Monday, March 24, 2008

Steps to Happiness - Part 3 - Does this Stuff Really Work?

This is number three in a series of articles on steps to achieve happiness that I wrote earlier and decided to now post on my blog. In order to understand this post it will be necessary to first read the previous posts on Are You a Puppet on Strings? - Taking Back Control of Your Life and the second article on Steps to Happiness – Part 2

By now, if you are among those who are still following this series of articles, you should be congratulated for your commitment to change your life for the better. You will not regret your commitment. Happiness is such a wonderful thing! You are going to create a beautiful life for yourself.

How are your pictures of peace that you have created in your mind? Make those pictures beautiful. Don’t hold back or put any limitations on yourself. You get what you think about.

Step by Step
It is important to note that each article that we go through builds on the previous one. Happiness can only be achieved by building on each one in order.

Principles vs. Advice
Before we go any further to learn how to remove our puppet strings that we have thrown out into the world, there is something foundational that we must discuss. It is the difference between principles or truth and advice. To get a better idea of what we are talking about we will define each term and then note the differences.

What are principles?
I like to call these truths. I realize that some people argue that truth doesn’t even exist. I’m not writing to argue that point. I think that the rest of this article and the succeeding ones will take care of that notion. For our point we will look at some of Webster’s definitions of the word principle. Principle is defined as: “1. the ultimate source, origin, or cause of something. 2. a natural or original tendency 3. an essential element or quality esp. one that produces a specific effect. “

What is this saying? Principles have natural consequences or results. Period! There’s no way around it or no way to argue that it is not true. Principles have natural positive good results. The key word here is “natural.” One example is the fact that if someone takes responsibility for his/her actions then he/she will be happier. This is not advice. It’s a principle or truth or fact.

What is advice?
Advice is defined by Webster as “opinion given as to how to handle a situation; counsel.” Advice is something that may or may not work. The key word here is “opinion. An example would be “If you want to lose 20 pounds then you should get up at 5 am every morning and exercise.” That’s an opinion even though some principles may be contained in it.

“So what’s the point?” you might say. The point is: the information I am passing along to you is based on principle. Someone may argue about whether the information works or not, but it still will not change the fact that it will work if applied correctly.

Still looking for that happiness that you know is out there? Stick around for more principles coming up in the next posts…..

Have you ever been given advice that did not work? How about some advice that did work? Share your experiences....

What are some principles you have taken to heart that have changed your life?

The Laws of Happiness: The Four Principles for a Successful Life

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