“Happiness is not a destination. It’s a choice.”
– Steve Napolitan

Welcome to The Steve Show. Today I want to talk about putting your attention on what you want versus dwelling or fighting what you don’t want. My friend and long-term colleague Mick Connolly and I have a conversation about this. In this post, I am going to share some of the key insights we discussed that will be useful for your life and business.

Let’s kick things off with a story Mick shares:

“So great story, Mother Teresa years ago was asked to March, I believe it was against the Vietnam War. And she said, “No, I will not march against the war.” And they said, “What do you mean?” She said, “If you have a march for peace, I would love to be a part of that. But marching against war just gets you more.” And we can see that in so many things in our culture. We push against it and we have more of it than ever.”

When we want change in something or we don’t like something in her life, the more we focus on what we don’t like, then we just get more of that. So, it is essential to realize what we don’t want, what doesn’t feel good.

But then to pivot from that and go, “Okay, let’s leave that there. Let’s appreciate it even.” Appreciating it, leaving it there, pivoting and finding something that does feel good, and going in that direction.

When I got my first mentor ever, I was ranting about what I don’t want, “I don’t want this etc.” The first thing we did was he forced me to appreciate what I had. And I believe that.

Like even for me now, when I’m coaching and teaching people, I find a way to help them appreciate where they are. This propel you to where you want to go.

Mick also adds another dimension to this:

I mean really that’s the quickest way to getting what you do want is appreciating what you already have. And I was having a conversation earlier today. We’ve got the cart in front of the horse because we think that when we get what we think is what we want, we’ll have the emotion that we think we’re going to get when we had the thing that it is. And it’s really the other way around.

If you ask somebody, “What do you want?” I want this thing, whether it’s a new job or a new car or a new relationship. And you ask them, “Well, what are you going to … what will you have when you have that?” Eventually you’re going to get down to they’re going to feel better, they’re going to feel loved. It’s an emotional thing.”

You must change that. If it’s more money, then more money isn’t what changes you, it’s you changed to have more money. You must either go to that frequency or move to that space. And you know, you brought up something that I say a lot. And I know other people say this too, but happiness is not a destination. It’s a choice. Whatever you feel, choose that and then it’ll propel you.

Happiness is an inside job. You know, you heard people say, “If only this person wouldn’t do that, then I could feel happy.” Doesn’t work that way. You can’t control others. You can’t predict what other people are going to do nor control them. In fact, that energy is just depletion. You’re pushing energy away.

Let’s bring it to business a little bit. I had a business partner and it was going all bad. The project was getting bad and the emails were getting worse and they weren’t kind. And the emails, just like every time we read it, it was just like “Ugh!”

It got to the point where I did not want to look at my email. And then we closed the whole project. I quit working with this partner. And then there was a period where I did not like email and I didn’t recognize I was associating email to all that ugliness even though.

Then I was the guy that didn’t even check my email for a period and then people were like, “What the heck, you didn’t get my email?” And I had to overcome that, and it was through coaching. I got someone else’s perception because I wasn’t even noticing. I just thought email sucked, but I had programmed myself.

So, let’s sum this post up:

  1. Notice where your attention is. If you are having a negative experience, appreciate it, then move on.
  2. Focus on the feeling and experience you want first. Money doesn’t make you happy. You do. So start with how you want to feel, then imagine what life can be when you feel that way.
  3. Don’t waste energy trying to achieve things that aren’t up to you. You can control your experience, but you can’t control how others behave.
  4. Work with a coach. Someone who can look at your life, identify your patterns, and help break you out of any destructive cycles in your life. It’s hard to see them when you’re in them!

Choose Gratitude Create Freedom

Steve Napolitan

1 Comment

  1. Larry says:

    I enjoyed your talk today. As a pastor I’ve talked about the negative focus in some sermons. It’s very true that if you keep focusing on the negative behavior then eventually you will do it. It’s like the old song that says, “Your so vain you probably think this song is about you…!” The only point the song makes is that this song is not about you which means that ultimately the song is about the other person!
    I liked the thoughts you shared about a wide variety of other topics too. I definitely will be watching for more of your content!

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