My friend and I both had our coffee-to-go cups in hand. However we were lacking a morning nosh.
With this in mind, my friend challenged me: “Hey, Karen, why don’t you ask the driver for a Drake’s coffee cake for our coffees?”
I rolled down my window — got the truck driver’s attention — pointed to my coffee-to-go cup, and shouted, “Hey! Can you spare two coffee cakes for our coffees in here?”
The driver smiled and nodded affirmatively.
He reached over to his right, retrieved 2 coffee cakes, and defenestrated them at us.
(PERSONAL SIDE NOTE: Wow. I’m so happy I finally got to use that word “defenestrate” in my writing. I remember memorizing this word waaaay back when studying for my S.A.T.’s – and reading this recommended vocab word meant “to throw through a window.” Immediately I wondered, “When the heck am I ever going to use THAT bizarre word?” Cut to 20 odd years later, on an odd morning…and voila: “Coffee Cake Defenestration occurs!)
With a coffee cake and coffee now in each hand, my friend and I smiled and yelled an appreciative “thanks” to the driver.
The driver beamed merrily.
Indeed all around us, everyone in cars within viewing distance of our Coffee Cake Defenestration radius were all smiling joyously.
In talking about this a bit with my friend, I realized that courageous actions tend to create happy emotions. When you risk and do things outside your norm, you tend to feel more alive — more liberated – and this leads to more happiness in general.
If I look back at the aftermath of the many ballsy things I’ve done, I can absolutely remember feeling that adrenaline rush of glee coursing through my veins each time.
But this success formula is NOT simply a one-way thing where…
Courage = Happiness
It also goes the other way around….
Happiness = Courage
For example, on the morning of the Coffee Cake Defenestration I was already in a happy state of mind driving in the car with my friend — which got me feeling feisty, spunky – courageous.
And if I look back at my state of mind BEFORE I did the various courageous actions in my life, I also remember being in a happy/feisty/spunky mood.
The life lesson here?
The happier you are — the more courageous you will be.
Indeed…in my career coaching I’m always recommending people try to do what they can to be overall happy people FIRST AND FOREMOST, if they want to score extreme success.
I say: Money doesn’t bring you happiness. But happiness brings you money. The happier you are, the more energy you have to jump over obstacles — and the more courage you have to take those leaps.
With this in mind, here’s an important CAREER TIP: If you are feeling afraid to make a risky move, rile yourself into a fun frame of mind first. Focus on the FUN of the action — and NOT the fear of the action — and do that courageous thing you know you want to do! You’ll literally be HAPPY you did!