There is so much discussion and controversy about the topic of “having it all” and if it’s even possible. A reason for all of this doubt could be that society is shaping what “having it all” or success looks like. And, we’re looking outside of ourselves for motivation to move toward ideals. Or, we might be intrinsically inspired to go for our desires, but we put pressure on ourselves to work hard and be successful. So, having it all might not feel fulfilling especially if we’re not enjoying the process and feeling happiness along the way to achieving success or the results.

Looking outside of ourselves, being tough on ourselves, and getting attached to what success looks like can leave us exhausted and stressed. In the end, we’re struggling and suffering our way to “have it all” or at least we’re not having as much fun as we could be on the way to achieving our successes. And, we repeat that unhelpful sentence “I’ll be happier when I have…”

So, we set goals, aim for success, and want to have it all to feel happier. Yet, the opposite could happen as we attempt to juggle the daily details of our lives. What if we have the formula for feeling happier all wrong? Albert Schweitzer stated “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to Success.” What if he was right?

Your brain performs better when happy

Shawn Achor, Harvard professor and author of The Happiness Advantage, supports that quote through his scientific studies.  The results reveal that when we’re happier or more positive, our brains perform better which is more likely to lead to success or the outcomes we desire.  So, how can we feel happier as we strive for the outcomes we desire in our lives?

What does “having it all” really look like?

It starts with you taking full responsibility for your happiness. And, then you have to remember that life and therefore feeling happier is a fluid and dynamic process. Below are the steps that can support you through this process. Ideally, they could happen in this order, but remember, life is fluid and dynamic 🙂

So, what does it look like for YOU to be happier?

Go Within & Connect With Your Truth

  • Spend some time thinking about what “having it all” means to you. Because different things provide meaning and pleasure to different people, each person has his or her own definition of happiness (and ultimately success). Therefore, each individual can define “having it all” differently.
  • Consider how Tal Ben-Shahar, the Harvard professor and author of the book Happier, defines happiness as experiencing a balance of both meaning and pleasure (representing what you value in life). He explains that goals (and actions to achieve them) must include these elements of what is important to you. They can’t only be related to doing “meaningful” work. They must also include an element of pleasure for you to feel genuinely fulfilled.His book has some exercises to determine what you value most (and what provides you pleasure and meaning). You might be surprised!

Dissolve Negative Self-Talk

  • With an understanding that happiness (and success) looks differently for each individual, you can release yourself from society’s expectations of success or image associated with “having it all.”
  • Let go of the things you say to yourself that hold you back and have you question or doubt your truth. (For help with dissolving the doubt you might be feeling, listen to Achieve Results: With Ease & Joy!*— a webinar I did for Northwestern University.)

Create an Inspiring Life Vision

  • Focus on a way of living that reinforces experiencing both pleasure and meaning in your daily pursuits balances attaining future rewards with experiencing current benefits, which is a healthy attitude for life. This approach helps you to begin imagining what your ideal life could look like and inspire you to move toward these ideals that are relevant and resonate with you.

Confidently Radiate Your Truth

  • With a deeper understanding of your truth and deepest desires (i.e., what provides meaning and pleasure, what holds you back, and what inspires you), you’ll have greater confidence for how and when to share it with your world.
  • You’ll be expressing the most authentic and best version of yourself that draws NEW opportunities to you that you’ll be passionate to pursue.
  • Tell someone about a goal you’ve wanted to achieve. See how they react and what happens next.

The BEST part – – who you become in the pursuit of these goals is way more fulfilling. And, you’ll attract experiences you desire more naturally and organically than you have in the past. So, you’ll happily and “easily” achieve on a daily basis providing YOU with more JOY (and not just when the goal/result is attained).

These steps just touch upon what you can do next to “have it all.” Overall, it’s important to remember that being happier and feeling successful must be based on your truth and your priorities. You get to define what having it all looks like for you. When you make decisions (and take actions) that are in line with your values and overall goals, and they feel good in the moment, you’ll find success.

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