What Else Is Possible?
This could have been a celebration dinner, award ceremony, or standing atop the peak of a mountain. The joy, the energy, the feeling of being so big and connected can be recalled immediately.
We all have had these moments, where that instance is the pinnacle of our experience. Nothing prior had approached this sensation; relief, joy, and satisfaction amplified to top of the dial. These experiences are memorable and yet fleeting. It could be minutes after getting the award, or maybe a couple of days, when we then recognize our realities have been reset. The dream or idea changed as the unreachable goal of a lifetime became a realized accomplishment.
“What can be better than this?” is the declaration of the extraordinary event that has been realized.
We have these moments in different ways. It could simply be the best apple pie I ever tasted. Or having succeeded at fixing a software bug found a day before deployment of a critical system.
What makes these moments notable is the uniqueness of each which resets our reality, for we are now able to do a once-unattainable activity. The narrative of our life changes on the shifting of this item from the unimaginable, unachievable column into the achieved and accomplished ledger.
If this was truly the unattainable or the pinnacle of excellence, what else is available after this moment of significance? By literal definition, the answer would be ‘nothing,’ because it was the best of all time. However, we know the glow from that moment begins to dim and with time it becomes another entry in our scrapbook of life. What surfaces at work after the celebration is the rest of the to-do’s on our list. It’s, “Thank you very much for your success, now where is next week’s report?”
Learning to celebrate our successes is important for we know they are fleeting. We may even take on an air of self-deprecation so as to protect ourselves from setting too unreasonable expectations going forward. We could be concerned more about what will be expected of us and think that what had been extraordinary is now the new standard. It is the way we let the extraordinary become ordinary which then becomes mundane followed by boring. A life built on this practice is destined for disappointment.
So how do we unabashedly celebrate our successes and avoid the path to disappointment?
Consider the mantra of “What can be better than this? What else is possible?”
The first part is acknowledgement and celebration of the wonderfulness of your achievement in all of its glory. Drink in the success, embrace it.
The second part is for guarding against the downward spiral. The simple question opens the door within our imagination to new dreams, ideas, and possibilities. The idea that there could be something better than what we just achieved, maybe a new direction. It keeps possibilities alive.
What we say and do impacts our experience of our lives.
You can test this very easily by doing the following.
- First, notice your current breathing, looking throughout your body for any tension.
- Close your eyes and draw your breath into your stomach area.
- Take several breaths that expand your stomach.
- When comfortable with the rhythm, recall your favorite vacation memory, or your dreams about one you are looking to take. Remember (or create) the smells, the sounds, the people. What is around you? How does it feel? Give yourself time to look around and relive (or create) those moments.
- Finally, do another scan through your body and notice if anything has changed with your breathing or any tension in your body.
Most people experience a softening in their muscles and an ease in the rhythm of the breath. There may also be a sense of expansion.
This simple exercise shows the power we have to alter our experience in seconds. We are no longer limited to having to do something to feel it. Therefore, paying attention to what we say can add to or take away from our sense of happiness. Creating possibilities offers us new goals and futures for which we can aspire to achieve.
Working with a life coach can be an efficient way to incorporate the practice of new tools, such as this exercise, into your life to build sustained happiness at work and at home.
I invite you to reach out to me to have a free consultation about how to find your path to a life of sustained happiness.