The, happiness recipe, is super simple. Do more of what matters to you, and less of the rest.
Simple, though obviously doesn’t mean easy. There’s a lot that goes into that very short phrase and into the execution of that very short phrase. Becky Morrison is a mom, wife and lawyer turned, Happiness Coach has identified what she thinks are the three areas that stop us from executing on this, happiness recipe.
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Becky Morrison is a mom, wife and lawyer turned, Happiness Coach. Her mission is to spread joy. She believes most people can live happier, easier lives if they get clear on what matters most to them and then develop a plan to do more of that and less of the rest. She wants to enable people to find clarity and happiness, so everyone wins.
Now she’s using her experience coupled with her own journey to help people supercharge their success and happiness by: finding clarity; taking the next steps in their career; overcoming overwhelm; going from idea to action; and, stepping into their authentic leadership presence.
Becky brings together all her learnings in her recently published book ‘The Happiness Recipe: A Powerful Guide to Living What Matters’.
From Lawyer to Happiness Coach
Myrna: Your story of coming from corporate lawyer to, happiness coach, reminds me of the first book I read in my quest for enlightenment and, personal growth. And that is the book called from Robin Sharma that’s called “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.”
So, for those who didn’t know Robin Sharma, the character in the book is a corporate lawyer who had a heart attack. And then he went to live with amongst the monks in the Himalayan mountains and he changed his life. So, how did it happen for you?
Becky: Well, I mean, it was not quite that glamorous or fun for me, but it is a story of evolution and, transformation. And it starts with me doing what a lot of us do, which is doing all the things I thought I was supposed to do.
- Going to the good school,
- getting the good grades,
- getting the job,
- going back to graduate school to become an attorney,
- then getting the job at the big law firm with the big paycheck to be on the partnership track.
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Does checking the right boxes lead to happiness
Then one night 16 years later, I found myself sitting on the floor of the bathroom, with a toddler in the tub, and the cordless phone clip to the back of my pants, and the toilet seat cover down with a notebook on it and papers spread all around me. And I was doing two things at the same time. I was bathing my toddler daughter and trying to prepare an expert witness for their upcoming deposition.
I had two thoughts in super quick succession. The first thought was, who says you can’t do it all? Look at me. I’m a mom, I’m a lawyer. I’m here. I’m killing it. This is amazing. That was quickly followed by and I’m exhausted. Is this unsustainable? And perhaps more importantly, and more scarily, I’m not sure this is making me happy.
And that kicked off my own quest for, transformation, and, personal growth. I had to figure out, well, okay, what does it mean, if I’ve done all of the things that I was supposed to do? And I checked all the boxes? And I’m not happy?
Where does happiness come from?
What the heck does, happiness, come from then? If it’s not from success? If it’s not from the results?
You talked about, happiness, is working towards a purpose or a goal.
- What am I working towards here?
- Why am I here In this season of my life?
- What is my top priority?
- What is the most important thing?
I panicked. And I started to think about what can I do? And the reality is, I can do a lot of things. I’m a lawyer, with a ton of management experience, a whole bunch of process experience. I’ve been a CEO, I mean, the list of jobs that I could apply for is pretty long. And thankfully, I had some voices in my life who said, timeout?
This is an opportunity, what do you want to do? Not what can you do, but what do you want to do? And that’s how I landed in this business of helping other people chart their success and, happiness.
The Definition of happiness
Myrna: That’s a good story. I love your evolution. One of the things I will add is when you’re in a tub bathing your child and doing work, you’re not giving her the attention she deserves.
Becky: So true, I wasn’t fully focused on one or the other. I had split focus and split focus is not efficient, effective or meaningful.
Myrna: So right. Yes, that’s what mothers do. You know, they have one of the hips and they’re doing it all. So, that moment was the start of your, your evolution, your, transformation. You asked yourself the question Is this making me happy? I’m working towards a goal. I’m working towards partnership, you’re immediately disrupting my, definition of happiness.
My, definition of happiness, is working steadily towards a goal or purpose
I guess the other part of that is, fulfillment. And somehow your work wasn’t hitting the, fulfillment, button inside.
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How do we identify the essential sources of happiness?
Becky: How do we find our essential, sources of happiness? I have a little exercise that I like to do with people that might seem silly or small, but it’s not. And it’s about developing a menu of things that you can do, that are easy and accessible, that you know, are going to create a positive emotional experience for you.
We can use Oprah’s, sources of happiness, sitting in the bathtub. We need to do to get down to the essential, sources of our joy, or have those positive emotional experiences is to ask a few more questions. Get down to the simple things that you can do to add, happiness, into your daily life.
