Episode 1: Why Being Happy Can Help You Achieve Your Goals
Updated: a day ago
Welcome to the very first episode of the I'll Take That Win podcast. I started my coaching career when it became clear that they were not sure what they needed to do to start or scale their business.
When we're not certain, we lose sight of what we wanted to achieve in the first place. The aim of this podcast is to introduce you to some of the concepts I discuss in my book Oh No! Not Another Goal-Setting Book, which is available on Amazon Kindle and Google Play Store.
Before you sign up for one of my programmes, I want to give you the chance to get to know me. I also hope that you can get the knowledge you need from this podcast and help you on your journey by taking Just One Step.
What You'll Learn:
You can control and focus your thoughts, and in turn, your thoughts control your emotions.
How to change what you are thinking to achieve different goals and results in your life.
That by changing your thoughts and feelings, changing your actions becomes vastly easier.
Why you MUST understand yourself before you can change yourself.
How asking yourself, “Why?” is the best way to get to know what is going on inside your mind.
Transcript of Episode 1
Hello, and welcome to the "I'll Take That Win" podcast with your host, Steven Westwood, reminding you that to achieve that dream, it takes Just One Step.
Hi there. And thank you so much for joining me on the first-ever episode of the I'll Take That Win podcast. I'm Steven Westwood. It's a pleasure to meet you. And I am so excited to be discussing today's topic, which is "Happiness".
Happiness is unique to you - it's your feeling, you know, what makes you happy? I know what makes me happy. But how do we get happiness? Why is happiness important?
Now I am a firm believer that our emotions are tied directly to our thoughts. In fact, I believe that thoughts drive our emotions. I'm not talking about mental health at this stage. I am literally talking about when we're healthy when we're happy, we see the world in a slightly different light.
Now, vocabulary.com actually have a fantastic definition of happiness. I'm just going to read that out quickly:
"Happiness is that feeling that comes over when you know, life is good and you can't help, but smile. It is the opposite of sadness. Happiness is a sense of wellbeing, joy, and contentment. When people are successful, or safe or lucky they feel happiness. The pursuit of happiness is something that a lot of Western countries are based on and different people feel happiness for different reasons. Whenever doing something causes happiness, people usually want to do more of it. No one ever complained about feeling too much happiness."
Now, that last statement is very true, I don't know a single person who has not felt happy and then complained about being happy. That being said, there's a lot of people out there who I believe are happy in their own misery. The reason why I say that is because what they do is they will take a given situation and they will enjoy being miserable about it. They enjoy the fact that they get to complain about it. They enjoy the fact that everybody has to listen to them complain about it, and they don't actually do anything to get over that. Now that again is not a dig at anyone, in particular, it is literally just my observation.
When it comes to happiness, if we take this particular definition, as it is, happiness is a sense of wellbeing, joy, and contentment. That to me encapsulates everything that happiness is. I am content in my life with how my life currently is. I am content with how my life is going. I love the work that I do. I love the fact that I get to learn new skills, and process new information. I love the fact that I get to even today, it's, nearly 11:00 PM at night. I am now recording my very first podcast episode. I've had to learn how to talk to a microphone. I've had to learn how to use software to help edit that sound. And I've also had to learn to put together an intro and outro, put it all together and work out how to upload it. They are skills that I never thought this time last year that I would actually have, and they're quite technical skills.
What does that have to do with happiness?
Well, when you're happy, you like to learn things (I do anyway). I really enjoy learning new things. I often joke that Google is my best friend because I get to research and I can really go down the rabbit hole when it comes to research. I actually did kind of go down a bit of a rabbit hole for this particular podcast when researching it. But. I love it. It's just who I am. I'm not going to change and hopefully, you won't want me to change either.
So let's go back to happiness. So when people are successful or safe or lucky, they feel happiness. Now, what I want to emphasize here is that. You don't need to strive for success. You don't need to strive for safety, you certainly don't need to strive for luck to be happy. There is this misconception that happiness is actually tied to us gaining something in the future. I just want to address that when we are constantly seeking happiness and pursuing happiness it's actually detrimental because what happens is we associate happiness with something we don't yet have.
