We are talking about an email conversation with a former client turned friend who has given permission to use our exchange on finding happiness on the find happiness now blog.
If you haven’t read it, you might want to read the previous post to catch up.
One of his answers to the question of being focused (to be able to make progress) was this:
He said: So that I can earn a stable income and raise my self esteem back up to where it should be. This will pretty much eliminate my depression.
This was my comment back to him:
Here is my comment about self esteem, and this is almost the core of a lot that I do as a personal coach. What I hear you saying is that your ‘mood’ or happiness is tied to something other that internal. This is IMO a huge mistake and this is why. You will never be satisfied with outside measurement of success – only inside. Happiness, self worth – in fact any feelings must come from your own making and not be determined by outside influence.
I believe with all my heart that you can and will get this sooner or later. This was THE lesson that turned the corner for me after we had moved here(1999). I was absolutely broke, I had declared bankruptcy, lost $35,000 in savings, and knew no one at all. I didn’t have enough money to get into a place to live. All I could think was “what was wrong with me?” With some coaching help, one day I got it. And it really wasn’t just one day – it was over time looking back.
You can do it too. It is simply a mind thing. And you are a hell of a lot smarter than I am. You just want to analyze it – just like you used to do with everything we discussed when we coached.
Well THAT exchange set him off.
He wrote (he has lately taken up meditation):
“simply a mind thing”, a tad of an understatement. I will whip this, but I had 27 years of the wrong habits and thoughts. I think it is unrealistic to expect an instant fix. 18 months ago I wasn’t sure I would even survive, that’s how bad the depression was. Analyzing your thoughts and understanding them is what Buddhism is largely about! And I defy anyone but an actual Buddha to be happy and complete with absolutely no income in modern society. I have no desire to be a monk.
And my answer:
I have trouble with your statement because it seems you are equating happiness with income. Income can certainly make you more comfortable – but happy? I don’t think so. Just my opinion from personal experience (as you know I have and have not had money in my life) and from being intimately involved in coaching over many people – lots of them having issues around this same subject. This is the experience that gave the content for the book. (BeDoHave -Find Happiness Now)
And finally another exchange we had I hope might shed some light for you as well: We were discussing what exactly he was going to do. (Accountability)
I plan on hitting it again this week with a lot of time and effort.
I wrote back:
So – if I may ask – what exactly is your plan? Have we ever talked about tribes? Ask me sometime. Consider this: we move at the speed of the tribe we are connected to, and invested in.
For instance: the’tribe’ called society moves very slowly. Yes?
the tribe called the church moves faster but still slowly.
the tribe called the “Phillips” moves very fast in relation to these two.
the tribe called “Miami’ moves at light speed.
I believe with all my heart I have the ability to change instantly. Does it work all the time? Obviously not. What tribes are you invested in? Just curious.
I sincerely hope you have benefited from these excerpts of a conversation. If you have something you would like to say – we would love to hear it!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment here on the blog.And don’t worry – be happy!