Every once a while I feel compelled to just throw my thoughts out on paper. Or in this case, throw them in a blog post and stick them on the internet.
I have moments where I go very deep and ponder the huge and complex subject of life – what has been, what is, and what might be.
I try to give reason and order to the events that we encounter on a daily basis as we try to keep our heads above water, keep our hearts protected and move through life as best as we can.
Usually, I have these moments of mine when I am working through the night. I wouldn’t really call it ‘burning the midnight oil’ because I’ve, more often than not, napped most of the day. I am a typical night owl, feeling more productive, more creative, and more comfortable working at night.
It’s currently 2.30am here in the UK and I sit on my bed next to my lamp wondering why some people are never happy – and on the other side of the coin, why some people are always happy.
…and I believe that I know a simple secret that will help you to be happy.
We all know that money and physical possessions do not bring lasting happiness.
Tony Robbins, a world-renowned life coach, teaches that the path to happiness lies within two areas. The Science of Achievement and the Art of Fulfilment.
In the next two paragraphs, I’ll try to explain these principles as best as I can before sharing my key to happiness.
The Science of Achievement is the ability to produce a result. The ability to turn your dream into reality. For example, growing a business or getting a promotion at work. Tony describes this as a science because it has a set path – do these things and this result will happen.
The Art of Fulfilment is a little trickier. This is the ability to find joy in the process of whatever life brings. This is therefore not a science, but an art – where you find joy may differ from where I find joy. It is “the power to understand, appreciate, and enjoy our lives at the deepest level.”
If you can master both the Science of Achievement and the Art of Fulfilment, you will live your life in a beautiful state and ultimately be happy.
Although I believe Mr. Robbins’ teaching to be true, and ones that I try to follow, I feel that it can be a bit complex. Whereas I may have a simpler and more straightforward route to happiness…
It consists of just three words.
Are you ready for it?
‘Just Be Happy’.
I know what you’re thinking right now. You’re thinking, ‘Roz, it’s not that simple’, ‘You can’t just be happy for no reason’, or, ‘It’s easy for you to say’.
But please just give me a few more moments of your attention and allow me to explain.
Who/what are you holding responsible?
We all agree that we are responsible for our own actions. If you steal, vandalize, murder, or commit a crime then you will be held accountable for your actions.
The same as you are responsible for your physical actions, you must also learn to be responsible for your own happiness – and hold yourself accountable for it.
No one can make you feel fear. Only you can do that. Fear is a feeling that comes from inside you.
This is the same for happiness. No one can make you be happy, it’s got to come from inside.
In other words, stop making other people responsible for your own happiness.
I hate to burst your bubble, but if you’re waiting for a fairy godmother, a knight in shiny armor, or a series of events to happen before you can be happy, then you’re going to be waiting a very, very, long time.
So, let’s try it now…
Just sit where you are, reading this post, and ‘just be happy.’
Crack a smile, show your teeth, let out a little giggle, make your eyes brighter. Reach into the back of your mind and pull out your happiest memory – your child being born, a beautiful sunset, dancing to your favorite song, any moment in time that you are thankful for.
Remember, you do not need a reason to be happy, but you must learn to be responsible for your own happiness.
Drop the excuses
Now I know that there are still people reading this and thinking, ‘…but I have XYZ problems in my life’, or, ‘I’ve been abused’, or, ‘I’ve been diagnosed with severe depression’.
Let me say this …
You’re only providing yourself with excuses and more ammunition to be unhappy. You will never be happy if you continue to hold onto the things that make you sad. Until you learn to accept what is, or what has been, and let it go, then you will always be unhappy.
Is that what you really want?
Of course not.
So make a decision today, right now, this very second, that you are going to be happy.
That you deserve to be happy.
And this is not you being selfish. Quite the contrary, actually, because happiness spreads. It spreads to your children, to your partner, to your loved ones, to your friends, and even some random person at a checkout that may serve you every day.
When someone is negative and down in the dumps, think about how quickly they can bring you down to their level. They leave you feeling miserable and loathing in self-pity.
Well, the same works in reverse.
The promise you make to yourself to ‘just be happy’ will benefit not only you but others around you.
You still don’t think it’s that simple, do you?
I assure you it is.
Let me share my personal story with you.
Back in my early 20’s, I went through a 2-3 year period where, I felt, I was in the gutter. I was as low as I could have possibly been.
During that period, I attempted suicide four times. I was sectioned and spent time in multiple hospitals getting assessed by various different phycologists and psychiatrists.
Each time I attempted suicide and woke up in a hospital, I was angry with myself. I couldn’t even kill myself – another thing that I could not get right.
As far as I was concerned, my mind was sound. (I’d like to also point out that none of the medical professionals ever diagnosed me with any mental or medical condition – not even depression.) Ending my life was just a choice and a decision that I had made.
The problem was, I couldn’t do it no matter how hard I tried or how much effort I put into it.
As I relive the events of two suicide attempts in particular, I know that I should have died. However, a strange coincidental string of events happened that meant I was ‘rescued’ or survived.
Feeling frustrated by my failures, I made a new decision.
If I was going to be ‘forced’ to live, if I had to put up with life, then I was going to happy.
I decided to ‘just be happy.’
Now, I didn’t spring up happy as Larry and trundle off into the sunset. After telling myself for 3 years how much I hated life, everyone around me, and everything in it, it was a struggle to be chirpy and smiley.
But the more I made the conscious effort to be happy, the easier it became.
I’d also like to point out that I did it without any medication or ongoing therapy. Which helps to prove how powerful this is. I did this on my own. No drugs, no supportive family network, no weekly meetings with psychologists and therapists. Just me and my ‘I am going to be happy’ attitude.
I made the conscious decision to take control of my thoughts and emotions and I took control of my own happiness.
Managing negative emotions
I don’t want to create an illusion that I’m little miss sunshine always skipping down the street because that simply isn’t true.
I still get upset, I still cry, get angry, feel frustrated. But I’m human. I’m supposed to have these emotions.
The key is to not let these negative emotions stick around for too long. If you let them hang around for too long, then this emotion becomes your constant and default state.
If I feel sad, I notice that emotion, experience it, and let it flow through me. Ignoring and suppressing it will only allow it to build up and increase in power.
Like a river, you must let it flow.
Once I’ve had that moment, I then express my gratitude for all the things that I am thankful for in life.
I wake up in a bed every morning with a roof over my head. I can open my eyes and see clearly in full color. I have a fully able body that allows me to jump, dance, run, touch, and feel.
You cannot feel sad, angry, or frustrated and feel grateful at the same time. It’s just not possible. (Another one of Tony Robbins’ teachings)
From being grateful, it’s a small step to ‘just being happy’.
The same as we did together earlier in the post, I open my eyes wide, smile, relive a pleasant memory, and reset my brain into a calm and happy state.
This was an unplanned and accidental post
I’m not a doctor, a psychologist, or a psychiatrist. None of what I have written could ever be classed as medical advice. You may still think it’s stupid, but it works for me.
And as corny and as cliché as this sounds, if it does work for you or any other person out there who stumbles upon this post, then me typing away through the middle of the night has been more than worth it.
1 – Take responsibility for your own happiness.
2 – Always be grateful and express gratitude for the gifts you have.
3 – And just be happy.