Make Change Out of Happiness

My colleague Cari Rauch shares this relevant wisdom at a time when many of us are setting intentions for change in the new year.  Enjoy this from Cari:
Cari Rauch: Make Change Out of Happiness

One of my biggest lessons I learned during life coach training was about making changes. When you are deciding to make a change in your life – make the change out of happiness, not in order to be happy.

When I first heard this I thought it was ridiculous since the only reason anyone makes a change is because they aren’t happy. I really couldn’t understand if I was happy why would I make any changes.

But this is the trap we all tend to fall into – once this change happens that is when my life will get better and then I will be happy. It’s common to believe that something outside of us going to make us happy.

Here are some of the classic ones:

  • When I lose the weight (usually attached to an amount), then I will be happy
  • When I find my soulmate or perfect partner, then I will be happy
  • When I find a great job, then I will be happy
  • When I make more money, then I will be happy
  • When I’m successful or made it, then I will be happy
  • When I retire and get to relax, then I will be happy

The list goes on and on. We are led to believe that it’s the certain body size/shape, the perfect job, more money, the right person – something external will make us happy.

And if we can just make the change to achieve it, then we will finally be happy.

The truth is our thoughts are what makes us happy. We can choose to think thoughts that make us happy right now without the change (thing, person, job, etc) or we can choose to think thoughts that make us happy after the change has happened. Either way we always have the choice – we are the ones choosing to delay or not delay our happiness.

It still boggles my mind to make changes only when I’m already happy.  But I’ve discovered a compelling reason why we would want to do this …

It trains our minds to know that it’s not something outside of us or the “change” that makes us happy – it’s choosing our thoughts that allows us to manage our emotions.

The best part about that is you learn that you can be happy any time you want regardless of where you are. Making a change out of happiness leads to more happiness. And in the end this is ultimately what you are really after anyway – to feel happy.

Cari Rauch is a certified life and money coach passionate about helping unconventional chiks learn to live extraordinary lives. Find her online and sign up for her unconventional tips.

  • January 3, 2014
  • Cari R says:

    Hey Denis,
    Thanks for the inspiring quote – I love it.

  • Denis Maheux says:

    This is one of my favorite quotes and I believe it is mainly a question of focus. “Focus on the Now”, it does take a bit of determination though. When we are purposely paying attention to the way we feel, and making an effort to think and feel good, it’s amazing how everything becomes easier.

  • Cari R says:

    Sebastian – that is a great point thanks for sharing.

  • Sebastian says:

    Loved it. In addition, if we are happy first, our decision regarding how to change will be so much more clearer.

  • Cari R says:

    You’re welcome Cassie. Thanks for the comment.

  • Cari R says:

    Hi Michaela – I understand about trying to think happy thoughts in the midst of certain circumstances. First you might need to process the emotion just to let it out. Then when you find yourself going over those moments in your mind one of the easiest things to do is not to try to find the happy thoughts instead just make it neutral. One way to do that is to drill the circumstance to just the plain and simple facts. So for an example say a partner ended a long term relationship with someone over a text message. What happens is our mind likes to make the circumstance mean something – that something (or what I refer to as a story) is what is painful. Drilling what happened down to “person send text” helps remove the charge and your mind adding a meaning to it. Sometime you have to make gradual steps toward the happy thoughts.

  • Cassie says:

    I love this article. I have learned over the years the power of making change when you’re happy. It creates so many better results then doing it the other way around. Thank you for the reminder Cari!

  • Michaela says:

    I love the idea of this article – making changes out of happiness – and really do see the wisdom in this suggestion. However sometimes (or admittedly most of the time) it’s not so easy (for me at least) to think thoughts that make me happy. Especially when I’m in the midst of trying or depressing circumstances. I wish I was better at coming up with happier thoughts … any tips on what might help?
    Happy new year to everyone!

  • Cari R says:

    Thanks for sharing Amita – it’s great to hear how you’ve seen this come true for you and your clients. The great thing is when you truly know this your whole life begins to change.
    Wishing you the best in 2014 too.

  • Amita Patel says:

    So true! I see this in my life and with my clients. True happiness comes from an internal state and is a choice we have the ability to make each day!
    All the best in 2014!
    Amita Patel

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