When we associate happiness with something, we don't yet have be it a job, be it, a certain salary, be it a house, be it a relationship. Even getting our driving license. We're missing out on things that are fundamental to our happiness now.
So just to give you an example, I know I've plenty of people (and I'm sure you do too) who start a new relationship. They begin dating and they're happy for a while. And then things start to go a bit bland, things start to get a bit boring and repetitive. So they start thinking, "oh, I know I'm going to be happy when we've moved in together". So they moved in together and things have improved.
Once things have improved, then things start to become bland again. They start to become boring and they start thinking, "Oh, I know I'll be happier when I'm married". So they get married and the cycle repeats itself. "Oh, let's have children. Children is what we need now". And the cycle continues to repeat itself.
That is the hamster wheel that I'm talking about. That is when you are consistently chasing happiness from something that you don't currently have. Now, I am very happy in my life. I have a loving and supportive and generous partner. I have a lovely house. I have a car. I have a wonderful, supportive family and friends. I have a thriving business. I have a book that I've just published, Oh No! Not Another Goal-Setting Book - I actually discuss some of these concepts in there. I'm just going into a bit more detail in my podcast. So feel free to listen to the podcast, buy the book it's available on Amazon and Google play store and use that to your advantage.
So I have a lot of things in my life that makes me feel happy. But that doesn't mean that I don't still have goals. I'm content with how my life currently is, but there are still things in my life that I want, but I'm not associating my happiness with the things that I want and don't have. And I think that is a very clear misconception that people have when it comes to happiness.
So as another example, I know of plenty of people who've started their own business. I'm an entrepreneur I'm in that space. And I also know a lot of people who, when they have started their own business, get a bit upset if they're not quite selling as many products or services as they like, they get upset when their customers aren't responding to them. The way that they want, they're getting upset when they're getting a negative review and they're taking it personally and they're reacting now. I know that it's very easy to react in a situation. I am an instance reactor, and it's taken me a long time to learn that a situation does not necessarily mean that you have to react straight away.
What you do instead is you take time and you think about it. And often when you do take time and you think about it, you will realize that actually, that situation is not important. That situation does not matter. And in the grand scheme of things, that situation is irrelevant. It is not tied to your happiness.
It is not tied to your productivity and nine times out of ten, a situation that does annoy you doesn't actually impact you whatsoever. Now to give you an example, I am one of these people who cannot stand the sound of people who 'tut' as they eat. When they're making mouth noises, as they eat, I cannot stand that. They are... I'm not necessarily saying that they're being rude, although I wouldn't really say that they're not being rude, but that noise, that sound just really aggravates me to the point where I have to leave the room.
Now I could choose to sit there and start and complain to that person about the way they're eating or the way that they're drinking. I could choose to be rude and say, "do you mind not eating like that?" Now I get it. I do get it. Like some people, they just can't help it. I choose to remove myself from that situation. And I would much rather remove myself from that situation than cause a fight over something that actually doesn't impact me.
It doesn't have any negative response needed because it, it. It's a non-starter, it's something that is irrelevant. It doesn't make one bit of difference to my life. Yes. It annoys me. I just get annoyed by it. There are things that will annoy you too. There are things that people will do and I'm specifying people because it tends to be things that other people do that annoy you.
The thing with people is you cannot control what they do, what they think, how they feel or how they react to something. But you can control what you do, what you think, what you feel and how you react to something. Uh, the reason why I'm saying this and the reason why I am discussing this is that I feel that in order for us to be happy, we have to understand exactly what it is that makes us unhappy. We have to understand exactly what it is that annoys us, those little things that we all have that, you know, really, really, really raise our anger levels. And I'm going to move on to sadness in a minute, but I'm just going to talk a bit more about anger.
So anger is an emotion. Anger is driven by our thought processes. Now, some people (a lot of people, most people I suspect) get angry when the situation is not in their control. They get angry when other people are doing something that they don't necessarily agree with. You can't control what other people do.
