Our modern world seems increasingly obsessed with happiness, and like any fashionable item people are scrambling to obtain it. Books, seminars, blogs, talk shows often focus on happiness and how to achieve what many have decided is hard to achieve. In reality, the only thing standing between us and happiness is our own damaging points of view.
A whole lot of people learn unhappiness from their family. We are handed a point of view at a young age; we are programed by our parents and our schoolmates to believe certain things. Many of us then function as if those points of view are true and this limits our capacity for happiness.
If you would like to get out of your own way, if you would like to choose happiness, you have to recognize that you have points of view that are maintaining your unhappiness and bypass them. Here are my top four tips on how to do that:
- Give up the need to be right
A lot of unhappiness is caused when people choose being right over being happy. Being right causes you to feel triumphant, but this is not happiness. You’ve got to recognize that nobody makes you happy, and nobody makes you unhappy. You are the creator of your own life. You don’t need to score points against someone else to feel good. You just need to choose to be you and to be happy.
Everybody has a different point of view and you can spend your time in conflict, trying to convince them that they are wrong, trying to make you right, or you can ask yourself “Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?”
When being happy is more important to you than being right, happiness becomes your reality.
- Watch your language
Studies have shown that words literally program our minds. So, when you think or say, ‘Nothing good will happen to me,’ or ‘I’m not the type of person who is meant to be happy,’ then you are creating that exact scenario in your life. What you say is so, becomes so,
The next time you notice yourself thinking something negative, rather than looping the thought over and over in your head, rather than speaking the words out loud, say, “Interesting point of view. I have that point of view.” Keep saying it until you notice that you feel lighter. When you say this phrase, your mind lets go of what it has concluded, and your point of view becomes simply interesting rather than real and true, and when it’s simply interesting, you can change it.
The trick to happiness, according to Gary, is to bypass the points of view that cause you to ‘devalue’ happiness or to buy that lie that it is unobtainable. Use this tool and see how quickly you can change the points of view that are keeping you from happiness.
- Let go of the struggle
If you walk into a room beaming with joy and brimming with happiness, people around you are likely to say, “Geez. What are you on today?” They make your happiness wrong. In this way, you learn to make the struggle – or the appearance of struggle – more valuable to you than happiness.
Struggle, the value of struggle, is just a point of view. Would you be willing to let go of the struggle? Would you be willing to value happiness more than the struggle and choose it? A great question to ask every morning when you wake up is, “Who am I today and what grand and glorious adventures will I have?” This question takes you out of the mindset that struggle, and hard work are required and opens the door to the possibility of a life that is filled with joyful adventures.
- Practice asking questions
Often, in our search for happiness, we look for answers. We have been taught that the right answer, the right decision, is a key to happiness. Answers and conclusions actually keep something greater from showing up. So instead of coming to conclusion about what is happening in your life, ask questions and invite new possibilities.
Here are some examples of conclusions that can be replaced with questions.
- Rather than saying, “This situation is so bad” or “Wow, this situation is amazing,” ask “How does it get any better than this?” This triggers your unconscious self to make an unpleasant situation better, and an uplifting situation even greater.
- Instead of believing that you are a victim to life and that happiness is given or taken, ask “Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?” This empowers you to realize that happiness is a choice and can be called upon at any time.
- Instead of saying “I am stuck” or “I quit,” ask, “What else is possible I have never considered?” This triggers your unconscious awareness to look for the various solutions and possibilities available to you.
Happiness is simply the result of a choice you are making. If you are unhappy, take responsibility for the choices you are making and ask yourself, “Is this my best choice or can I choose something else?” And then choose.