We can unknowingly sabotage our happiness and freedom, blaming others or situations for our upset. Today’s episode reveals the underlying conditions that help you actually be happy and free.
On the days days you feel stuck, or less free than you wish you were, what do you attribute it to?
On the days you’re less happy than you imagine you could be, what reason do you give for that?
It can be hard to see what actually keeps us from the freedom and joy many teachers claim is at the root of our being.
We often point to a person and situation and claim that as the reason. If only that were different, we would be happier and more free.
But what if it wasn’t true? What if it’s never about someone or something else that causes us to be upset?
Try this radical thought on for size:
What if your thoughts, not people or situations, were the cause of all your suffering?
What would you do?
It’s not easy to stop thinking!
We are constantly barraged with thoughts, ideas, desires, judgments, analyses…
Some of them are useful, but many of them create pain in our lives and relationships.
Today I was joined on the Man Alive podcast by Matt Maxwell, coach, speaker and author of How to Hold a Cockroach, a book that explores the roots of human suffering!
In this powerful episode we discussed:
- The fundamental blocks to happiness and freedom — i.e. where suffering actually comes from
- How your mind works and the proof it uses to confirm its negative beliefs
- How stories limit your options and convince you the limitations are real
- The key to knowing less while being even clearer and more grounded
- What a cockroach can teach you about how happy and free you could be
These days there is nothing more interesting and powerful to me than understanding human nature — the roots of our pain and our potential for freedom and expansion.
As we head into the holidays, and family time, be gentle with yourself. See if you can witness how your thoughts alter situations.
I’ve watched people change in front of my eyes as I let go of what I expect their responses to be. Then I relate to them differently, usually with more honesty, compassion, curiosity and love. If you try this and have stories to share, reply to this email to let me know what happened!
Curious what you’d need to become a better leader and lover? Take the quiz
Matt Maxwell is a professional coach who works with individuals and organizations to be their “highest and best” and create joyful, empowered relationships. He works with clients who sense their potential to positively transform themselves, their relationships, and the world around them, supporting them to clarify their vision and design pathways for achieving it.
Matt is an engaging speaker, presenting on topics that drive personal and professional transformation, such as integrity, power, and compassion. He hosts the Cultivating Courage podcast and is the author of How to Hold a Cockroach.
Matt is a member of the International Coach Federation and a graduate of the Accomplishment Coaching Coach Training Program. Prior to his career in coaching, Matt worked as an attorney, serving clients in the financial services industry. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School.
When he’s not coaching or speaking, Matt can be found writing in coffee shops, performing on stage as a professional actor, or practicing the bass guitar. He is originally from Denver, Colorado and now based in Chicago, Illinois.