“Wealthy, Successful & Miserable”, how Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Charles Duhigg, recently described successful American workers in “My Times” Magazine this year.

Spending a few days in New York this week for Courageous Success, I have been observing working life in the city that never sleeps. Sleep, and its impact on my own happiness, is something I am currently logging – nine and a half hours last night, – #fallingasleeponyourhotelbedat8.15pm! There is no doubt that waking up fresh can make all the difference in the world,  but what else can make all the difference in your world?

In the “My Times” article, Duhigg shares that “even in a boom economy, a surprising portion of Americans are professionally miserable right now. In the mid-1980s, roughly 61 percent of workers told pollsters they were satisfied with their jobs. Since then, that number has declined substantially, hovering around half; the low point was in 2010, when only 43 percent of workers were satisfied, according to data collected by the Conference Board, a non-profit research organization. The rest said they were unhappy, or at best neutral, about how they spent the bulk of their days. Even among professionals given to lofty self-images, like those in medicine and law, other studies have noted a rise in discontent”.  No offence lawyers, these weren’t my words 😊.

Why? Here’s just a few of the reasons;
1. We choose a career because we think we should, we need to earn money, and then over time our belief in our own success becomes all about status and cash.
2. We wait for things outside of ourselves to make us happy. Our partners, team, friends and family and then blame them, often silently when they don’t.
3. We then make it all about us and self-doubt, inner anxiety and imposter syndrome kick in. So, we wallow, or we ignore it and to make ourselves feel better, we can use power to feel and be a success, or begin to disengage, be resentful.
4. We unconsciously lose control of our reactions and contribute to a working culture that we don’t always enjoy, so we dream of retirement, marrying rich, Friday nights, of escaping.

This isn’t me suddenly becoming negative or sceptical, this is what I often come across every single day.  A good night’s sleep can make all the difference in the world. But there is a much more instant hit.  Choice.  Conscious choice.  Living awake.  Working awake.  Taking responsibility for your own mood and the impact that you have on others, and the impact you let them have on you.

There is a very good reason why Courageous Success clients experience an average impact of 88% on their positivity and happiness. They choose it. They become what makes them happy – being themselves. And become conscious of their choice of mood and reaction. It’s one of the easiest and simplest strategies in the world. It just takes one thing to spark it…courage.
It’s easy to stay the same. It’s easy to blame others, life, the boss, our workplace for a gap, a happiness gap that we feel inside. No matter how big or small that gap is you can do something right now to close it. It takes courage to decide to own your decisions. But just like the ace of wands in the Tarot. It is a simple spark of energy. Focused.  A conviction.  And it creates a new beginning. So New Yorkers, and all of you out there in your busy working world, here is my top tip for choosing to be happy… ready?

Decide to be.