A theme throughout Domonique Bertolucci’s The Happiness Code is that of ‘being the best you can be’.
And this, she says, takes courage – the tenth of her keys to happiness.
“You need to own your decisions and have the courage to see them through.”
She suggests we need to do the ‘right’ thing, not the easy thing.
And in talking about doing the right thing, she doesn’t just mean morally. Again Bertolucci says we need to be true to our values and do the right thing for us.
“Don’t rely on the opinion of others. Only you will know what’s right for you.”
I haven’t talked about it as much as I possibly could, but I’m really struggling at the moment. I’ve gained weight and am feeling apathetic about EVERYTHING to do with my body and my weight.
I’m continuing to feel ‘directionless’ in my life – uncertain of what I SHOULD be doing next, uncertain of what I WANT to do next.
But… I do not regret the decision I made just four or so months ago to pack up my life and move – my own literal sea change – taking a break from work and trying to find some zen in my world of ‘work-is-everything’.
“Be courageous in your decision-making. Stand by your choices and never look back.”
No matter how much I’m struggling I have a visceral reaction (and not a good one) when I think about my old life – my daily commute, my days in the office and so forth.
Bertolucci notes that, for some however, pursuing their own needs can appear selfish.
“There is a big difference between being self-ist and being selfish – putting yourself first doesn’t mean you have to put everyone else last.”
She agrees that caring for a child or family is usually seen as our most important role, but notes that it is rarely our ONLY role. She recommends against putting ourselves and our needs last.
The airline oxygen example popped into my head as I was reading her words. Almost everyone has been on a plane and listened to the safety instructions: in the event of an emergency and appearance of oxygen masks parents are told to don their own mask first, before helping their children. An unconscious parent is of no use at all. Similarly, a desperately unhappy parent can cast a similar spell on their offspring.
I like the logical flow of Bertolucci’s book and her ten keys to happiness.
I may well do a wrap-up post down the track, but what’s jumped out at me over the course of the book is:
- When it comes to making decisions in line with our values, I’m pretty good – except when it comes to food, dieting and exercise.
- I particularly liked the reminder that there will often be negative consequences as a result of our choices – some of which we cannot influence or control. These, we need to (ommmm) just ‘let go’.
- I discovered that when it comes to trust, I actually trust myself quite a bit (except when it comes to food, dieting and exercise) but struggle to feel like I can rely on others.
- I need to be less judgmental (of others and myself) and more generous with my thoughts and beliefs.
- I struggle with the commitment of my convictions and often take the easy way out, rather than making the small decisions day-in and day-out which will help me achieve my goals.
Finally, and most importantly, I realised that I desire perfection less than I thought. Being the best I can be is what I’m eager to strive for – however apathy or complacency or fear, means that I’m currently aiming for ‘just fine’ or ‘okay’. Which is not… okay.
Rather than summarise the ten keys myself, I’ll leave you with this clip from the book’s site which does it far more eloquently than I ever could.
Do you find it easy to make the tough choices?
Which of the ten keys ‘sings’ to you?