As part of the coaching service it is customary to have a consultation session before any actual coaching takes place. The purpose of this manifold; it allows both coach and client to get to know each other face to face and to sound each other out – to assess what the client wants and to explain in more depth how the coach works. It allows both to establish rapport and the beginnings of trust (two factors vital for effective coaching) and finally to decide if a forthcoming coaching relationship is feasible and desirable.
So it was for this reason – a consultation session – that last month I found myself face to face with… well, let’s call him Felix.
Felix was a thin man in his mid thirties. He had a shaved head, intense eyes and was of a fidgety disposition; for most of the hour he sat on the edge of his seat as if about to suddenly spring up and attack me – which he didn’t. He’d contacted me, he said, because he was dissatisfied with his current situation, especially his work, which he was frustrated with. In a nutshell he wanted to make more money. We discussed other areas of his life, none of which seemed to be going really well. He’d been single for over two years after a messy separation; he suffered excessive sweating and slept very little. But each time I asked about one of these he changed the subject back to the money issue. Finally I asked him if he’d considered how things might be if he addressed the other parts of his life instead of just focusing on the money and that if he were happier in general then he might feel different. His reply was “Once I’m rich then I’ll be happy. What’s the point of being happy anyway?”
At this point it became clear that Felix and I were not destined to be in a coaching relationship and after the meeting concluded I referred him to a colleague who I thought would be more his cup of tea and we went our separate ways.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t help feeling a little stunned after being confronted by such an attitude. I then decided to write this article just in case there was anyone else out there who was asking the same question: What’s the point of being happy? Here are a few pointers:
According to many scientific studies – the happier you are then the more likely it is that…
- you’ll suffer less from illness (from common cold to diabetes)
- you’ll recover from illness quicker
- your blood pressure will be lower
- if you have an accident or operation then your wounds will heal quicker
- you’ll have lower blood pressure
- you’ll suffer less from cardiovascular disease (heart attacks, strokes etc)
- if you’re a driver you’ll have fewer accidents
- you’ll live longer
- you’re less susceptible to toxic habits (snacking, smoking, substance abuse, etc.)
- you’ll be more creative
- you’ll think more positively
- you’ll have more empathy
- you’ll be more patient
- you’ll be more altruistic (more likely to help others)
- you’ll be better at problem solving
- you’ll be more productive
- you’ll be promoted
- you’ll find employment
- you’ll be better at forming relationships
- you’ll have a successful marriage
- your sex life will be more satisfying
- you’ll have more support from family and friends
- you’ll be more resistant to negative emotions of sadness and depression
- you’ll be more attractive (smiling makes you more attractive)
- you’ll have a better self image
- you’ll have more self confidence
- you’ll do more
- you’ll achieve more
- you’ll enjoy life more
- you’ll be master of your destiny and have your own personal space cruiser
- I admit it. I made that last point up – just testing!
Whether you’re an individual thinking about yourself or a company director thinking about your employees: The point of being happy is that a happier person is a better spouse, a better parent, a better friend, a better colleague and a better worker. And in my books that’s not a win-win, it’s a win-win-win-win-win.
Felix, have I made my point?