7 Keys to a Happy Life
The following text is copyrighted. You may reproduce exactly as is with credits and footer, any other reproduction is illegal.
1. Do not act in order to receive a payoff.
This is what is causing much of our discomfort as individuals and a society. As soon as you act with the purpose of receiving something, you have removed love from the act. The goal is to act as if all your needs are met, then all your thinking and behavior comes from a different perspective. You also find that you act more effectively to get those things that you truly want, because you are acting and thinking as if you already have them. The alternative is acting and thinking as if you don't, and guess what, you don't. The state of mind of having something creates it, not the other way around.
The place you see this most is in relationships. The more you need in relationships, the less you get. This is simply because you are saying that you are not whole until someone else meets those needs that can never be met. Often what happens is that you eventually get the opposite because you are trying to show yourself that you must look inside. Once again, in relationships you must look to be loving, respectful, and accepting, because this is saying that you have all these things to give. In the end these things will be overflowing from you. Remember if you want to have something, give it, because you must have it if you can give it.
Abundance is another area this concept plays a major role. The more you say you need and operate from a place of not having enough, the more that state of mind will be created physically. This is why the very wealthy can sometimes feel impoverished, and the very poor can sometimes feel wealthy. Remember that perception is everything and that your thinking, feelings, and actions come from those perceptions.
2. You are the only judge of your life and what you will judge in the last moment of your life, is how well you loved.
Believe it or not, you do not really care what you accomplish in your life. How much you acquire, and how successful you are will not mean a thing when you decide to leave your body. Imagine that you are all living your own movie. Each movie has different characters, a different plot, and a different setting, yet the goal for each conclusion is the same. The happy ever after ending for every movie, is that the main character loved well at least once in their life in spite of circumstances. You have probably noticed that people on their deathbed, do or say something loving, often out of character, before they go. This is because they are closer to their spirit and may finally realize that to love well was their goal. Imagine if you lived with that consciousness while you were healthy and had time. Everything else physical comes to an end when you die, but people can take your love with them long after you die.
3. You are perfect, were perfect, and always will be perfect.
To the degree that you believe this, is how much physical success you will have. The people who believe in themselves and their ability are the ones who have lasting success in their lives. Belief creates reality. Some people have success for fleeting periods of time, but it doesn't last if their belief in themselves is dependent on what they do or what others think of them.
Belief in yourself is not like what you consider ego or arrogance. To truly believe in this perfection, you must also believe in the inherent perfection of all people and things. Remember how all things were created. Therefore you do not believe you are better than anyone, even though you may act better and have more success because you know the truth about yourself. You never have to judge or be right because you know that you cannot make anyone believe in themselves, though you can show them what it looks like. Your belief in the constant perfection of creation allows you to know that you are successful always because you cannot be anything else. Then what you choose to create will be a success and you know you can create anything.
4. You act based on what you know.
This sounds simple but is actually very profound. In order to act in a truly loving way, you must know what love really is. To be successful at anything, you need to know what success is. How many people are attempting to be successful in relationships, but don't know what to do because they have never learned what a loving, successful relationship looks like. If you do not know what to do, you will do what you have learned, or try something that you think might work, sometimes getting lucky.
You cannot program a computer without knowing what actions you must perform. If you must learn things because it is so difficult to remember in your physical state, perseverance, patience, and belief in yourself come in handy.
Sometimes you have housed yourself in a body which does not allow you to be successful at certain physical endeavors. This you do because you choose to limit yourself so that you can focus on your higher desire to succeed at something else. If you were physically capable of the other things, you may not choose to do the thing that you really want to accomplish on a spiritual level. Many handicapped people know this and don't like it when people feel sorry for them. They may not know why they don't like sympathy, but they know it feels wrong.
Believe this. You have chosen the body conditions, and situations you experience. This is done on a spiritual level and for good reason. Your goal is to find out what you can do with it, not feel bad about what you cannot do.
So if you want to run a marathon, but your legs don't work, don't focus on not running a marathon. Find out what you can do because you cannot run a marathon.
5. Fear is your biggest enemy, and can only be conquered by faith.
Fear tells you that to only love will not be enough. Fear and faith cannot coexist or control behavior together. One or the other has to take over. Believe it or not, which one takes over is your choice. This may not appear so, because many of you have developed a habit of acting on your fear. Remember that you can act with faith even though you are feeling fear. Which habit have you developed?
This goes back to the role of emotions and how you have developed a script, so to speak, about which behaviors go with which emotions. When you say you are depressed, you are really labeling your set of behaviors and thoughts. A good experiment is to consciously act in a way that your feeling does not describe. For instance, if you are angry, try smiling and saying something nice. If depressed, exercise and tell someone what a beautiful day it is. Most importantly, if afraid, do the thing that you are afraid of if it is in your best interest (jumping off a building may not be included in this).
You may find that these strategies make you feel like a fraud, but they will show you that you can do whatever you choose in spite of what you are feeling, including loving. Remember to use the feeling as a message, but choose the behavior that most effectively and lovingly responds to the message. Knowing that you can choose gives you real power over your life.
I understood the concept of faith. To me it is a powerful word that literally leads to mental invincibility. I was really beginning to feel it in my life.
The next principle takes from the last and is perhaps the most difficult for all of you.
6. No action is involuntary, including your thoughts.
Many of you may have at least come to believe that this is true for overt behaviors, but still struggle with applying it to thoughts. The scope of this principle is out of most human conception. There is not even a body function that is completely involuntary, though the medical profession would like you to believe that they are. Most of you simply do not know the force that controls your so-called autonomic nervous system. Once you really learn where and how thoughts work, you will know this force.
