Tag Archive for feedback

Writing and happiness

How do writing and happiness go together?

On our journey towards living a happier life, writing can be a great ‘support tool’ – a way of keeping track of our progress along that journey.

Writing can also help us to get back on track with the positive changes we are making in our lives, when we lose track of the path we have chosen.  So writing and happiness can be very much linked.

There are many ways of writing: poetry, stories, letters to friends, letters to yourself, etc.  My favourite way of using writing to explore my happiness (and my life in general) is to keep a journal.  I would like to suggest that you give it a try too.  And don’t forget that a journal can include the things I mentioned above, like poetry, if you wish.

Many people keep a journals  in which they write down experiences, thoughts, ideas or feelings.  Your journal can be formal or informal, daily or whenever, following guidelines or random, and private or public.

Keeping a journal will absolutely change your life in ways you’ve never imagined.

– Oprah Winfrey

There are many good reasons for keeping a journal.  One of them is that it allows you to reflect on what your recent thoughts and behaviours have been – this raised awareness will help you to interrupt any patterns of negative thinking and behaviour and instead help you to create and maintain new, more positive, ones that make you happier.

If you aren’t convinced how writing and happiness can go together, via keeping a journal, here are some other benefits of keeping a journal:

A journal can help to clarify your goals.   As you write down your thoughts and ideas each day, it will help you to gain clarity on what is important to you; what you want in life.

A journal can strengthen your relationships.   It can give you a private place to express your feelings and clarify things in your mind.  This will help you to understand and be patient with others.

A journal can affirm the reality of your life.  Writing about life gives it more meaning and power.  Journalling important events adds substance to them, and provides a treasured memento to look back at later.

And a journal can simply feel good!  Perhaps by using quality paper and an ink pen it can become a wonderfully sensuous, delightful experience.   Alternatively, you might take great pleasure in keeping an on-line blog (whether private or public), and making the layout and graphics look beautiful.

Clients sometimes tell me that they don’t have time to keep a journal – try it for 30 days, spending just 10 minutes a day, and see what a difference it makes….

Write about your successes, things you are grateful for, what you have done, what you think about things, and anything else you feel moved to write about.  Look back through some of the posts in this blog to get ideas for some themes you might explore in your journal – there’s plenty of writing and happiness here…  Write about anything and everything, but above all, just write!

Good luck!

And, tell me what you think – share your thoughts on writing and happiness, and how you have got on with keeping a journal – what difference has it made?  – it’s great to hear your experiences, and I feature some of them in my newsletters (another place where writing and happiness go together!).

Leave a comment here, or email me: Mary@Coach-me-Happy.co.uk


Are you a failure?

How we feel about ourselves, and our failures, can have a huge impact on our happiness.

One of my ‘steps to a happier life’ is to Accept Yourself, to love yourself for who and what you are.

Do you tend to feel awful about your failures?  Acceptance is something many of my clients struggle with: it can be hard not to beat yourself up for your mistakes.

Yesterday I tweeted a great quote from Zig Ziglar – “Failure is an event not a person: yesterday ended last night; today is your brand new day.”

Part of accepting ourselves is giving ourselves permission to forgive our mistakes of our past and leave them where they belong, in the past. We need to accept our failures, move on, and learn to be at peace with ourselves.

One way to accept our mistakes is to realise what we gain from them. When Shawn Anchor was researching his book, “The happiness advantage”, he found that study after study had shown that if we think of a failure as an opportunity for personal growth, we are far more likely to experience that growth.

And there’s a saying in the coachng world that I often remind my clients of:

there’s no such thing as failure; only feedback.”

So, to answer the question at the start of this article:

Are you a failure?


Failure is an event not a person, and that event provides us with helpful feedback. The challenge lies in interpreting that feedback, in order to decide on a better course of action next time.

Working out what we have learned from a failure, and what we will do differently next time, is something my clients sometimes bring to our coaching sessions.

Questions you might consider are:

1) Put it in perspective: on a scale of 1 to 10 how awful is this failure, really?
2) What actions could I take to improve the current situation?
3) What resources do I have that might help?
4) What resources do I need, and where will I get them?
5) Thinking about where I feel I failed, what have I learned from this feedback?
6) What personal strengths and skills do I have that I can use in this area in future?
7) Considering all this, when a similar situation arises again what can I do differently?

I believe that the only significant difference between those who are successful and those who aren’t is PERSISTENCE – that ability to fail, then pick yourself up and try again, and keep on trying, until you achieve what you want to achieve.

Don’t let failure hold you back – it’s just one of the steps on your life’s path.

Tell me what you think – share what your failures have taught you and how you have turned them around.

Leave a comment here, or email me: Mary@Coach-me-Happy.co.uk