The Formula For Happiness
I want to share with you one of my all-time, favorite coaching formulas. I did not create this. I’ve learned it from two places. The first one came from Tony Robbins’ program, Creating Lasting Change. I’ve probably referenced this a thousand times over the years. The coaching formula is the formula for happiness and it’s one of the most effective tools I’ve ever seen for knowing what to change.
The formula is BP=LC, so what does that mean? BP stands for blueprint. Think of your blueprint as the way that you believe life should be. Think of it as a map of your expectations. Expectations are beliefs that are expressed as shoulds. Your expectations are the blueprint of your mental standards. When they aren’t met you are unhappy. Expectations left unexamined are a highway to hell. Life conditions, LC, represent how things actually are, or reality. When your blueprint is equal to your life conditions you are happy. Another way of saying that is when your expectations align with the reality you experience happiness.
This is a tool for knowing what to change, not necessarily how. Recently I was using this on a coaching call and I asked the gentlemen, what is an area of your life that you’re really happy with? He replied, “the relationship I have with my kids.” Then I asked why? And he said, “you know, they’re getting older, they’re teenagers now, but we never really went through that rough phase. We had a few rough patches and yet we still hang out together. They still enjoy being around me. We still feel like we’re not just family, but we’re also friends, we play together.” First, I thought, what an amazing accomplishment. That’s something that isn’t celebrated nearly enough because it doesn’t show up on a scoreboard or a profit and loss, but I was so blown away at the way he described the relationship he has with his family. And I thought, well, okay, so let’s run through the formula.
So this client has a blueprint that the family is supposed to be this connected group of people that love each other and play together. And it equals how it actually is, it equals his life condition, . His expectations equal reality, and he’s happy in that area. Do you see that? So then I asked him to give me an area of his life where he’s unhappy.
And then he said, well, you know, I’m getting a little older, I’m 45 now. And I’m a little overweight and honestly my energy isn’t where I want it to be. And I said, okay, cool. So again, blueprint, he’s got a blueprint for his weight and it sounds like his physical conditioning as well as his energy level. And it does not equal his life condition. The way that it actually is and the way he expects it to be are not equal. So here’s where it gets really powerful is that it only leaves us with two choices. And in a world of way too much information, having a simple tool of knowing what to change is such a blessing. Because when we look at it, he can change his blueprint, meaning he can just accept the fact that he’s getting older and that he is overweight. Maybe he’s big boned. He could just accept that and say, okay, that’s just the way that I am and settle. Or, he can look at his life conditions and say, you know what? I can eat a little healthier. I could work a little less, I could sleep better. I can really get focused on the things that contribute to my energy and end energy poverty, and get into energy wealth. But at the end of the day, he’s only got two choices as to what to change. He can change his blueprint the way he thinks about it, his expectations, or he can change his reality. And see, in this case, super simple. It’s super simple, change the life conditions.
Now, if you have somebody else who let’s just say that their blueprint was that by the time they were 45 years old, they were supposed to be married, have found the love of their life, have three children and to be raising those kids and have this wonderful family life. And this person’s 45 years old, is single has no prospects, and maybe is getting to a point where having children biologically isn’t going to be in the cards. So, they can walk around unhappy all the time or they can change their blueprint. They can look at maybe I’m never going to be in a long lasting relationship. That’s not necessarily the way I would intend them to do it, but they also don’t have to biologically conceive of kids. Some people adopt, even if they’re married or not. So what’s really cool about this is that it chunks it down to where what you need to change is so clear. And then the how is everywhere.
I mean, you could find it on Google, talk to your coach, whatever. The formula for happiness is something that applies to every area of your life. And it can really point you in the right direction as to what needs to shift. It’s always either your blueprint, your expectations, or your reality. Now suffering occurs when your blueprint doesn’t equal your reality and you feel powerless to change it.
Now if you’re like me and you’re super simple cause I’m from Kansas. The other version of this that I heard it all follows the same principle, is from Keith Cunningham and he calls it ought and is. We all think of things as they ought to be. Like my relationship ought to be this and then is, is how it actually is.
So if you don’t like the blueprint and the life conditions and that’s all confusing, then the formula for happiness can be boiled down to what is it ought to be and what is it? And again, we’ve got two really great graphics. Just download the visual aid. You can look at this, but I want you to walk away with this as an auditing system, to look around your life and figure out what are the areas that you’re unhappy with or dissatisfied. And get really clear, if you’re a person who’s committed to self-mastery and living the best life possible, to which thing needs to change, but what’s so cool is it’s only one thing. It’s either your blueprint or your life conditions and that’s your choice.
Take the formula for happiness. Apply it. Let me know what it does for you. If you coach people, I would encourage you to use this in your toolkit for coaching people. It’s a very powerful tool and I will see you all on our next Growth Tool.