Again, I can tell you that there have been times in my life where I have expressed anger, I have reacted - instantly reacted, I've not thought about it, I've just reacted in an angry way. And I found that there was a particular situation within the last 12 months, that really started to make me angry.
Now, this situation I won't go into too much detail on, but basically what happened was I found myself being increasingly annoyed by another person. Now, this other person was not maliciously annoying me. And I suspect for 95% of it, they did not realize that they were annoying me. But the fact of the matter is they were. What I ended up doing was asking them very politely to stop doing what was natural for them.
Now, keep in mind that what they were doing was not something that a lot of people would find irritating. It's just something I particularly took a dislike to. I again, will not go into too much detail, but it did involve a very negative way of thinking. They seem to be under the impression that whenever something mildly irritating or uncomfortable happened to them, that it was the universe telling them that they were the worst person in the world and should be suffering.
And they were very melodramatic with it. In the end. I ended up having a conversation with this person and I asked them why they felt that the universe was against them, why they felt that there was a need for them to react and respond like this. And what they told me was that if they thought about it, they always felt that they were afraid of what might happen.
For example, they were a writer like me and they were afraid of what happened if they presented their work to a client, afraid that people will not like what they write or their style. And I kept saying to them, the only way you're going to develop is if you take action. And when I say taking action, I mean, actually doing something to resolve your issue. Yeah, I'm not just talking about the fact that you know, you could do a course or you could read a book or you could listen to a podcast that will help you to understand. Now, this is called Passive action. They're consuming.
And that frustrates me because I am an action taker and it took me a while. It did take me a while to realize that not everyone is like me. When I say, not everybody is like me, I mean, I, I believe that I am a fairly unique person. I believe that everybody is a fairly unique person, but not everybody's like me in the sense of, I will say yes and then work it out later. And that makes me happy (I'm not gonna lie)
But other people do like to be somewhat prepared. Um, those who like to be 100% prepared and called themselves a perfectionist are actually afraid of failure. So they're putting it off and trying to pass off, getting all of this information together first so that they were "fully prepared" (I'm using air quotes). When in actual fact they're afraid of trying it in case it fails. I'm not afraid of failing. And I know that that frustration that I had with the people who are not taking action stems from my own thoughts. It stems from my own feelings, but again, they're not taking action does not impact me in the slightest.
It had no, um, they had no say in how I responded to that. And I didn't really understand at the time how to respond to that. So, as I've said, what I've learned to do over the years is if I'm in a situation that makes me feel uncomfortable. If I'm in a situation where I can feel myself wanting to react in a negative way, that will impact somebody else. I choose to remove myself from that situation. And I will say, Oh, "I just need a few days to (you know) X, Y, Z". And then I will think about it. And I will think about what is making me feel angry or what is making me feel sad. I purposely go out of my way to understand the thoughts behind the feelings.
And once you have got the thoughts behind the feelings, you can then start addressing why you're feeling that way and you can then start addressing, well, those thoughts, those feelings are irrelevant. There is no need for you to, in my case, there is no need for you to respond to somebody in such a negative way. This is just the way they are. They're not sure what they're doing and when people are not sure when they are uncertain, they are not in a very positive place and they're feeling quite negative and full of self-doubt.
Now, a lot of these concepts such as passive, passive action and massive action or active action and fear of failure and self-doubt, I will be addressing those in later podcasts, um, at the moment I do want to stick to happiness, but in order for us to understand happiness and why happiness is important and how to be happy, we also have to understand why we don't always feel happy. And there are a lot of emotions for any given reason.
Happiness is something that I love to feel. Happiness is something that I try to feel every day, not all day, every day. It's not possible to feel happy all the time. However, it is possible to remind yourself of what makes you happy. So, like I've said at the beginning, I have got a loving, kind, generous partner. I have a wonderful family. I have a fantastic group of friends. I know that I have love. I have a home. I have food, I have a car and I can travel whenever I like, because of the nature of my job, I can take it with me. I'm in a really, really good place.