When I’m sitting with a client is ask them to brainstorm a list of five to seven things that are their, sources of happiness. I ask them not to judge because on my list, one of my, sources of happiness, is clean sheets!
Then taking one on that list and asking yourself, what about that makes me happy? So, take the Oprah example. What about being in the bathtub that brings you, happiness?
- Is it the solitude?
- Is it the warmth of my water?
- Is it the time with my thoughts?
- There’s something more than just the bathtub that brings you, happiness.
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Invite your nervous system to become a partner in your happiness?
Becky: Happiness, makes you feel good or, or when you’re doing the things that make you happy in that moment, right? You feel good, and it helps with your health, and it helps with resilience and all that. But your nervous system is a little different.
A lot of times more, happiness, for us lives on the other side of some sort of change. Whether it’s change in behavior, change in circumstance, change in mindset. And at the most basic level, one of the important jobs that our nervous system plays is to keep us safe, literally, to keep us alive. That’s where the, fight or flight, response, comes from.
Often when we’re trying to make a change, it can feel uncomfortable and unpleasant, because it is our, nervous system, is saying, no, no, no, please don’t. I know how to keep you safe; this new activity is not safe. I have no data on it. So, often we mistake that discomfort as a sign that we shouldn’t do it.
Myrna: That’s true that our brain’s function is to warn us about impending danger and to keep us safe. Which is why One of the first things I learned myself on my journey of self-improvement is you got to get out your, comfort zone, because whenever you sit In your comfort zone you’re not moving, and you’re not growing.
Feel the fear and do it anyway!
The happiness recipe
What is the, happiness recipe?
Becky: Sometimes I worry that when I say the, happiness recipe, people are going to be like, That’s it? But here’s the deal. And you’ve sort of set it in your definition. But the recipe for maximum, happiness, is super simple.
Do more of what matters to you, and less of the rest.
Simple, though, obviously, doesn’t mean easy. There’s a lot that goes into that very short phrase and into it’s execution. I’ve identified what I think are the three areas of the, happiness recipe. Three areas where there can be gaps that stop us from executing on the, happiness recipe.
- And the first is what I call the, authenticity gap. Do we know what matters most to us? And are we willing to claim it publicly? Because to live it, you must be willing to speak it. You must be willing to share it. Be willing to have other people see it.
- Then there’s the middle gap of the, happiness recipe. I call that the, emotional energy gap, or the, mindset gap, that’s all the beliefs and feelings that get in the way of us executing on that knowledge of what makes us happy.
We know what matters most to us, we know the goal or purpose that we want to be working towards; but do we have the, mindset, and belief that will allow us to make that happen?
3. The third gap in the, happiness recipe, is the, physical energy gap, which is really the execution piece. Do you align your time energy and resources with what matters most to you? I call it priority aligned living.
Book: The Happiness Recipe
You told us about your book the , happiness recipe, we all know we can pick up a copy on Amazon, but give us your website and maybe a couple of your social media handles or so that people can connect with you.
Becky: My website which is www.untanglehappiness.com. And on there you can find all the social media links to connect with me on social media. You can also find a link to my book The Happiness recipe and you can learn about the work that I do.
Myrna: It’s been an incredible conversation. We talked about, happiness, the big takeaway from this conversation is our, sources of happiness. If you were to ask someone Are they happy? They’re probably going to be talking about, is my life good? Is my husband good to me? Am I making enough money? Am I living my dream life?
They’re going to think of the big things that cause, happiness.
Sources of happiness
I found that, definition of happiness, is working towards a goal or purpose. Happiness, comes from taking those steps towards it. That is what makes you happy, when you’re moving towards something. When you feel stuck, or you think you’re going backwards, is when you’re unhappy. So, it’s the same thing, finding moments to bring you joy, understand your, sources of happiness, can be as simple as clean sheets, or taking a bath, everybody can do that. Everybody can find, happiness, sitting inside a tub, you don’t have to have waterfalls!
You can find, happiness, by taking a walk. Happiness, for me is walking in a park, you can find a park with trees everywhere. Find your, source of happiness, if could be a good book, it could be clean sheets, it could be taking a bath, whatever is your, source of happiness, start there and then you pick a goal or a purpose and you take little baby steps towards it.
Once you are moving in the right direction, you are going to be happy. So, thank you, Becky, for that simple, happiness recipe. It is a very simple recipe. Head over to Becky’s website, connect with her on social media and pick up a copy of her book.