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Why We Do Things That Don’t Make Us Happy—Part 3 April 11, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in ontological coaching, Uncategorized.
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Avoir que de la gueule by Tywak OK. It’s Sunday morning, time to write one more installment about why we do things that don’t make us happy. I think this is the final part of this homily but it’s not written yet so anything can happen.

As you probably remember I embarked on this topic at the request of a friend. Thought it would be a simple and short post of some of that wisdom(it’s my blog and I can call it that) that rattles around in my head. However, I kept having more thoughts about the topic. So here’s what I’ve been thinking about this week.

Dharma? What’s that?

Human beings are most happy when they are fulfilling their purpose—sometimes known as living their passion. The Hindus have a word that describes this: dharma. Dharma is defined as the natural universal laws whose observance enables humans to be contented and happy. Anything that helps humans reach God is considered to be dharmic. There’s a lot more to it and if you’d like to dip into it, start by going to Wiki entry at http://hinduism.about.com/od/basics/a/dharma.htm.

However, for my purposes here, I’ll just keep it simple. Your dharma is what you have a passion for and when you are doing this thing, you are content and happy and being of service to the world.

My dharma is….

As always, I have an example. As I have mentioned I am an executive and personal coach. Coaching is definitely my dharma. I am passionate about helping other people to lead more fulfilling lives. I am committed to doing this, one conversation at a time. How do I know that coaching is my dharma? Cause it’s fun—about 98% of the time. I can listen to minute details of my clients’ lives endlessly, without getting bored. I, who am not the most patient person on the planet, can be patient with the foibles that cause others to create what they don’t want in their lives. That is,as long as they are committed to changing it. If they just want to whine, they need to find a different coach—hence the name Edgyangel. Edginess is good in the right balance.

So I am fortunate to have found my dharma and even more fortunate to get paid for doing it.

What’s your dharma?

What is your dharma? What things in your life are you passionate about? Here are some examples taken from my friends, family, and clients.

  • raising children
  • employing and teaching others about the curative powers of essential oils
  • styling hair
  • doing accounting work (my accountant actually gets a real charge out of her spread sheets—and I thank God for her every year at this time.)
  • snowboarding
  • sewing clothing
  • writing blog posts 🙂

An interesting list, is it not? It illustrates that your dharma can be found anywhere and doesn’t have to be of the magnitude of say, Mother Theresa or Barack Obama. The important (and sometimes tricky) thing is to figure out what it is. But once you do, and you start consciously living into that dharma, you can’t help but find happiness.

What lights you up?

So, if you are feeling less than satisfied with the current state of your life, start figuring out what your passion is. There are tons of books written on the topic. But start looking at the things in your life that light you up. That’s a great place to start. And don’t give up till you find it—unless of course you want to keep doing those things that don’t make you happy.

I’ll end with a quote from the amazing poet, Hafiz.

“Ever since happiness heard your name it’s been running through the streets trying to find you.”

Just so…

Amara

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