Why can't I be happy with what I have?

motivation Aug 07, 2020

We are wanting, ambitious creatures. This is inherent in our DNA. It was our ancestors' drive for better that has gifted us so much in the present. 

Equally, we have so much, so why can’t we just settle and be happy with what we’ve got?

The answer is that we should be incredibly grateful for all we have and also push for better. 

The is part of the office-athlete approach to business and life.

Keep pushing to be the best you can while also pausing long enough to be grateful for all you have.

The push-pause approach to business and life

True success and drive for better, is built on a foundation of appreciation for what you already have. 


When training my office-athletes I will consistently remind them to pause, reflect and feel grateful. Appreciation for where you are is your tranquil space, so it’s critical that throughout your self-development adventure you take time to wallow in how far you have come. Take time to smile and notice all the good things in your life.

But then crack on. 

Now, the old way of thinking would suggest that being happy with what you have might make you lazy. The old way wants you to believe you need more more more. 


This is why too many people end up dreadfully unhappy. They can’t appreciate what they have or how far they have come because they are chasing the same “I'll be happy when…..” Dream.

Whereas the office-athlete approach to life includes regular gratitude-pauses which give you more confidence to push on, safe in the knowledge that every goal reached or ambition achieved is a cherry on top of your happiness.

Try this for one minute

Stand up and close your eyes, lift your head up with a straight spine, pull your shoulders back and stand strong. Now take 1 minute to think of someone or something you are truly grateful for. They could be past or present, family, a friend or an influential person. As you feel grateful, smile.

When finished, read on.

How did this simple gratitude-pause feel for you?

Isn’t it true, when you're grateful for what you have you stand tall with a smile. You feel strong and content. You feel a warmth in your heart for all you have right now. This is so important and a key part of the office-athlete mindset.

In addition, I would wager in this moment of gratitude you still have ambition to be better?

This is a major point - when you can pause and appreciate what you already have, you become more confident to push onto the next level. 

So even though you can be blissfully content with what you already have, you are ready for better.

It’s a bit like raising your wellbeing bar. 


You pause, feel grateful and enjoy what you have, which inches your wellbeing bar just a little higher. From this new solid platform and with excitement in your heart, you can push on to see what’s at the next level, safe in the knowledge that you can be happy exactly where you are.

This pause-push method allows you to be more adventurous with your goals and objectives because you have not gambled our worldly happiness on the outcome. The pause-push will make you fearless in the face of new challenges and adversity, because you can’t lose.

Every failure is simply an opportunity to learn and every success is a cherry on top. 

This is why we work so hard with the office-athlete foundational formula.

When you’re grateful for what you have. When you eat well, move your body, reduce or remove alcohol, nurture relationships, find quiet time and train your mind you set the most vibrant foundation. 

From this granite-base of happiness you are filled with courage to attempt new levels you previously thought impossible because if you slip your backstop is contentment with what you already have.

Goals lead to happiness, meaning and purpose

Therefore we must always have some form of goal in our lives. They can vary in shape and size but we must have these anchors into the future. Because happiness lives in the striving and struggling to reach our goals.

And if right now you find yourself truly happy with what you have, then ask yourself this:


Using this powerful base of contentment how can you give back, how can you help other people live better lives? 

Just like Odysseus, the great adventurer who arrived home to a treasure of peace and contentment after all those years of struggle only to be called to another adventure to share what he had learned, so must you do the same. 

This is the further journey of the office athlete. The call to a 2nd stage of life that we all hear, but only few answer. I will talk about this great adventure in another blog.

Today I part with a gift of a gratitude-pause-booster.

Think of someone you know who you are truly grateful for. Then do this one simple thing.

Contact them, and tell them how grateful you are to have them in your life.

In person is best, but text or phone works.

The science shows that not only will you receive a ton of feel-good emotions, you will also build resilience, better relationships, improve your health and shift your thinking towards a more positive outlook. Plus the person on the receiving end of your gratitude will also receive these benefits. It’s the ultimate win-win.

Let me know how you get on.


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