We caught up with Fiona Redding from The Happiness Hunter this month for a cup of chai. In our interview with Fiona talks about how she changed her life on her quest to find true happiness. She shares her advice on how to make a significant change in your life.
- Can you tell us a bit about your story and how your business, The Happiness Hunter, came about?
Four years ago, I found myself in a place in my life where nothing was really working in any area of my life. I was at home with two tiny kids, in an unhappy relationship, drinking every day, I was unfit and unhealthy, we had a lot of money stuff going on, I was unable to get work and I just remember waking up one day and thinking... how had this become my life? I was so deeply unhappy and I just did not know the way out. It was a truly sobering moment.
There was some part of me that knew that I had to look deep inside of me for what my life had become - that I had to own it, to take responsibility for it and that if I wanted things to change, then it was me that had to change. I decided to focus on one thing. On happiness. I just wanted happiness for my life.
And so the seed of The Happiness Hunter was planted. I started my own business coaching business, stopped drinking, and left my partner. I became a seeker. I became an implementer. I set a grand vision for my life. I became crystal clear on the person I wanted to be and the direction I wanted my life to take. I took a lot of risks. I sacrificed a lot. I started getting out of my own way. I started giving as much as I could of myself to the world. I absolutely learnt that the gift in life is in the struggle - that true happiness is to be found in the overcoming of obstacles and challenges in our lives and not in the absence of them. That meaning in life comes through what we do for others. I learnt that we are nothing without connection. We are more when we are connected to the truth of ourselves, to each other and to the world. I wanted to find a way to build time for me and exercise and connection into my business and started The Happiness Hunter walks. And then I started teaching all of what I was learning and implementing in my own life to others - I realised that with the business coaching and consulting I was doing, that it was never about the business, it was always about the people in the business. That is where the work needs to be done - if we get that right, if we can get the balance right within ourselves, mentally, physically and spiritually, then the rest follows. The Happiness Hunter teaches people how to change their lives and transform their approach to business. I really love what I do, I feel incredibly blessed to be able to do this work and I am really, really good at it.
- You talk a lot about life integration rather than work-life balance. Can you tell us a bit about this?
Everything is our life. Everything we do is our life. So when we try to say we have our work over here and it is separate from the rest of our life, then we are all doing ourselves a great disservice. Successful life integration is achieved when we are clear on our vision for the whole of our life: for who we want to be, how we want to be living it and what we want the experience of our life to be like. When we understand this, then we can allow our work to become a part of the living whole of our life, and not something separate from it. We live fully integrated, balanced and harmonious lives when we are balanced within ourselves and across all of the different elements of our life. Work is just one element. The goal is to strive for balance within ourselves; mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and socially - life integration asks us to make this our number one, non-negotiable priority - because if we are not good within ourselves, then how can anything else in our life be functioning at its best?
- What advice would you give to someone else who is wanting to make a significant change in their life?
You have to want the change, you have to choose to change and you have to fully, 100%, no holds barred commit to the change. You need to understand your motivation for change - what are your drivers? What do you actually want to change, why do you want to change and what do you want the change to look like? The more clarity you have about your motivation, and the more connected you are to the person you want to become, then the more likely the change is going to be successful and sustainable. The most important thing to understand about any change is that you are the only one who can actually make it happen. It is your responsibility. And the change has to start in your mind. If you can get your mind in the right place with the change, then the right actions will naturally follow.
- What inspires you?
What inspires me to live life the way I do is that I want to know my potential. I want to know the person I can become in this lifetime. I want to know, to really know me. I want to know what I am capable of achieving. I want to become the best version of myself that I possibly can. I want to do the right thing, even when it is hard. And in living like this, I get to inspire other people to want the same for their own lives. If I look at what inspires me in others, it would be this: being bold, being courageous, being curious, not letting other people's opinions determine their actions and not being scared to get it wrong.
- What do you want to achieve in 2017?
If you want to achieve anything in life, you need to set goals. And then you need to break those goals down into daily actions. Anything else is just dreaming and wishing for things to be different. Setting goals pushes you outside of your comfort zone. Breaking the goals down into daily actions makes anything achievable. Taking the action highlights where your strengths and weaknesses lie and gives you feedback about yourself and where you can improve. I've got some big goals for 2017 and I've also got some smaller goals, but I have learnt that the achievement is not in the realising of the goals, but rather the achievement lies in the person we become along the way. Achieving the goal itself is like the icing on the cake.
- How can people find out more about you?