Episode 30 | Creating Intentional Happiness in 2021 with Joyful DVM

We put a lot of pressure on happiness.

We’ve turned it into the measure of the quality of our life and career.

Of course, we want to be happy!

But in pursuit of that, we’ve turned the absence of happiness into something that it is not.

Absence of happiness does not mean something is going wrong.
Absence of happiness does not mean something needs to be fixed.
Absence of happiness does not mean someone else needs to be different.
Absence of happiness does not mean you have the wrong job, relationship, salary, schedule, body weight, hair color, etc., etc., etc.

Absence of happiness simply means you are not experiencing the emotion of happiness at this moment.

It does not mean it’s gone for good…

… and it does not mean bringing it back has to be complicated or difficult.

It’s actually super simple.

It’s also 100% dependent on you and you alone.

Happiness is simply an emotion.

It’s just a vibration in our bodies that feels amazing.

Like any emotion, it’s created by only one thing… our own thoughts.

When you clean up your thoughts, happiness becomes inevitable.

Ready to master this in 2021?

Join us in the 2021 Intentional Happiness Program.

A few hundred veterinary professionals all working toward intentional happiness and supporting each other along the way…

Imagine the impact.

Click here to join us in the 2021 Intentional Happiness Program. 

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Intentional Happiness Program



Wrapping up 2020 with intentional happiness and a special opportunity to join a group of us committed to creating something much better for 2021, that's what I'm talking about in Episode 30.

Welcome to the Joyful DVM Podcast. I'm your host, Veterinarian, and Certified Life Coach, Cari Wise. Whether you're dealing with the challenges in Vet Med, struggling with self-confidence, or you're just trying to figure out how to create a life and a career that you actually enjoy, you'll find encouragement, education, and empowering concepts you can apply right away. Let's get started.

Hey, everybody. Welcome to Episode 30. Today, we're going to talk about happiness and specifically how you can create more happiness for yourself as we move through the end of this year and into 2021.

Let's face it. This year has been pretty frustrating for a lot of us and we found ourselves being a little bit hopeless, a little bit discouraged, and often unhappy. If you've been feeling like that I just want you to know that you're absolutely not alone. But I also want us to just consider that there are opportunities for us to create a different reality for ourselves as we move into next year. Sure, you've heard me say it before when it comes to January 1st, 2021, nothing is drastically going to change. It's going to be a gradual shift as we move through the next year and we don't know what we're going to be up for until we get into it. That all being said and done, we do still have the power to create the experience that we want for ourselves. And along those lines is the opportunity to be happy.

Many of us have believed that the way that we become happy is dependent upon the things that are happening around us; the circumstances of our lives. We give the responsibility of happiness to things outside of ourselves: like the jobs that we have; the relationships that we are engaged in - our friendships, our family; even things like our salary; the amount of time we get off; and things like the way that we look, our body weight, the color of our hair, and things like that. There's a lot of pressure that we put on these external things to create that happiness for us, but here's the good news. Those external things don't have any control over our happiness at all. Not even a little bit.

Our happiness is something that we can create independently and it's something that we can also protect no matter what is happening in the world. I think developing the skill now is more important than ever. I don't think that we had enough of it, kind of at the ready, as we moved through this year. I know I didn't, but I also know that by critically looking at my own personal situation, day in and day out, and making some very intentional choices that I was able to maintain my peace in a way that I really didn't realize I had the capacity to do. This works so well that I actually want to make sure that you guys understand how this works too, and that you have those skills to be able to utilize as we move into 2021 and whatever comes beyond that.

Inside of Joyful DVM, we created the Intentional Happiness Program and you've heard me talk about that before probably. We're getting ready to kick that off. And I think it's really important for us to consider why it is such a good idea for you to join us. Yeah, this is a little bit of a sales pitch because I know how much this will help you as you move into 2021 and beyond to whatever comes next after that.

