It’s that time of year that we do a little soul searching. January inevitably leads to questions like: should I be fitter? Am I in the right job?
And how can I find happiness?
When the BBC Breakfast news team wanted to learn the answer to that last question they turned to York life coach Jules Wyman.
She told presenters Bill Turnbull and Naga Munchetty that we’re all searching for happiness.
“The surface of what there asking for is very different things. It could be about their career, or promotion, or relationships or finances,” Jules said.
“But actually when you start to ask some key questions and dig down, it does come down to things like feeling good and happiness and having more confidence.”
Cheer up, Bill
Jules runs Positive Belief life coaching on Kings Court, York
That morning ray of sunshine, Bill Turnbull, pointed out that Britain fares badly in the world happiness index. “That’s a bit miserable isn’t it?”
“It is, and it’s really hard to hear that at this time of year because we’ve got dark weather,” said Jules.
“But it’s a great season to get people all ‘joyed up’ and then we’re told, oh actually you’re all miserable.
“I don’t think that’s particularly fair. I think things are starting to change a lot globally. This conversation about happiness wouldn’t have happened even five, ten years ago.”
Time to take control
Many of us get happiness all wrong, Jules said. “That’s a misnomer that people think about happiness – it’s something that’s always going to be there. And let’s face it, life happens, things happen to us.
“It’s not about slapping a smile on and getting through, and everything’s going to be OK. It’s actually recognising that life happens.”
Instead, we should be working on “how you can have control over your happiness. It isn’t something that’s done to you. You can make the choice to be happy.”
The key word is “should”, Jules says.
“The majority of the time we say, ‘we should have this by now’, or ‘we should have done this’ – to do with our age, or our standing within society.
“Actually ‘should’ tends to relate to somebody else’s goal. Define happiness for yourself. What does it mean to you? And that’s what you can start working towards.”
Fight to be happy
“If you want happiness, understand how you’re being unhappy,” Jules said. “Is my focus on what’s gone wrong, what could go wrong, how we never get anything right?
“If you’re focus is that way then you probably are going to feel pretty rubbish.
“But if you start to focus in a different direction… Actually you’ve got to fight to get happiness – you’ve got to look for it.”
And is Jules happy, asked Bill? “Very.”