry I have to do and less dry cleaning I have to worry about.
But for some of you that may be something that you just feel like, oh, I just love all of these fashion bloggers and they’re incredible outfits and I wish I could just buy more clothes or have more space for more clothes or fit better in my clothes and we think about how that thing that we want, whatever it is, correlates directly to our happiness and it’s a lie. It is a lie.
Amount of Books Sold Does Not Equal Success of the Book
I want to share a quick personal example that I’m going to talk more about in an upcoming episode about choices, but I am selling a book right now. It’s More Than Enough. It’s available for you order. I’ve told you about it a few times and I will continue to talk about it because I love it and I think that you will too.
It is tempting for me to correlate the number of books I sell to the level of success of the book and in turn the level of success of the book to my own value as an author to my own value or the value of my voice in the space.
And whenever I get caught up in thinking about that this, this triple line going upward; books I sell, the credibility as an author, and in turn my self worth– I catch myself and I recognize that I get to feel absolutely satisfied with my book right now. Before it has even launched. If I never sold a single copy of my book, that I could still be incredibly grateful, satisfied, and fulfilled because what I got to do was write it.
I can feel successful independent of outcomes.
I got to create it and go through the process and I already feel successful. I already feel like my book can change lives. And if for some reason it didn’t and it, you know, no one bought it, that doesn’t change the work that I did. That doesn’t change the value of creating it.
Wise Words from JoAnna Gaines
A few months ago I was at Alt Summit in Palm Springs, and I got to hear Joanna Gaines speak. It was an interview conversation that she did with Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom.
And I really love, I mean Joanna Gaines. Come on like she’s so wonderful and just was really down to earth and candid in real life just like she is on her show. And my very, very favorite question that Gabby asked Joanna was, “How do you handle all of the success?”
How to handle success AND failure.
How do you handle being a superstar on TV in the business space? Having a magazine, having, you know, every single line, the line with target in the line with rugs in the line with paint and the line of furniture and the lion with Matilda Jane and like she just said, how do you handle all of the success? And Joanna said something that I thought was so incredibly powerful.
She said, you know, I think that I handle it the same way that I’ve always handled my failures, which is to check back in with myself and say, am I the same person?
Is my value in any way affected by this and in the in the idea of success. The temptation would be to say that because of Joanna Gaines and success, that her value as an individual was correlated and equally increased in measure by the magazines and the books and the money and the TV show and the empire.
That her empire, her self-worth has directly correlated in value to her empire. But I loved that she flipped it and she said, “I think I handle it the same way that I handle failure when I have to ask myself, does any of this outside stuff affect who I really am? Am I the same person? Am I true to myself?”
That just like her failures don’t directly correlate to her being a terrible person, that her successes equally did not correlate to an wildly inflated self-worth because at the end of the day, neither her incredible success or any of the many failures that she had experienced along the way was correlated to her own sense of self and her own happiness and fulfillment.
I loved the idea of checking in with herself that way.
Personalizing The Lesson
Imagine if you had a good friend who went through something terrible, they did something or they attempted something and they just bombed it and they felt like they had failed. And what if they came to you and said, “I am the worst. I’m the absolute worst because this thing that I did failed, I was terrible at it. It didn’t perform. I wanted to sell a bunch of something and I didn’t sell a single one or you know, I created this thing and no one wanted it. Everyone hated it.”
I think our automatic reaction with our friend is to think, “Know your failure or the idea that you have of this failure doesn’t affect who you are. It doesn’t affect you being in an amazing person and a great friend and a and and your ability to live a wonderful life because who cares about that stuff is not really what the most important thing is.”
Confusing Outward achievement with Self-Worth
And I wonder if we get a little confused though on the success side that our temptation when we see someone, a friend achieved incredible success is to in fact change our idea about how wonderful they are.
That maybe they actually are a little bit cooler or a little bit greater or a little bit, you know, more successful and we think, gosh, I would like to be like that. It helps us as humans to point to a cause. It helps us to say we are worthwhile because look at the things that we have done or achieved to prove it.
Look how much money I have. Look at the beautiful things that I own. Look at the incredible vacations that I take. Look at all of these things. All of these things point back to my success and my happiness.
I want to ask you the question though. Can you feel successful, happy, satisfied, and content within your life exactly as it is today?
If everything froze and you were no longer able to achieve more or to earn more or to buy more or to lose more, imagine hypothetically that everything stops now. Can you, in your current circumstance in your life, find happiness and joy? Can you find fulfillment in the everyday experiences that you have right now?
This has been changing my life. This simple question has been changing my life lately because when I find myself caught up in the lie of this confused correlation, “If we only had more money, then we would feel better. Life would be easier.” That’s what I, I think sometimes because I’m human, just like you, I’m living in this world and I hear the same messages and I catch myself and I think, but wait, is that true?
