Beyond “Happily Ever After”
“What you conceive and believe, you can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill
If Napoleon Hill is correct, this also means that what you don’t conceive or believe, you can’t achieve.
As relationship coaches our clients want to live “happily ever after” and we help our clients achieve their dreams. This is cool, but there are big limits to the “dream”-
- You might have a desire (“love”) but not a clear idea or dream or vision for what it looks like, so you’re stuck with “what is
- You might have a clear dream, but don’t believe it’s possible or realistic, so you’re stuck with what you’ll allow yourself to have
- Your dream is limited to what you can conceive or envision, so you’re stuck with a narrow range of possibilities
However, a good coach will help their client dream big and reach deep down to uncover and envision dreams they didn’t know they had. So there’s a “next level” to this dream stuff. This is what we’re doing with Radical Marriage exploring what’s possible in relationships and providing strategies to go far beyond what would be most people’s dream relationship, because we can’t envision something we haven’t seen or experienced before.
The Dirty Little Secret of Relationship Happiness
All couples want a “good” relationship and live happily ever after together, but is “good” enough? In the past a “good” relationship was commonly defined as not having problems. In today’s world, couples seek fulfillment in their relationship and the simple absence of problems just isn’t good enough anymore.
Even “good” relationships are exciting when new, then can quickly get dull and routine. Little problems of everyday living start to pile up and interfere with the closeness and intimacy we really want.
But we tell ourselves that this is as close as we can get to living happily ever after, while deep down inside we’re asking ourselves, “Is this all there is?”
We feel selfish, ungrateful, unfaithful, and unrealistic for wanting more for our life and relationship.
Here’s a dirty little secret of relationship happiness – “good” can become suffocating if the relationship is stuck in routine and not continuing to evolve.
The Journey Beyond Happily Ever After
Dreaming is for sleeping, but your dreams are for living life to the fullest. But as we mentioned above, our dreams are limited to what we can conceive. A fulfilling relationship is a journey, not a destination, but most of us can’t see beyond “good,” so the journey stalls.
In today’s world the bar has officially been raised and we need to look beyond “happily ever after” because we’re discovering that “happiness” is a moving target and having a great relationship is one of life’s greatest adventures.
This is new territory in the field of relationships, and since each relationship is unique, each couple’s “radical relationship” would be unique to them and they would be the pioneer of their relationship and discover uncharted territory together. We can provide them with the support, skills, strategies, and a roadmap, but the journey is theirs to take.
Isn’t that exciting?
So here are some key ideas:
- Your “dream” is what you can currently conceive, but you can go far beyond that
- To do so you must be aware that “you don’t know what you don’t know,” be open to possibilities, and be willing to continually progress forward into new territory with your partner
- This is not for everyone and requires a good, strong partnership with willingness to embrace the journey, the learning, the adventure, and to be a pioneer (instead of seeking comfort, tradition, and familiarity)
- The dream beyond “happily ever after” only seems to further reveal itself as you progress forward. Each step forward allows you to see more of the possibilities and the horizon. So there is really no such thing as “achieving” a dream because when you get to where you’re striving, you see more, can do more, want more, and continue striving.
- This requires a leap of faith and willingness to embrace and enter the unknown. There’s a great Indiana Jones scene that illustrates this – only after Indy made that first, frightening step into the abyss did he discover the path across. Embracing your fears and not letting them hold you back is a big theme here as well.
As Eleanor Roosevelt once said- Do one thing every day that scares you.