See all those things I talked about earlier that don't create happiness, they also don't prevent happiness from existing. The only thing that's happening is our minds are gathering and filtering information on a regular basis. They're doing exactly what they were designed to do, but here's the deal, garbage in garbage out.

What we focus on we create more of, and this year has given us a lot of negative things to focus on. Things that are just wrong in the world: tragedies, losses, fearful type things. So of course, if those are the things that we're spending most of our time thinking about, it's no wonder that happiness is having a really hard time bubbling up to the top and being the primary emotion that we feel. The good news is that as we learn mindfulness techniques, as we learn to understand what our brain is doing and how that those thought patterns are actually then creating the emotional experiences that we have, and as we learn the skill of an intentional thinking process, then we actually also learn how to create the emotions that are useful to us in our lives. This not only helps us in our day in and day out experience, but it also helps us to achieve the goals that we have for our own lives and our own futures.

In Veterinary Medicine, we are so busy during the day, and when we get home at night our minds often don't shut off the events of the day. We don't really have an opportunity to consider much else. If we don't intentionally set aside the time to think about what it is that we want for our lives, then we're not going to create anything different.

For me, this was a really interesting wake-up call when I realized that this was happening. I was getting up every day. I was doing my job. I was serving my clients. I was doing the very best that I could. But then when I actually paused and looked around, I realized that somehow along the way, Veterinary Medicine had become my whole entire life, and that was never my plan. But even though that was never my plan, it did become my reality simply because I never slowed down enough to consider intentionally what else I wanted my life to include. It wasn't until I started asking those questions that I could then start focusing on the ways that I could make those things come into reality. This is exactly what we all need to do if we really want that balance in our lives.

Work-life balance can absolutely be achieved in Veterinary Medicine. There are thousands of us who have done it, but it's not going to be something that we just stumble into. It's going to take some personal reflection. We have to consider what it is that we want in all the different areas of our lives. Right now, we've done a really good job achieving some pretty high standards inside of the work category of our lives, but you weren't meant to work all the time.

Work is not all that you're about. For many of us, going into Veterinary Medicine was our purpose, and we have fulfilled that purpose very well, and we continue to live it and we want to. But I promise you, it wasn't the only thing in this world that you are meant to do. You have other interests. You have other things that you would like to explore. You have other ways that you would like to spend your time, but unless you intentionally set some time aside to think about what those things are and how you can approach those to make those things happen, then all of those things are just going to remain wishes. And as you go into 2021, it's not going to turn out any different than 2020. And then fortunately many of us would get to the end of 2021 and feel frustrated and regretful over time that we lost.

So let's not do that next year. Instead, how about you just join us inside the 2021 Intentional Happiness Program? We're getting ready to kick that off with our workshop on Sunday, the 13th of December, and I would love for you to join us there. If you happen to catch this podcast after that's already occurred, still go ahead and check out the program because the workshop will be on replay for anybody who ends up joining us a little bit later in the year.

The Intentional Happiness Program is going to include Vet Life Workshop as a kickoff and then we're going to be meeting quarterly to kind of touch base to see how we're doing as far as moving toward the goals that we set during the workshop. Of course, you can always change your mind as you go through. But the point of this is to put some structure into the creation of the life that you actually want. If we don't put some intentional thought into it, we will not create anything different for ourselves.

Remember, a different result always requires a different approach. We've already proven that the way we've been doing it isn't creating everything that we want for our futures. So let's just adjust the course a little bit and move intentionally toward what it is that we want to create. Hundreds of people have already made the decision to join us in the Intentional Happiness Program for 2021. And I want to think about that for just a second. Think about this - hundreds of people - we're talking about between 400 and 500 veterinary professionals who have already enrolled in the Intentional Happiness Program for 2021.

Can you imagine the impact that it's going to have on our profession? Just this little bit, this tiny little fraction of people in our veterinary profession, as we all go out with these skills and approaching our lives in this type of way, it's going to have a ripple effect with the people that we work with, the hospitals that we work with, with our clients, with our family, with our friends. It's going to create more happiness in the world. It's going to create more positive interactions in the world, and we need more and more of that.