If I had more money, what would it change about how I feel? What would it change about my day to day existence and can I feel those things now?
Maybe you think you know with money is a tricky one because you say, “Well, if I had more money than I could pay a babysitter so that I could have more free time and that would make me feel better.”
How can you feel better now? How can you create more free time without more money? How can you feel all of the feelings that you would have if that scenario was true without the scenario happening?
What Would Change? Maybe Nothing.
I love Brooke Castillo from the Life Coach School. One of my favorite episodes (I’ll try to find it and link it in the show notes because I seriously think about it all the time) was a live coaching call. This, I listened to it probably just around two years ago.
She was doing a live coaching call with someone, one of her coaching clients and the coaching client was saying that she had, you know, this business that she had started and she loved it. She loved her work, but she felt like she wasn’t making enough money, that she felt like she wasn’t successful in her job because she was an entrepreneur. I don’t remember what exactly she was doing, but she, she said, “I really love what I’m doing. I feel really fulfilled by it, but I feel like I’m not making enough money that I, you know, I need to make more money to feel more legitimate.”
And Brooke said, “Okay, well what, what would more money do for you? Like, why, why do you need more money?” And she said, “Well, I guess if I had more money I would take my kids to Disney World. We’ve never been to Disney world. And I feel like that’s something that I would like to do.”
And Brooke said, “Okay, so how would you feel when you were at Disney World? What are the feelings you would have there?”
And the woman thought for a second and she said, “Well, my kids are teenagers, so I don’t know how much they’d actually like it. And they’d probably do a lot of complaining. Like I might feel, feel excited to take them, but I don’t know if they’d even love it that much.”
Brooke said, “Okay, so you feel badly about a business that you love because it’s not making enough money so you can take your kids on a trip to Disney World that they’re probably not going to enjoy and that they’re going to complain about.”
And The lady was like, “Yeah, I mean, I don’t know.”
She realized and asking yourself these questions, the what if like, “How would this change? How would this make me feel better?”
That she didn’t actually need it, that this was an idea she had. She was excepting the idea that her success depended on her paycheck. She was accepting and internalizing the idea that her business was only legitimate if it brought home a certain income. She was internalizing the idea that her family would be happier if they went on a trip to Disney World because that’s what she, you know, families that go on trips to Disney world are happier families. And at the end of the conversation, this coaching client said, “I just am going to feel satisfied in the job that I’m doing. I love the work that I’m doing and I’m enjoying it.”
We can access all of the feelings we want today, in our own lives.
And she recognized that she had access in her life today to all of the feelings that she really wanted, satisfaction and happiness and joy in the work that she’s doing. She didn’t need to make more money in order to feel more happy. She thought that the, that she should because then maybe she would be perceived by others as more successful or more legitimate.
But our lives friends are made up of our own emotions, of our own present experience. How you feel in your skin, in your life, in your every day existence. That is, that’s your life. The moments that make up your consciousness here on the earth, not how anyone else sees you, not what anyone else expects of you. Not all of those false lines leading to more happiness, more success, more self worth. I challenge you to imagine just to try on the idea that your life right now is exactly the way that it should be.
You have today everything that you need today to feel content and satisfied and happy.
That’s not to say that we should not strive for progress, but we should understand that the progress itself, the process of the work and the progress and the, and the steps toward the goal are what bring the fulfillment, not the achievement of them.
Your happiness is increased by your daily striving for progress, not be postponed until the achievement of it.
What Does Increase Happiness?
A couple quick things I want to share regarding happiness. One comes from Gretchen Rubin, who we all love. We know she wrote The Happiness Project and some other great books she interviewed Carl Jung. He shared a few factors for “creating happiness in the human mind” and I love how that’s phrased because it shows us that the happiness is created in our mind. It is an emotion that we create in whatever circumstance we are in.
1. Good physical and mental health. I have lots of shows that talk about that. Even our last couple about mothering the mother is go back and listen to those about how to increase your physical and mental health.
2. Number two, good personal and intimate relationships. That connection to people. Not having 100,000 followers on Instagram, but having good personal and intimate relationships in our real life with real people. That is one of the factors for happiness.
3.The faculty for proceeding beauty in art and nature. I think of this one as gratitude, our ability to perceive beauty in art and nature. That’s our ability to be aware and present and grateful for the things that surround us.
4. Reasonable standards of living and satisfactory work. Reasonable standards of living points to the idea that yes, it is. It can be more difficult to feel happiness when you are looking for protection for food and to have your basic necessities met. I venture if you’re listening to this podcast that that is not your situation, that if you have access to a phone or an internet device where you can sit and listen to my show, that you are not struggling in poverty and so this one might not, this, this one is covered for you. You’ve got reasonable standards of living.
