Your Happiness Principles Revealed!


I am going to ask you a very simple, and at the same time, very complex question:


What do you want from life?


Breathe. Relax. Pick up a pen and a piece of paper; just start writing what comes to mind. Don’t over-analyse. There is not just one answer to this question. Try it. Perhaps you notice that you are resisting wanting to write something down? You want more time to think about it? Or you want to first read the rest of this post to see whether you want to indulge this exercise? Get a little curious about why you are tempted to avoid thinking about what you want from life. I’d like to encourage you to do this exercise anyways. Get a page out, grab a pencil and start. See what happens.


How was that for you? Was it hard? Or was it easy?


For some people, that exercise is very hard, while others find it super easy. It is highly personal and what you may choose to write depends on many factors. Here are a few:

  • What your background is,
  • How you were raised,
  • What others expect from you,
  • What is going on in your life right now,
  • How much patience you have with yourself to stop and think about something you take for granted


Maybe you wrote down “have enough money” or “feel financially secure so that I can retire early”. Or maybe you listed the things you want to own through the course of your life. A house.  A nice car.  Have a good job.  Others may write down “I want to have fun”. Now, think about why you wrote those items down. What is the underlying common theme? What do you hope to achieve once you have what you want? What is the big picture goal, at its heart? Sit with that for a few minutes and see what you come up with.


“I want to be happy.”


If we peel back the layers, most of us discover that the above sentiment is usually at the very core of what we want. At the end of the day, everything we think we want out of life is in service of being happy.  Now let me ask you this: What actually makes you happy? While a lot of us might still say “having enough money”, in essence it is not the money itself, but what we hope it will allow us to do, which will make us happy. And all of those who do have “enough” will tell you that it did not make them any happier overall.   We humans are funny: While we all want to be happy, we rarely really know what that means.  We are often completely unaware of what would make us truly happy.


When it comes to making us happy, we often don’t land on items which actually lead to true happiness.


Try again. Let go of what the nagging little hamster in your head tells you. Draw a line underneath the list you have and start again. What do you need to be true in your life to be happy? To feel serene? Aligned with your purpose? Trusting yourself? Be in love with the path you are on?


What do you need to be happy?


In the last decade or so, the thinking in western cultures has shifted. The current thinking is landing on the notion that you are the happiest in your life when you live aligned with your core values. In other words, when you live congruent with the aspects of life which really matter to you.



There is no definitive list you can google. Your set of core values, or guiding principles, is unique to you.  You can discover what they are by following a simple 5 step process, which I will go over at the end of this post. But first, to get a better idea of what I mean by the term “values”, I’ll share examples of mine: honesty, integrity, authenticity, mastery, tenacity, joy in the moment, playfulness, nature, connection. When my actions are aligned with them, my life flows easily and I am at my happiest.


What are your core values or guiding principles?


Why does this matter? When you live in alignment with your values, you nail your “sweet spot”.  Finding out what your values are, is the first step. The next is aligning your life’s choices to them. But first things first.


How do you find out what your values are?


As a coach, this is one of the first things I do with all of my clients. The steps below will walk you through a similar 5 step process. Sharpen your pencil again and work through the steps to find out what your happiness principles are!


1.Get connected to past peak experiences. What are examples of the most memorable, positive experiences you have had? Write down at least 3 peak experiences. For example, it may be graduating from a program at school. Having a child. Being promoted. Winning a competition. Again, this is personal to you.

2. Identify the essence. Break down the aspects which made these experiences so memorable. Using the graduation example, these aspects could be things like: achieving a difficult goal, being disciplined, staying focussed, striving for excellence, getting a good job out of it, earning better money, being a role model to your family and friends, motivating others to do the same etc.

3. Bundle similar themes. Read all of the words/phrases across the different peak experiences you listed and group them into themes. Each theme is a grouping of similar aspects. The graduation example above, has three themes:  1) perseverance 2) financial freedom and 3) leading by example. Identify all of the themes from all of the notes you had taken about the peak experiences.

4. Rank them in order of importance. Take each grouping and ask yourself which one is the most important to you? Then the second most? Do this until you have identified you top 5 list Congratulations, you now know your top 5 core values! The others are still important too, of course, but its good to know which the most important ones are.

5. Use these values as a litmus test. Write down your core values and place them somewhere in your home where you will see them every day. Going forward, compare decisions you need to make with this list. Ask yourself, if I do X, will I be aligned with my core values? If not, how might I need to change my plans or actions to bring myself in alignment with them?


Be patient with yourself as you go through the steps. You might want to revisit the exercise a few times before you land on your top 5 list. Once you have identified them, you are ready for step 5. For example, I have my clients explore to what extend they are currently honouring their core values in their life. And then compare that to where they really want to be with them. Following coaching sessions focus on identifying what they specifically need to do to increase alignment with their core values.


And then the magic happens.



As soon as you know your core values and start to live in alignment with them, something shifts in the way you experience your life.  For starters, you are in the best position to know what makes you happy. You have a greater sense of self-awareness. You have the insight to connect with it daily. You have the choice to make decisions which match up with what makes you happy. Your life expands past the “must do’s” to the “want to do’s”.  You have the reigns in your hands, because you are no longer a passive bystander.


You are in the best position to start creating the life you really want, because now you know what it is.


If you would benefit from being guided through this type of experience, CLICK HERE to contact me to book a no obligation call to find out more.





Simone Alberts is the founder of The Self Coach Approach. She empowers freedom seekers by teaching them how to coach themselves so that they can independently create the life they really want wherever and whenever they want to.


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