Thursday, March 20, 2008

Steps to Happiness – Part 2

This is the second part in our series on Steps to Happiness. Click here to see the first article in the series, Are You a Puppet on Strings? - Taking Back Control of Your Life, .

In our previous article we looked at how WE are responsible for handing out puppet strings to people, things and situations which leads to our unhappiness. Now we will look at some more ways to remove those strings and turn our lives around from unhappiness to happiness.

Does your pain go deeper?
One of my favorite people in the world, Ron Wilkins, wrote a book called Removing Emotional Pain that tells exactly what happens to us when we give out our strings (all though he doesn’t call it that). He tells how it causes depression and addictions of all forms and discusses ways to remove the pain in our lives. I’ll simply recommend this book and not rewrite it. If you desire, you can learn more about it at

As we noted in our first article, accepting responsibility for our unhappiness is the first step in removing unhappiness. Without this acceptance, there is absolutely no point in reading any more information on how to be happy because you simply will not bother to apply it. Acceptance is a hard pill to swallow, but it is the foundation of achieving happiness. The great thing is that when we do accept responsibility a world of opportunities comes our way and the floodgates of happiness swing wide open to bring a lifetime of smiles first to our minds and then to our faces.

The next step in achieving happiness is a desire to change - a desire to let go and grow. Wanting a better life is what we are talking about here. Simply accepting responsibility is not enough. Acceptance with no effort and action is still just acceptance. It is like accepting the fact that in order to catch a fish you have to throw your baited line out in the water to catch it, but without desire to catch a fish you will never throw your worm out. We’re not just talking about a little desire for a better life. We’re talking about a burning desire. We are talking about…..

The 3rd step - Commitment. We are talking 100% - throw yourself in all the way - no matter what – commitment. We’re talking “NOTHING is going to stop me from having the happiness I am meant to have.” It’s not “Yeah, I’d like to have a better life, but…(and the excuses start pouring in).” It is commitment all the way – plain and simple. Yes, it’s much easier not to take responsibility and not make any effort, but as the saying goes the result is “you will always get what you’ve always got” – a life of unhappiness – and THAT is NOT easy. On the flip side…..You make the commitment and put in the effort and the result is a beautiful wonderful life filled with happiness. The choice is completely yours.

What if I want to have the desire, but don't feel it?
I learned a long time ago that desire has to come from within. No one can give it to you. However, I will paint a picture for you that may stir up that desire. Imagine what it would be like to have all the peace in the world. Imagine what it would be like to have peace and harmony in all of your relationships. Imagine what it would be like if when hard times come that you hurt, but you still feel peace. Note that we are not saying that hard times will never come and that life will all be a bed of roses. That’s only in fairy tales. However, peace IS still possible when those times do come. Challenges happen to all of us – those who have peace and those who do not. The difference is attitude and how we handle it. Imagine that no matter what is going on around you that you have peace. Imagine knowing how to make something good come out of any situation. Imagine having a heart full of love and sharing it.

Now close your eyes and picture all of this.

Next time, we will discuss how to know if the advice you are given on happiness is real or not....

Until then here are some exercises to do:

On a scale of one to ten rate your desire to achieve happiness. On a scale of one to ten what is your commitment level to removing unhappiness and achieving happiness. What is holding you back? Take some time to discover these and write them out and see if holding on to these things is really worth a lifetime of unhappiness. Is happiness worth the effort?

What can you do to improve your desire and your commitment?

When you wake up each morning picture the happiness and peace that you would like to manifest your life. Do the same as you go to bed each night. This will start making imprints in your subconscious ming.


Lori said...

Very informative post. It is so true that unless you commit yourself to taking action, nothing will change. I think it was Alfred Adler that said that insight alone is is insight translated into action that makes a difference.
You can contemplate your unhappiness all you want, but awareness alone won't change it. Using awareness to motivate you to take action is the key.

Jennifer said...

Well said Lori. Thanks for your input. I've know some people who knew they were miserable, but were unwilling to to change. People are often scared to get away from what they know - their comfort zones. It's not always easy to grow, but the rewards are priceless.