What else makes me happy is the future. So I like to set myself goals because goal setting is something that helps keep our minds focused. I'll explain at a later episode, but right now, go with me, please bear with me. And I like to set myself big, huge, challenging goals that really stretch everything that I do such as writing a book and publishing that book. And then starting a podcast. I like to set goals where I can help other people. Helping other people, again, is one of those stimulants that just makes me feel good about myself. It makes me feel happy. It makes me feel confident. I go out of my way to help people. And the reason why is, because again, it is just something that, as I'm watching this person benefit from my help, it makes me feel good about myself.
I know that there are people out there who are like, "but why would you help people? (You know) Charity starts at home." That sort of thing. I have always been generous. I've always tried to help people, whether it be with something physical, like sorting out the garden or helping them decorate or cooking them a meal or paying for their meals or, you know, just helping any way that I can, because I know that it is going to get reciprocated. Now that's not to say that I let people take advantage of me. I do want to point that out. Um, but overall I like helping people, what I want you to do and what I am going to task you with doing, just think about all of the things that make you happy.
So, do you have friendships that you wouldn't be without? Do you have family members who are supportive? Do you have a job that you absolutely love? Do you have a job full stop that pays you? Do you volunteer? Do you go to school? Do you go to university? Think about what it is that you are doing and what brings you happiness?
This is important because when it comes to setting goals, if you come from a place of happiness, then you're going to be more creative. You're going to be more confident. You're going to be able to take action. Now, a lot of people when they're setting goals, unfortunately, are the opposite. So they set goals out of necessity. It's called having a scarcity mindset. And when you're coming from a place of scarcity, when you're coming from a place of wanting what you don't have from a place of needing it (I'll explain more in a later episode, but effectively it is when you are so busy in your life, you're putting out fires) you don't have time to actually think about what you need.
So if your car breaks down for example, and you can't afford to get it fixed, you find a way to get it fixed rather than saving up the money, to begin with. It's like people who have a job but aren't happy in that job. Instead of looking for a new job, they stay in the job that makes them unhappy. And the reason why they do that is because it provides them with security. And by having that security, it makes them think that they are, you know, not in need of getting another job.
Whereas if you're wanting from a place of happiness, you will look for a job. Now, what happens when that person is made redundant or they get fired, they then start taking action. They then start looking for a job, any job to help maintain their status quo. I'm using that word specifically because as humans we have adapted over the years, one of our survival instincts is to maintain the status quo, because that means we're safe. That means that we're secure. And that means that we can carry on living. If we are suddenly in a position where our minds don't know where we are or don't know why we're thinking, what we're thinking, it tries to shut it down. And that's where fear comes in.
So keeping the status quo. Okay. Yes, it can be peaceful. It can. Work for some people, but for the majority of us, what will happen is it will drive our ambitions down. So again, coming from that place of happiness coming from that place of abundance is what makes our lives definitely worth living in my opinion anyway.
It makes our lives so much more rich. It makes it so much more vibrant. I keep saying "variety's the spice of life" because I like to work on many different projects, but that also keeps me in line with my goals. I like to work on different things. It makes me happy. Some people like doing the same tasks over and over again that makes them happy.
Some people like to be organized. Some people like to wing it. Basically, happiness is something that is unique to you. You should not be putting stock in other people for your own happiness, they are not responsible for your happiness, much like you are not responsible for other people's happiness.
However, if you're the type of person like me, who likes to see other people happy, then you will also be a respectful person who respects boundaries. So happiness is not something that you should be seeking elsewhere. It does come from within. I know that I sound like I am some sort of guru right now. But it is true. It is so true, in order to be happy, in order to enjoy your life, in order to enjoy your relationships, enjoy your work, enjoy your education, enjoy everything you have to realize that you are ultimately responsible for your own happiness.
What I would like to do right now is invite you to explore what it is that makes you happy.
I would like to invite you to discover what it is that makes you unhappy and discover why that makes you unhappy.
Once you have that, you have the key to your own success. Happiness is vital for success. And as I've said, different people have different things that make them happy. My key takeaway from this particular episode would be to make sure that you only understand what it is that makes you happy.
Thank you very much. And I will see you next episode.
You have been listening to the I'll Take That Win podcast with Steven Westwood, reminding you that your path to success starts with Just One Step.