Living the good life. What does it look like and what does it feel like?
Thomas Jefferson said that, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are our fundamental rights. As a counsellor, I know that many people are not experiencing a personal sense of well-being and are living lives of quiet desperation. It is feeling not so easy to life the good life.
When I work with the courageous people that have decided to confront their struggles and come for counselling, I ask them before each session to give me a measure of their personal well-being, their relationship well-being, the well-being of their work, and the well-being of their social life. While these measurements are obviously subjective and they vary a bit over time, for the post part, as we work together, there is an upward trend in the level of life satisfaction that they experience.
We know from research that counselling works to improve the quality of life. Does that mean that everyone needs to come for counselling when the quality of their lives leaves much to be desired? No, not necessarily. A lot of people figure it out on their own. In general though, it does take some work to become happy and to experience happiness as it does not magically show up on its own in our lives.
Some of us are fortunate enough to come from and live in circumstances that are more supportive of living a good life but even there, even if we are not aware of it, we are using a set of skills that build personal, relationship, and social well-being. The development of that set up skills started in our childhood and will continue to be on the agenda for the duration of our lives because being a human personal means to continually develop. We are developmental beings and that takes work and awareness. So, in living the good life, our task is not so much to seek happiness but to see and find all the barriers that we have built against it and to develop the skills that support personal, relationship, and social well-being.
Counselling is a good way to focus on the state of our well-being in the major areas of our life and to recommit to correct the deficiencies and obstacles that stand in the way. In this way, we can help you to make the choices and develop the skills to live a good life.
If you find yourself dissatisfied with the quality of your life, and you are feeling stuck, consider giving us a call.
— Nico Scholten