Are You Chasing the Rabbit Will Never Come to Dinner?

Tonight as I came home from my first yoga class in too long I thought about competition and happiness. I am fiercely competitive at times, I think it stems from childhoood trying to prove I was worthy, that I was loveable, that I could do what anyone else could do.

Though small I loved sports at school. I was hockey captain and represented my school at the Nationals every year from 11-18. At 18 I came 2nd in the 100m in a time of 12.4 seconds without any real training (it was a small school with no real athletic program, we just practiced our own). It was the best 12 seconds of my young life.

Being a "short" 100m runner meant that I ran with everything I had against much taller girls with long strides. I enjoyed being the tenacious underdog with heart.

Going into the workforce I continued to be competitive, to go where others had not gone before. I thought I was trying to prove myself to others and I was, but when I realized that no matter what I achieved it wouldn't make a difference, I took a different view.

That realization came when against all odds (yet again) I found myself at a Top 5 International Law Firm in San Francisco,as a corporate attorney admitted in New York, England & Wales. To those to who I was trying to prove myself it made no difference. They were not impressed at the little Brit far away from home.

This was a turning point for my journey. If I couldn't please them then why not please myself. In my early 30s I was already feeling burned out by the all the pressure to keep attaining more and more, to reach higher and higher for what seemed to be a carrot that one would never catch.

Or the rabbit that they greyhounds chase in a race never to catch it.

I was tired of running, I was tired of competing and I was tired of not getting the acknowledgment I felt I deserved.

Bingo! Lights on! I was never going to get that acknowledgment, I was the greyhound and the rabbit was never coming to dinner.

Which left me thinking what did I want from life? My answer was simple, I wanted to be HAPPY. Whoa what a concept, as at that time I wasn't around anyone who was truly happy and I even wondered if anyone was happy.

I decided that as I had been chasing the elusive rabbit all my life on behalf of others I might as well chase happiness, how could it be worse and hey I might even find I thought I might find it. And it was worth the chase.

I stepped out of the life others had created for me, the life they thought I should live and stepped into the one in which I choose happiness. And for the last 10 years my life has been a happy one.

Now happy does not necessarily mean without pain or challenges. I have had both but pain and challenge is part of the experience. And there was definitely much more pain in the life where I the greyhound chasing the rabbit.

Turns out that the happiness I thought, and was told, was elusive, was actually just a change in mindset, a choice-to be happy. Really that simple, as the Dalai Lama says, "If you don't like your life change your mind".

I changed my mind, I decided to be happy, to do things that made me happy, to steer away from things that did not. Yes I face hurdles in this lane, yes I cry and stamp my feet at times in frustration and desperation and life is not easy when you choose the happy lane, but it is happy!

And that's all I have ever wanted, to be happy€¦how about you do you choose happiness or are you stuck on the racetrack chasing the rabbit that will never come to dinner? 

I would love to hear your thoughts (and yes you can now comment below and share on FB and twitter, please stop by and say hi)