Pause our pursuit of happiness

09 Jun Pause our pursuit of happiness

“Sometimes it’s good to pause our pursuit of happiness…and just be happy.”


This quote resonated with me this week. I have been pursuing my goals, expanding my social network and reaching out to new clients for a few years now. Now and again, we do need to give it a rest. For today, don’t chase happiness. Be happy with what you have!
We have wrapped up our key elements in Champion Choices, so it seemed natural to take a moment and ground ourselves. I have just done that personally as I saw U2 in concert in LA and Chicago. After taking time to enjoy the music, message and summer weather I have even more energy and new ideas for the travel thriller I am writing.


How do you unwind?


I recently read an article that mentioned that millennials are spending a lot of time and money on self-care. So, this topic came up with friends of all ages.
Whether the conflict comes from constant newsfeeds, or it’s in your mind, we can all use some downtime. Let’s take a look at self-care based on definitions from Psychology Today: While an enhanced regimen of self-care may sound like a good idea, most people are fuzzy on what self-care is and how to practice it.
Medical and mental health professionals pioneered the concept of self-care by prescribing healthy lifestyle changes and stress management behaviors. Unfortunately, these prescriptions are often ignored because they require hard work and perseverance.
The term self-care became popular in the 1980s. It is now common to hear talk about needing to take better care of oneself. Consequently, it became irresistibly profitable for advertisers to perpetuate the fantasy that self-care can be easy. As a result of the self-care marketing blitz, many of us think that getting pedicures, choosing hand-dipped dark chocolates, and buying 10,000-thread count bed linens equal self-care.


What self-care is not


Self-care is not self-pampering – not that there’s anything wrong with self-pampering – pedicures, dark chocolates, and other luxuries. That is, as long as you can afford luxuries. Spending money that you don’t have is self-indulgence.
Self-care is not self-indulgence. Popularly, the terms self-care and self-indulgence are used interchangeably, as in “Oh, go ahead, indulge. You deserve it.” We tell ourselves that we are practicing self-care when, in fact, we are engaging in self-indulgence. Self-indulgence is characterized by avoidance of the effortful and substitution of quick and easy antidotes. We tell ourselves that the stresses of the day have drained our energy and that vegging on the sofa with a quart of ice cream or a six-pack of beer is all we can expect of ourselves. Rather than shouldering the hard work of self-care, we settle for temporary and largely symbolic fixes – some of which actually stress our systems further.


Practicing self-care


Self-care means choosing behaviors that balance the effects of emotional and physical stressors: exercising, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, practicing yoga or meditation or relaxation techniques, abstaining from substance abuse, pursuing creative outlets, engaging in psychotherapy. Also essential to self-care is learning to self-soothe or calm our physical and emotional distress. Remember your mother teaching you to blow on the scrape on your knee? This was an early lesson in self-soothing but the majority of adults haven’t the foggiest notion how to constructively soothe themselves.
Sure, there’s a mindfulness element: What makes you feel better? Do you feel better after eating the pint of ice cream? Or is one scoop enough?
And gratitude: Be happy with what you have now. Somethings have worked out for you! Remember what that feels like and let the smile back in.


I will close this week with a poetic quote from Bono, at the end U2’s show in Chicago:
“Tonight, in your city by the lake,
This is for the furious, and the faithful
To those holding on
And those letting go
to the American dream…”


We’ll be back next week to continue the journey as Future Entrepreneurs.
Thank you for reading and we welcome your comments below.


Cheers & fair winds,
Akasha Garnier
Author, Branding Expert, Producer for The Wishwall Foundation


[Photo by Akasha Garnier: Bono and Adam Clayton of U2, at Soldier Field, Chicago.]

  • Francis
    Posted at 11:38h, 10 June Reply

    In any of our endeavors, there should always be time to retreat and get away from our busy schedules to calm our heads. However, only few people know this; and that’s the reason for so many stress-induced diseases plaguing us today despite our high level of achievements and success. Nice piece, thanks for sharing.

  • Rita Pat.
    Posted at 11:42h, 10 June Reply

    Some years back when my doctor advised me that I need to take some rest off my works, I shovel myself into a club and fill up myself with stuffs. But now, I know better. This is yet another piece to help every busy entrepreneur out there. Thanks.

  • Mia Cole
    Posted at 11:48h, 10 June Reply

    Practicing self-care can sometimes be difficult because it usually involves a change in lifestyle and imbibing some new habits. However, at the end, it’s usually worth it for any serious entrepreneur. This is a wonderful piece. Keep it up.

  • Willy
    Posted at 11:50h, 10 June Reply

    Self-care can only be possible when an entrepreneur is ready to be happy with what level of success he already achieved. It’s always healthy to take some moment off our aspirations and just be happy with what we already have.

  • Dave
    Posted at 11:51h, 10 June Reply

    Seems this is specifically written to me. It’s as if you knew what exactly I needed at this time. I will surely try out all these practices; ranging from exercise to getting enough rest. Thanks so much for this timely post.

  • Glens B.
    Posted at 13:16h, 18 June Reply

    Being happy and grateful for what we have is a powerful secret many top achievers have learnt over time. When we take some moment out to ruminate over what/who we already had, we tend to naturally want to keep them closer and not let them go. The more we keep our priorities closer, the faster we are likely going to get to our destinations. Good piece.

  • Gladys Ben.
    Posted at 13:18h, 18 June Reply

    Also, one common myth about self-care is that it is only meant for old age. Actually, it is never a set-aside thing for the aged alone. As a matter of fact, the earlier we knew and plug into this healthy lifestyle of self-care the more we will be able to make out of it. So I will say; don’t postpone self-care for latter practice but start now; it may save you a lot of money and hassle sooner than you expected.

  • Neil
    Posted at 13:20h, 18 June Reply

    I was about being tempted to go for some of these exercises you mentioned before I finally found where you said; “we should simply go for anything soothing and brings relaxation to us”. I need to reshuffle my schedules to allow for more relaxation and self care. Thanks for this informative piece.

  • Peterson
    Posted at 13:22h, 18 June Reply

    Some years back, the simple way I calm my nerves is to go for fishing trips at weekends until my busy schedules gradually fade such practice away. I think I need to get back to that. Watching the waters take their shape and the animals live their lives is always very soothing for me and makes need feel relaxed. This piece has really steered up something great within me.

  • Glenn
    Posted at 13:25h, 18 June Reply

    As much as I know self-care is good for me, I also know my job may not give such a luxury of time for me to indulge in it. Aside these helpful exercises you listed here, are there any other ones I could do to lighten up my head putting my heavy schedules into consideration? I will be glad to hear some more helpful tips from you. Thanks.

  • Michael
    Posted at 00:32h, 03 July Reply

    I couldn’t agree with you more!! We got a wrong idea of self-care nowadays and we prefer the “quick and easy antidotes”. The true is that self-pampering is a shortcut and it makes us feel better for a while.

    The quote from Bono is amazing!!

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