Happiness Life Coach Certification Sticker Tada!

Certification number two, and I am already hard at work on certification number three. This one was fun, though.

The course was structured as a series of layers, basically things that get in the way of people’s happiness. The outside layers were external influences, stuff like your desires and limiting beliefs, working down to the interior layers. Personally, I think it makes a lot more sense to start with the interior layers. Sure, your limiting beliefs might get in the way of your personal actualization, but your moods — the most interior of the layers — are where happiness begins. For me, anyway. Maybe the designers of the course consider them the heart, the center, but I see these layers of happiness as more like the nutrition pyramid, with moods as a foundation, building up. Changing your desires isn’t going to make you happy unless you’ve learned to give yourself a happiness baseline in your moods, I think. 

My second favorite of the layers — or maybe the one I considered second most important, after mood — was labeled Ego and Identity. That concept is one that I really understood first from reading Well-Designed Life: 10 Lessons in Brain Science & Design Thinking for a Mindful, Healthy, & Purposeful Life by Kyra Bobinet.  It’s resonated with me ever since I realized that part of my identity was “Not An Artist” and that that piece of my identity was as much a choice as “Writer” or “Editor.” And that I could change it if I wanted to.

Realistically, I haven’t succeeded, because I haven’t chosen to spend the time necessary to get good at drawing and painting. But I’ve learned enough to be my own graphic designer and to trust my design instincts, and that’s something. Plus, I do believe that I could become an artist if that was how I wanted to spend my time. I’m not limiting myself by thinking that not being able to draw is an innate part of my identity rather than a choice to not work at developing the skill.

Anyway, in the happiness course, Ego and Identity were about looking at ways that your identity gets in the way of your happiness. Even things like, “I’m an introvert, I need a lot of alone time.” Do I really? Or am I just used to having a lot of alone time from working at home for so many years and I choose to think of it as a positive instead of a negative? I don’t know the answer to that, but it’s an interesting question to consider.

I’m on to the next course now, one about Goal Setting. It’s going to be so useful for me. The first exercise was initially annoying — you have to identify 50 goals. It seemed so silly, because I have a clear goal that I’m working on right now. Then I realized that actually, I’m working on a lot of goals at once, maybe even 50 of them, and maybe I’d be feeling better, getting more done, or at least making better choices about my time if I really got clarity about what my goals were and which ones were the most important to me and fit best with both my values and my ambitions. Does it matter if I get multiple coaching certifications? Should I really be spending hours thinking about color palettes and icons for a website? Is working with Sophie — not playing with her or walking her, but working with her with the goal of passing the CGA obedience tests — actually useful or fun? I suspect that the goal setting course might be going to take me a while, and yet it feels quite useful. I do keep reminding myself that my goal for January was learning. I am definitely succeeding in that. But at some point, I also want to start creating. Soon.

Beyond my time spent learning, this week included some hanging out at a local cafe with a fellow writer; a few training trips with Sophie including an hour spent at a park in Oviedo; the farmer’s market, of course; and one evening spent listening to live music at a bar, which was fun and nostalgic.  (I honestly could not remember the last time I hung out at an actual bar, but it was definitely a long, long time ago — maybe sometime in 2010 on a business trip?) Meanwhile, I eat my vegetables, try really hard to sleep through the night, and aim for 7000 steps a day. And play ball with Sophie, of course! I really wanted to share a little movie of her here, but my internet is being annoying so it’s not happening. Ah, well, imagine you see a cute dog chasing a ball. 🙂