Just in case you are not aware of this – I have been writing articles, blog posts, and copy for websites for a long time.
I looked up last week (metaphysically speaking) and realized I have spread myself very thin while attempting to maintain several different idea and projects at once.
What has happened is I now have too many blogs to maintain, with too many different things to focus on.
This must be changed. The more I learn about self development and online marketing (which are my two main focuses) the more I think they can be combined into one area. Then of course we have a horse farm as well. Don’t know how that will fit but we’ll figure it out!
My goal is to do just that. I need one place to talk about both.
It will be very interesting to see just how this plays out because as of now I have not a clue how to go about it!
Why does everybody try to tell me how ‘bad’ things are?
When I ask them to talk about their own life instead of globally – I find things are not as bad as they are making out. In fact, before our conversation is over they are usually surprised at the opportunities available to them in the present circumstances!
I encourage you to look closely for the opportunities available to you right now. There are incredible things happening in the world.
And if you have intimate knowledge of someone who is truly in bad straights (not things you have heard on the news) then do your best to help them the best you can. Their bad times will pass.
As will the news media’s take on the world situation…
My friend David in Atlanta has been going through an absolutely horrible divorce for the last couple of years. I have watched him deal with issues I would not wish on any one (like not seeing his 5 kids in over a year).
He wrote this to me after his (almost) final court date – and I thought so much of it I asked permission to reprint here for you…
What he doesn’t say in this article is that he learned this from me! But that aside – congratulations Dave!
A number of people have recently been surprised at by response when they ask how I’m doing. I am wonderful; great; fantastic; fabulous… but they all expect me to say “hanging in there” as if only basically coping.
The forensic psychologist at my divorce case asked me how I was… and when I said “wonderful” he asked “why” in the most confused manner. My response, “you can try to fight a roller coaster or just ride and enjoy it… either way the coaster is doing what it wants to; they only difference is what you take away from the experience” floored him… “great way of looking at it” with a big smile.
So here is my observation:
When something really bad has occurred in ones life, many people seem to think they can only count themselves happy if they experience a greater-magnitude event in the positive… if you had been in a concentration camp, then winning the lottery might offset the bad with overall good… and you could say you were sum total, happy. These people seem to keep a running tally of happiness; basically counting the number-of-good versus number-of-bad of some reverse-yet-equal-magnitude happenings… a streak of awful events can be overcome by a greater number of similar-offset pleasant events… finding a dollar offsets losing one; having a girlfriend offsets having lost one; praise from your current employer offsets having been fired at your previous one; on and on.
Here’s an alternate way of looking at happiness “scoring”… the balance sheet. In business, one common form of performance evaluation is a snapshot of here-and-now, called a balance sheet… simplified, it means “what are the checking account balance and the credit card debt right now”. Nothing is said of “how you got in this state”, only that you are in the state right now… and you are sum total positive if your banks balance exceeds your debt level. Obviously, the past plays a role in what your current state is, but the events themselves don’t matter, only the lasting effect to that moment… so if you had a million dollar debt a year ago and fought yourself back to a mere thousand dollar debt today, all that shows is the thousand, not the million or where it went; if you had a million dollar balance and spent all but a thousand, all that shows is the thousand, not the million or where it went.
Well, you can do this with your life too… “how good do you feel today versus how bad do you feel today?” Note that your past plays into this “somehow”, but the parts that you have forgotten, and the parts you have learned to cope with, and the parts that you put aside… they no longer make you feel bad today… so as long as you feel better than that smaller, remaining amount (today), you can call yourself “happy”. It is like there’s a half-life to the radioactivity that is your past… and the only part you need to overcome on any day is the part that remains to that day. Note how different this is… you are happy once the “half-life decayed, partial bad that remains” is overcome with good… you do not have to experience a “big good” that equals and offsets a “big bad”, nor do you need a number of these events to bring your score to zero or better… you only need to do something “happy enough” to offset the “lingering pain” in your life; a much easier obstacle to overcome. And the better you get at putting “things that were” and “things that you cannot control” aside, the smaller the amount of “residual bad feeling” is that you need to out-do with “good” to be happy… the overall magnitude and/or number-of-occurrences of the bad events no longer dictate “what must occur for you to call it a good day”.
One of my readers asked me when I was going to find happiness myself!
What a surprise question that was! But I realized that I am not writing clearly enough. So let me make this more clear.
I am happy. Can I be more happy? Yes. Can I be less happy? Sure!
Overall I am happy. Much of this comes from gratitude. I am very, very grateful for what I have which includes a wonderful wife/partner and two boys, a beautiful place to live (a horse farm in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains), income sufficient to meet all obligations and then some, and so much more that I could continue to list.
The purpose of my blog is not to make me happy – it is to do my best to help others understand (if needed) how they can find happiness as well.
Don’t I look happy here?
Finding happiness is simply a matter of thinking differently. notice I did not say it was easy – just simple!
“If I could only figure this out, I think I could [find happiness->]” my friend said during a recent conversation. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last that I hear this statement.
Too often people believe that finding happiness is as simple as finding something else they want. In my experience, no one has ever found long term happiness by achieving another goal. Ultimately, to find happiness is to invest the effort look within yourself.
In other words, happiness is completely an inside job. The most important piece to finding happiness is to comprehend happiness is a personal choice and not the result of an experience. If all happiness could be found as the result of an acquisition, meeting a goal, or having anything, then a person’s happiness would always be subject to something else.
Remember this: one definition of happiness is simply the absence of an opposite emotion whether it is pain, sadness or something else. If the opposite emotions are never experienced then happiness can never be experienced either. Think about it like this: bad times allow you to appreciate good times; hunger allows you to appreciate food; and sadness allows you to appreciate and experience happiness.
The dictionary defines happiness as enjoying, showing, or marked by pleasure, satisfaction or joy.
“I’ll be happy when” is statement commonly heard when discussing happiness.
When I get a nice house, I’ll be happy.
I’ll be happy when I retire.
If I had more money, I’d be happy.
‘If I had’ scenarios all follow the same flawed reasoning; that is happiness is based on external circumstances.
If you base your happiness on external circumstances, you will continuously fail to find happiness. Will there not always be another external circumstance? Another dollar, another job, another house, or another partner”?
We must find our happiness somewhere else. Find happiness within yourself. We have been given everything we need to be happy.
Allow yourself to choose happiness. If life was perfect would you be happy?
Life is perfect because we create it with our choices. Since we can create life, we can create
happiness – and how much better can it get?
If you can accept that life is perfect as it is and that our lives are the sum total of everything that has happened to this instant, then you can accept the joy and happiness
you deserve and they work toward creating the life you want – and be happy in the doing of that task.
I realize that this concept is very difficult for some to accept. However, the alternative to bein g happy now is to spend the rest of our lives seeking happiness as if
happiness was an item to be bought or found.
It’s not. Just remember the famous saying: Don’t worry – be happy!