Happiness Lies in the Joy of Achievement

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”

—Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States

Image of a man surrounded by bubbles

Image from Unsplash by Brandon Morgan

If I could go back in time, and Roosevelt had asked me for coaching on this statement, I would have encouraged a bit of editing.

What if it instead read, “Happiness lies in the joy of creative effort and the thrill of achievement”?

I suggest that the time we spend in our creative efforts could comprise the bulk of our days, whereas the thrill of achievement is often more finite and short-lived.


Where and in what ways can and will you use and apply your most creative and joyful efforts to realize the thrilling achievements and happiness you desire?

Seeking Happiness Outside Ourselves

“Seeking happiness outside ourselves is like waiting for sunshine in a cave facing north.”

—Tibetan Proverb

How would you like a 10% return on your investments year after year?

Most people would be pretty happy with those results, except, perhaps, for some venture capitalists!

How does that relate to today’s quote? 10% Happier by Dan Harris is a book I highly recommend. Working on himself through his meditation and mindfulness practice, Harris tamed the voice in his head, reduced stress, and still kept his edge.

Meditation has allowed me to create far more sunny skies, because I’ve realized that we create our own weather through mindful self-awareness.


Consider picking up Dan’s book, or another resource on the value of daily meditation to help brighten your world.

I highly recommend the CALM app if you are just beginning this practice.

To Drift is to Be in Hell

“To drift is to be in Hell. To be in Heaven is to Steer.”

—George Bernard Shaw, Irish Playwright

Image of hands on the steering wheen

Image from Unsplash

Consider how you feel when you read these phrases:

  • I feel stuck
  • I’ve plateaued in my career
  • My life has no direction
  • I’m lost
  • I’m not getting anywhere
  • I’m bored

Try on these phrases instead:

  • I’m excited about the day ahead!
  • I can’t wait to get there!
  • I feel passionate and purposeful each day
  • I am working toward my goal of …
  • My focus and efforts will get me there!


Where do you feel adrift, personally or professionally?

How can you experience greater happiness by steering and guiding your life in a more heavenly direction?

Happier Days

“Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.”

—Ritu Ghatourey, East Indian Author

Image of Wayne Dyer

Image from Awaken.com

Wayne Dyer, who passed away on August 29, 2015, was an American philosopher, self-help author, and motivational speaker.

His life was a testament to his own journey of personal, professional, and spiritual growth. In many ways he was a true seeker of wisdom, and did more than many others in his field to pay forward his own lesson to millions of people, through various talk shows, countless speeches, and PBS specials.

One of his key teachings is that we are all connected to a divine source. By tapping into that divinity we can all live better and more richly rewarding lives.


Where and with whom would giving more of your heart instead of your mind become the source of greater happiness, and perhaps make Wayne Dyer smile in his ongoing divine journey?

Some Cause Happiness

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”

—Oscar Wilde, 19th Century Irish Playwright and Poet

Image of two women smiling

Image from Flickr by Christopher Connell

Who would you want to be with if you were stuck in an elevator for an hour or longer?

What one person would you want to be with if you were stranded on a deserted island?

If someone calls you at home just as you head to bed for the night, who would you most want that caller to be?


Examine the qualities and characteristics of the people you identified. How does your happiness index improve by the thought of their company?

What work may be needed on your part to have others put you on their list of special people?

The Art of Happiness

“Happiness is not an accident, it’s an art. You don’t hope for happiness, you plan for happiness. You have to weave happiness like a tapestry.”

—Jim Rohn, American Motivational Author

Image of tapestry on a loom

Image from Flickr by monnibo

My wife Wendy is very creative. She heads several women’s groups focused on crafts, including many forms of needlework.

I admire the time and attention to detail these patient women put into their art, as they literally weave pieces of themselves into their work.

Imagine your life as a quilt, with a wide variety of fabrics that you have worn along your journey. Make sure to capture all of the stand-out, deeply felt memories that have brought you great happiness along the way.


Begin today adding more happy experiences to your existing quilt, or start planning what new and beautiful pieces of art you intend to create moving forward.

your share of happiness

“Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.”

—William Feather, 20th Century American Writer and Publisher

Image of the words "Slow Down" Happiness Post

Image from Flickr by Marie-Chantal Turgeon

Take a few minutes to observe the pace of life around you. Many people describe their days as busy, hectic, stressful, maybe even chaotic.

In many ways our fast-paced, multi-tasking world makes us very productive. Yet, we are often so driven we miss the stop signs that can help us fully appreciate and enjoy the moments.


Where and in what ways can you slow down your pace of life to more fully enjoy it, and experience your share of happiness?

“One must dare to be happy”

“One must dare to be happy.”

-Gertrude Stein, American novelist, poet, and playwright

Image from Flickr by Blondinrikard Froberg

Image from Flickr by Blondinrikard Froberg

If I double-dared you, would you be doubly happy? The relationship between risk and reward is a topic of interest to many. Stories abound in the media, especially when you examine people who have achieved great wealth or who have lost everything—sometimes repeatedly.

But what about happiness? How does an orientation to risk-taking correlate to moving the needle on the happy meter? This idea fits perfectly with the concept of coaching, in which an individual acknowledges a personal or professional future they wish to realize.

To do so, however, requires taking the risk of leaving their current, often safe and secure realities for some more desired vision they see for themselves. Not to do so is considered by many the biggest reason for a life of regret, which no one would desire.


Where and in what ways could you take a more daring approach to your days, to lead a more interesting, exciting, and happier life?

Consider picking up a copy of Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar to examine other ideas to pursue greater happiness.

Life is Very Short

“Life is very short, and there’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friend.”

—John Lennon, co-founder of the Beatles

Image from storypic.com

Image from storypic.com

I am currently coaching an attorney who wishes to make a career transition to something far more in line with his vision and values. Ask him about what he finds distasteful about his current career and his response is clear: he does not enjoy all the fussing and fighting.

Examine your professional and personal worlds to determine just how much of your time you and others spend fussing and fighting. If the amount is unacceptable, examine the cost to your health, happiness, and overall life satisfaction.


What steps can and will you take to neither initiate nor participate in fussing and fighting?  Lennon’s coaching and life is for all of us to appreciate and be reminded of just how short and precious a life can be.