Having a Quest for your life

Kerry Moller & Associates: Having a Quest for your life

For the second blog post in our February podcast series, we would like to share this podcast from Gretchen Rubin, the New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project. In this episode, she reflects on the importance of having a quest for your life. A quest is not simply a collection of personal goals; a quest is an adventure, a journey toward something that will always remain a little bit out of reach. While goals are oriented around achievements or milestones, quests are experiential and ongoing. In this podcast, Gretchen talks about what distinguishes a quest from a mission, and explains why having a quest is an essential ingredient for happiness and satisfaction.

One of the reasons having a quest brings zest to our lives is because all quests are inherently challenging. It is only through embracing and overcoming challenges that we gain a sense of reward.

Quests are also thoroughly mysterious; and it is this sense of elusiveness that pulls us forward toward something we may never quite approach, and gives us something to look forward to, something to build towards.

The principles behind Grechen’s reflections are similar to those used in Existential therapy. In existential therapy, the therapist aims to help the client orient their life toward meaning. It is believed that happiness, and the resolution of troubling neurotic symptoms, can only occur as a side effect of a meaningful, engaged life.

Existential psychotherapist, Viktor Frankl, wrote: “For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.”

If you are reading this and are wondering, what is my quest? Have I found one yet? It’s never too late to begin! We hope you will find some inspiration for your personal quest in this uplifting podcast: Happier with Gretchen Rubin

If you are interested in learning more about existential therapy, we recommend these books to start:

  • Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
  • Irvin Yalom, The Gift of Therapy
  • Rollo May, Freedom & Destiny

photo: Kristin Horsman

New habits for the New Year

Kerry Moller & Associates Therapy in Vancouver - New habits for the New Year

Too often we battle against our habits. We muscle our grip against engrained impulses, try to quit cold turkey, dissect our habits under a microscope, and analyze our behaviour to death. Neuroscience has now explained to us what Buddhist monks have known for centuries: we can’t just fight against, undo or delete our habits; we can only create new ones to take their place.

As the New Year comes in, make the most of being a creature of habit! Instead of making New Years resolutions about abstinence, quitting, and deprivation, lay the foundations for wellness and thriving by cultivating habits of happiness. Choose just 1-5 of these 25 habits of happiness from R.L Adams and practice as often as possible. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t practice these every day, and don’t lose faith if it feels awkward at first. It is only with practice that habits become engrained and feel ‘natural’. With dedication and an appetite for imperfection, these habits of happiness can become as effortless as brushing your teeth before bed!

For more inspiration, check out this Ted Talk by biochemist-turned-Buddhist Monk, Matthieu Ricard, on how to train your mind into habits of well-being.

We at Kerry Moller & Associates are wishing you a happy and healthy 2017!

photo: Kristin Horsman