“Man Plans, God Laughs” is one of my favorite Yiddish Proverbs.
One of the few certainties in life is that things change. Even when we meticulously plan out something rarely does it go as planned. The unexpected inevitably pops up – even if the unexpected is that something didn’t meet our expectations. Then the experience becomes a Happiness Zapper which we either manage or it manages us.
In my book Practical Happiness: Four Principles to Improve Your Life, I share a story about when something I wanted, something I planned for, didn’t go as planned…
A couple of years after college, I transferred with my job to its West Palm Beach office. I’d always wanted to live in another state and “Palm Beach” sounded glamorous. It was the first time I’d lived anywhere other than Abilene, Texas, and I didn’t know what to expect, but I had big hopes and dreams for my new adventure.
However, the reality proved to be more challenging than glamorous. Almost from the day I arrived, my relationship with my new boss was difficult, and my big-to-me $5,000 raise didn’t stretch as far as I thought it would. Money was tight, and I missed the familiarity of where I grew up—and my friends and family. Most days I thought I’d made the biggest mistake of my life. But I was full of youthful pride and determined to stick out my two-year commitment to my job, believing that things would change for the better. I also wanted to learn to love my new city, one I chose to live in, a change I chose to make.
It took a few years, but I made some great friends; got a roommate, which helped me save money; and realized I could always get a new job working for a boss who at least liked me. In hindsight, I chose to make changes and grow.
Those changes were really tough for me to navigate. There were many deeply unhappy moments during this transition phase of my life. And in hindsight, it would have been helpful to have had a coach to help me work through them.
Change is part of our lives. Sometimes the changes are wanted. Sometimes they are thrust upon us. However, they happen. And when they do, our happiness changes.
Practical Happiness Principle Three is “Happiness Changes as We Change”
The most common catalysts for change
What Does That Look Like In Real Life?
- Relationship Estrangements
- Health Challenges
- Loss of Employment
- Empty Nesting
- Career Frustrations
- Getting Wiser (Older)
- Death of a Loved One
Finding happiness in the middle of change can be challenging — even for people who consider themselves to be mostly happy.
It’s not uncommon for people to feel stuck, frustrated, angry, confused, burnt-out, stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted, and even guilty.
And it can happen to anyone.
Sometimes we know why, and sometimes we’re really not sure. We just know we aren’t feeling as good, or happy as we want to.
When this happens, it’s helpful to have a coach to help you navigate your “now” and support you in creating the “now you want.”
My coaching programs help you understand where you are, where you want to be, and then help you build and cross the bridge to get there.
If you’re ready to feel more
I’m here to help…
- I meet you where you are — there is absolutely no judgement involved!
- Help you figure out where you want to be because you’re sick and tired of being stuck where you are
- Figure out what’s needed to get you where you want to be — I’m a very creative solutions finder!
- Support you like you’ve never been supported as you transition to where you want to be!
I was privileged to receive the 3-part coaching sessions with Pamela recently. The first session was spent setting some baseline information, where she asked me to rate in order of importance, and on a scale of 0 to 10, six areas of my life.
The second session was within the same week, so we both had fresh memories of what had been discussed. She asked me to choose the one area that was most important of the original six, and we zeroed in on that.
Pamela noticed my words and also heard between the words. She called those things out and guided me to discern some things I wasn’t aware of. She also offered practical help in some of the areas I was dealing with, which I thought was above and beyond what we were going to do. I’m so grateful for that.
For my third session, Pamela created a Mission Statement for me. I just love it. What makes this especially valuable, parts of this Vision Statement could be used in a variety of ways. I could add pieces to my resume or on my LinkedIn page to describe “me” to others who haven’t met me in person.
I found these sessions and the end product very valuable and appreciate the time and effort that Pamela put into them.
Pamela was instrumental in helping me become unstuck. I had been stuck in a cycle of grief/sorrow for two years. She gave me the tools to move past the things I was spinning out on and into a new chapter of my life.
She listened to my needs and gave me action items so I could help myself if/when I start to feel that way again. She is an amazing coach.
She speaks truth to you in a way that you receive it with all the positivity she intends and non of the negativity that you would feel in other circumstances.
She is a very positive leader. If you are truly ready to do the hard work and make the changes she suggests, you will feel better.
Open your heart, open your mind and go for it. You will not be sorry. I feel better than I have in many years.
Pamela Gail Johnson is a Transition CPC
(Certified Professional Coach)
As the Society of Happy People Founder, and author of Practical Happiness: Four Principles to Improve Your Life she’s helped thousands of people manage Happiness Zappers, and find more happiness because happiness changes as we change.