Act Happy Week 2023, Day 3: Self-Work

The focus of Act Happy Week is to educate the public about purposeful actions you can take to create chemical shifts in your body and new neural pathways in your brain to support more frequent experiences of what we call Positive Emotions. When you “Act Happy” you train your mind/body/heart to find Happiness, Calm, and Resilience when you choose to visit them!

Here is Day 3 (445 words of content, Reading time ~1.78 minutes)



What’s Your Why?

When I begin a coaching engagement or any coaching session, I ask some form of this question: For the sake of what are we talking about <this>? This is not for me as much as it is for my client – for them to get in touch with their motivation for making XYZ a goal or for wanting to work on ABC in today’s session.

For some people, coaching is a tool to help them move toward a clearly defined future. But most people, in my experience, don’t start with that clarity. They have a sense of wanting to be better in some way – more effective, more confident, more productive, for example. So that’s where we begin.

Along the way, we regularly return to underlying questions. Why do you want to improve communications? What’s underneath this? What do you really want? What does authentic mean for you?

The coaching journey supports people to ponder the deeper questions you see in the above picture, and we get into conversations about values, personal brand, life/work dynamics, and yes, even Happiness!

In case the picture is not showing, here are the Qs:

  • Who am I?
  • What brings me joy?
  • What is the work I love to do?
  • What’s important to me?
  •  How do I want to live?

Define What Authentic Means for You

If these questions resonate for you, do some Self-Work. Make time to answer the questions that are yet unanswered. For example:

  • If you don’t have written core values, create a first draft, and start using them to make important decisions.
  • If the person you want to be is still trying to emerge, what are one or two small habits you want to make part of your true self?
  • Create a list of 100 things that bring you joy. Then ask yourself, what could I be doing to experience more of those in my life?
  • Be honest with yourself about the conditions of work that you want more of and consider what conversations you need to have and with whom (perhaps yourself, perhaps a boss).

When you know WHO you are and WHY you do what you do, it will be clear to you what “muscles” you need to exercise to show up stronger in the world.

From that place, it will be easier to Act Happy!

P.S. Leadership benefits from Self-Work

If you hold a Leadership role (formally or with a title), it’s even more important for you to know what you stand for and why you do what you do. So challenge yourself to sit with those questions. The more “real” you are, the easier it is to show up authentically and lead.