5. A philosophic or religious point of view, capable of coping successfully with the vistatudes of life. This is the one that tells you that things are going to be hard sometimes in life. Circumstances may be beyond your control and if you have the ability of coping successfully with that, that will increase your ability to feel happiness even within the trial. Number five here from Carl Jung points me to the last thing that I want to share: a book that I’ve recently read called The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor.
I’ve spoken about him a couple times in this show recently because I just discovered his work this past spring and I just can’t get enough.
Life Can Be Hard
He researched his happiness and he just shares the most incredible and very simple ideas about increasing our happiness level. And so some of the things that he talks about in this book, The Happiness Advantage, I’ll link it in the show notes.
These are his principles of positive psychology that that help you feel more successful and persevere in your life. And it offers some of those coping mechanisms that Carl Jen talks about. Life is going to be tricky sometimes. We know that. And so how do we cope with that?
I found this book, the happiness advantage after I had already recorded my episode called The Advantages of Optimism. It’s similar, right? The happiness advantage versus the advantages of optimism.
So you can go listen to that show because I share a bunch of reasons why choosing optimism is beneficial. And Shawn Achor shares some similar ideas and adds to them.
He has seven principles of how to basically feel more happy on a regular basis despite any of your surroundings. There’s nothing in here about getting more money, losing more weight, changing your circumstances. This idea readily embraces that there is no correlation between some of the external ideas of success and happiness and true internal intrinsic happiness, so check out The Happiness Advantage.
Every time I am exercising this idea of correlation confusion on myself and I think to myself, okay, “I know that I am thinking that if I sell more books this week than last week, that that will mean that my book is more successful.” I’m just going to use this as my example and go with it, but I know that that’s not true because number of books sold does not equal more happiness experienced.
I think to myself about people that I know that are profoundly happy and satisfied with their lives and how it really is just the most simple things that seem to contribute to that happiness.
I shared an episode months ago about Achievement versus Fulfillment, and I shared about my grandparents, my mom’s parents, who I just adore and I think of as some of the most profoundly contented people that I, that I ever was in contact with. Their lives were simple. They were incredible, but they were simple. They, they didn’t start big businesses. They didn’t make a ton of money. They weren’t the most beautiful, you know, pageant princesses on the block. They were wonderful people living wonderful lives and they were happy.
I want to challenge you to find happiness today in whatever the circumstance of your life is. And I invite you to practice this idea, this question of asking yourself if nothing changed when you’re so desperate for something to change, when you’re so desperate to make more money or to lose more weight, or to learn more things, or to have more children or to get married, or to get a raise, or all of the many, many things that we strive for, hoping, hoping that they’re going to add happiness, satisfaction, and success to our lives, that you’ll ask yourself the question, if this doesn’t happen, can I still feel all of the satisfaction and fulfillment and joy that I think I will feel when it does?
That is the most incredible place to start achieving things because you already feel it. You already feel content, you already feel fulfilled. And so your ability, two progress is even greater because you’re not approaching it from a place of wanting to climb the ladder. You feel like you’re already there living an incredible life and from that place of abundance, we’re so much more likely to make incredible decisions for ourselves because we don’t make them out of scarcity or out of whack or out of fear. We make them out of joy and out of hope and out of love.
I hope that something about this idea of the correlation confusion has struck a chord with you. My hope is that you will maybe just consider, just consider the idea that where you are today is right where you’re supposed to be.
That doesn’t mean things won’t change or they won’t get better, but that right now, today is what you have today. This moment you are who you are in the skin you’re in with a bank account. You are with the house you have your life is the way that it is your circumstance, right?
Today is what it is and I want to venture that it’s incredible. You have things today that years ago you only dreamed of. You are in fact living pieces of the life that you always wanted and maybe, maybe even the whole thing. Maybe you are living your dream right now, but you’re looking ahead with a false idea of what more will bring that you’re taking away from yourself, the opportunity to just feel so satisfied and rebel in the abundance that currently surrounds you.
I want to remind you to check out the show that I recorded with Alison on Awesome with Alison this week. You can hop over to her podcast and listen if you need another show to listen to.
I also love when you share about my show. If something in the show has resonated with you, please share it. Do a shout out on your Instagram story. Leave a review on iTunes. That’s of course one of my favorite ways for you to support the show.
I’ve Started Tweeting
I also have recently started tweeting again you guys. So send a shout out on Twitter because I’ll probably see it because I have decided that I’m going to hop back into Twitter just for fun.
My goal is to tweet every day for the next 30 days and my ideas to share everyday gratitude and quotes from my upcoming book. And so if you’re a Twitter, then I’ll see you over there and @livefreemiranda.
Thank you so much again for being here. You know that I do not take for granted at the time and attention that you give to me as you listen to these episodes. I hope you have an incredible week. I’ll talk to you later.