I firmly believe that the way that we change the culture in our veterinary hospitals is to first change the culture of our own thought processes. If we understand better ourselves, if we get to know who we are and what it is that we want, and we begin to approach our careers from that perspective, instead of one of pressure and hyper responsibility and perfectionism. If we start to do that, what happens is that the goal of our lives, the purpose for which we went into this profession in the first place, really starts to bloom and everyone around us starts to benefit from it. We also benefit greatly because it isn't until we start intentionally living in our professions and developing in our lives the way that we are meant to that we are going to have the impact that we really were designed to have.

Our potentials are limitless. We are not confined by the professions that we've chosen. You did not make a mistake going into Veterinary Medicine. You heard me say this before too: Veterinary Medicine was your choice, but it was just maybe the first choice. It doesn't have to be your last choice. It absolutely is not supposed to be your last choice.  Every day that we get up and we'd go back to a job in Veterinary Medicine, we're choosing Veterinary Medicine again. And we can do that through the lens of being regretful and dreading our days and being frustrated, or we can decide to take back the power over the way that we feel and the experience that we create for ourselves.

There are so many things in this world that we will never be able to control, but my friends controlling those things is not the answer. I also thought that for a very long time: that if everybody would just get in line and follow the rules that I would then be happy. But that's not what creates happiness.

Happiness really is created from within. And I know that sounds like a cliche, but I promise you that it actually is true. I figured it out for myself and I really want to show you how to do it too. We do create our own happiness and we can create that happiness in any situation, no matter what is happening. Your peace is something that you control. Your joy is something that you control. Nobody can take that from you without your permission. Imagine how much easier our jobs would be if we could just remain peaceful and joyful, no matter what happens with our clients, with our patients, with our bosses, with all of it. It would be an entirely different experience. And the best news is that nothing around you has to change in order for you to experience that. The only thing that has to change is you and your focus.

Once we get focused on the future, it's really hard to stay in a downward spiral over the present. As we continue to look at the present and we continue just to have the same conclusions about our current reality, we will just create more and more of that. That's probably something that you have proven to yourself to be true, but here's the best news. When we look up, when we look toward the future, when we decide intentionally what it is that we want, with all the components of our life we'd like to be filled with, and we start to make a plan on how to get there, then everything in the present-day gets better. It's a fascinating thing to experience. When you focus on the future, your present-day improves. It's simply because as we look forward, we start to consider alternatives; we start to experience hopefulness. We start to recognize where we have choices still; where we have power; where we have the capability; and those things are real.

The story we tell ourselves about what's happening today is optional. And it does for many of us steal our joy, take away our power, and leave us feeling very regretful and dreadful over the days to come. I want you just to know that that's not intentional. I want you to know that that's not your only option. I would love for you to join us in the Intentional Happiness Program so you can see exactly what I'm talking about.

So head over to joyfuldvm.com/happy to learn more about the 2021 Intentional Happiness Program. I'm really looking forward to getting together with this group of forward-focused people who are committed to figuring out how to create the lives that they love, how to find happiness and joy, and to maintain their peace, no matter what happens. It's going to be an amazing experience, and the stories that we will be able to tell and share as we go through this journey together are going to be priceless. You don't want to miss out on this special group of people who are committed to turning around their own lives so that they can actually serve others at a higher level. It's going to be quite a ride.

Alright, my friends, that's going to wrap it up for this week and I'll see you next time. 

Thank you for listening to the Joyful DVM Podcast. If you'd like to learn more about the concepts and ideas discussed here, and how to apply them to your own life to create confidence and empowerment for yourself, you'll love Vet Life Academy. To check it out and learn more, visit joyfuldvm.com/vetlifeacademy. And if you're loving this podcast, I'd appreciate it if you'd share it with your friends and leave us a review on iTunes. 

We can change what's possible in Vet Med together.