Many of the things you say you are (shy, stupid, alcoholic, etc.), have (depression, diabetes, cancer, attention deficit disorder, etc.), or feel (sad, angry, love, etc.), are actually verbs, not nouns. Whether you are doing a behavior, having a body function, or thinking, you are on some level doing something voluntarily. All of it, every event that happens in your life, and in your body, is a product of thought.
You are probably thinking that there is no way that you could voluntarily be doing cancer, but it does begin with a thought, and your body is completely controlled by thought. Do you ever wonder why you don't die in dreams very often? Because if you really think you are dead, you are. After being diagnosed with cancer you have more thoughts about that, then more thoughts about your prognosis and course of disease. If you could examine a record of every thought you have ever had, conscious and unconscious, you could find the explanation of everything you experience in your life. We have talked about thought and belief before, but what is important is that you know what is having these thoughts and how you can be the decision maker about the thoughts you have.
When you are born, there is one source of thoughts, your soul, spirit, higher self, God, whatever you choose to call it. This source has all the ultimate truths. Over time (and not a very long time) another aspect of consciousness emerges, which you can call the learned self. This is like an observer who begins to notice that you are separate, have needs for physical survival, and can experience pain. This part continues to define itself through experience. It also defines everything and everyone around it. Within a short time, by about six years, this learned self has all but completely taken over, and is giving commands to your body and the universe by its constant thoughts. Once a thought or belief is established, it may never again be consciously verbalized in your mind again. You may call these echo thoughts because they are no longer conscious, but like an echo, they continue to fill every space available. These thoughts or beliefs are usually in the form of a conclusion and are the most constant, therefore most creative thoughts of all. They begin to operate behind the scenes very powerfully and without conscious attention.
Thought is the creative force of the universe, but it needs to have conviction and consistency to manifest in physical reality. Thought is like hammering a nail. Usually one hit will not put it all the way in. You must decide where you want it and hit it until it is all the way in so it can't easily be pulled out. This is how the echo thoughts work. They continually hammer at the nail until it is very hard to get out. Unless they are recognized, even if you try to pull them out by replacing them with other thoughts, the echo thoughts will hammer themselves back in even if they are part way out.
This is why it is so difficult for you to change your life circumstances. You are not often aware of the echo thoughts which continually maintain the circumstances. Even if you do things to change the situation, you will find yourself in a similar one at some point if the echo thought does not change.
How do you change an echo thought if it is out of awareness? Remember that everything in the universe is a manifestation of thought. If you are unsure what your echo thoughts are, there are two ways to find out. Both of these require guessing and detective work.
First, you could simply look at the circumstances throughout your life and ask what a person with this life might believe. Ask people close to you who know about your life, what they think you believe about yourself and the world. Most people will come up with similar guesses if they have some information about your situation and they are willing to be honest. This is simply working backwards from the manifested to the manifesting thought. Even if you doubt that these beliefs are present, remember that you have lost conscious awareness of them. Therefore act as if they are true based on the evidence in your life, and you will benefit anyway. If you do not challenge a belief, you will provide evidence for it in your life, period.
A second way to accomplish awareness of your echo thoughts is to look at the major messages you got from your parents, or whomever raised you. One or both parents taught you to make conclusions about yourself, the world, and other people, by their words, actions, or other more subtle means. You likely took these conclusions and accepted them as real guiding principles in your life. You wore them like glasses which you saw everything through, and they determined how you acted, thought, and reacted throughout your life. It is then inevitable that the consequences of these accumulated acts will give you what you have today.
Most important among the echo thoughts are the I am commands that are constantly working in your self-talk. These almost always come from the pre-adult years with evidence being provided throughout your teens and adulthood. Some of the more common commands you people are giving yourselves are' I am stupid' I am a quitter' I am worthless' I am a loser' I am weak and powerless' I am fat and ugly. You also make conclusions about the future: I will never be successful; I deserve to be punished and treated badly, My life sucks; I will never be happy; I always screw up; There are no decent men out there.
All of these have endless variations which may be more specific or more general. You were fortunate to discover these as your energy blockages or bumpers as you called them. Meditation and an honest inner enquiry can also give you the awareness you need.
Once you have this awareness, you can apply the sixth principle, that all thoughts and behaviors are voluntary. This is where you must be completely dedicated to find another echo thought and corresponding behaviors. This requires daily practice in all situations with conscious intent. This must take priority over all else for you to manifest these new things in your life. The hardest part is persevering until you see results. Remember that for many years you have burned the old ways in to the universal framework. The old thoughts have become like a template which will be used until another one is complete and more prominent.
7. Gratitude is the antidote for unhappiness.
This is perhaps the easiest yet most powerful truth. When there is gratitude their can be no other feeling than joy. There is always something to be grateful for even in the most dire of situations. You must find a way to focus on that which you have and are grateful for at all times. Even if you have to look at the fact that you are breathing because you can't find anything else. Gratitude brings with it more things to be grateful for. The universe is waiting for you to be grateful so that it can give you more.
If you are dying, be grateful for your life. If someone you love is dying, be grateful for the time you had with them. If you are broke, be grateful for your health and other's prosperity. If you are lonely, be grateful for the time with yourself. It is up to you to find and focus on gratitude. If you are envious of what someone else has, remember you are all one and be grateful for what they have.
In the end you have a choice to be grateful or not. If you choose not to, don't expect to be happy for any great lengths of time. If you choose to be grateful because the sun comes up, you can be happy all the time in spite of your circumstances, and you can choose to change your circumstances without need because you are already grateful for what you have. If you want more, that is fine, but be grateful for what you have until you have more.
Finally, always be grateful that you know the truth about yourself and your connection to all things including God, for these things are everlasting.
This article was written in 2003 by Sean Harder, author of Earth Wisdom, and founder of WholeLifeGym
Sean has been a therapist and life coach for 13 years. He is a published author and founder of WholeLifeGym.com