On Having a Nose, revisited (#786)

A couple of years ago, I was sharing a stage with Supercoach Academy faculty member Dr. Robert Holden and he asked the audience a very interesting question.

“If nothing in your life ever changed from how it is right now, how many of you think you could be happier than you are right at this moment?” 
Every single person in the audience raised their hand, something which Robert assured me happens whenever he asks audiences that question. And this points to a fundamental understanding that most of us have at some level although we live our lives as if its opposite were true:

Our happiness is not dependent on getting or having what we want.
The reason for this is that happiness, or perhaps more accurately well-being, is our natural state. It’s as much a part of your nature as your nose is a part of your body.

Imagine how strange it would be if someone came to me and said “Hey, coach – I want to hire you to help me get a nose. I used to have one when I was younger, but then some bad things happened to me and I lost it. I’ve heard that a lot of people found their nose when they became self-employed. Do you think I should change my job? What about my relationship? I thought that I finally found my nose when we first got together, but after a while I realized it wasn’t working so I’m thinking of trying again with somebody else.”

Now, I understand that if your own well-being still looks like it comes to you from the outside in, what I’m saying might sound a bit flip. But imagine for a moment that it were true.

When you understand that well-being is not something you have to go out and find and not something you can ever really lose, you discover a deeper sense of peace – a kind of an easy, comfortable contentment that doesn’t go away just because bad things happen. And in a way, that’s what well-being really is – a sense of all being well, no matter what happens to be going on in your life.

(By the way, after several years of using this analogy with clients and on seminars, a woman came up to me at a public event and told me quite proudly that she’d been born without a nose. She did seem quite happy about it, though… 🙂

Have fun, learn heaps, and may all your success be fun!

With love,
Michael

Related Articles

On Having a Nose (#693)

“Please help me,” one recent conversation with a man named Richard began. “I see people all around me who are happy and it seems so unfair. I’m not a bad person. I always try to do my best. Don’t I deserve a bit of happiness in my life too?”

The Physics of Happiness and Success (#855)

Imagine a series of boats sitting in a marina by the shores of a beautiful ocean. One boat is called “Lots O’ Money”; another is called “Amazing Marriage”, and another is called “Thin and Beautiful”. Across the quay are boats called “Spectacular Career ” and “Abundant Fame” and “Loving Family”…

The Happiness Priority (#723)

On September 1st, 1990, I taught my very first course to 15 people in a small classroom at the Camden College of English in Chalk Farm, London. Nearly twenty years and tens of thousands of students later, I realize that while much of what I had to say at the time was positive and useful, if I could go back and do it again today, there are only two things I would build my message around: