“Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.”
- Booker T. Washington
For the last several weeks, I’ve been telling you about all the things going wrong in John’s life. Today I’m going to start telling you how I help make things better. Remember that boss that loves to berate John for the slightest misstep? Well I can’t change him, but what I can do is work with John to find ways of working with his boss’s personality issues so that at the end of the day John feels a little less battered and bruised. We can also work on setting goals to help John move in the direction he wants to go within the company so that he has some incentive beyond just a paycheck to keep doing his job. In the end, we may not be able to make his environment perfect, but we can hopefully make it more tolerable and reduce the Cost of Unhappiness.
“People change and forget to tell each other”
- Lillian Hellman
The Beatles famously said Love is All You Need. Anyone who has ever been in a relationship will probably argue that it also helps to have good communication, similar goals, and at least a few common interests. John has the family life that he thinks he should have. He and his wife have been married for several years. They own their own home. They have two wonderful children. Everything seems perfect, but John still isn’t happy. He feels like his wife doesn’t understand what he really wants in life. He’d tell her, but they don’t really talk any more. Once the kids showed up, work got tough, and a life got busier, there just hasn’t been a lot of time for their relationship. What do you think the impact is on John’s family as the distance between them continues to grow? Strain on a relationship is just another Cost of Unhappiness.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.”
The average American with a full time job works 40 hours per week. In John’s case, 40 hours might as well be 40 years per week. Sure the money is good, but every day he finds himself spending less time on work, more time on Facebook and always praying that his boss doesn’t decide to stop by for one of his characteristic tongue lashing sessions. What’s worse is that after one of these eternity long work days, John goes home and is just too tired and grumpy to spend time with his family. Playing catch with his son, not if he can help it. Help his daughter with her homework, not with the headache he’s got. John’s unhappy situation at work bleeds into his time outside of the office and starts to take the joy out of things he used to really love. That is his Cost of Unhappiness.
“This planet has — or rather had — a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much all of the time.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
In life, we often focus only on how much it costs to buy a good or service, but would you believe that there is a cost associated with not doing something? Hiring me as your life coach to help you become happier in areas of your life will cost you three hundred dollars per month, but what will it cost you to remain unhappy? Over the next six weeks, we will take a look at this question as we follow my client John through different parts of his life and see what his unhappiness costs him. We’ll see how his unhappiness at work affects his home life, how his issues with his partner affect his relationship with his kids and how not being happy with his self-image could ultimately cost him more than a gym membership.