But I Bought All The Books And Tapes, And I'm Still Unhappy!
By Lance Beggs
I love this quote by Zig Ziglar, and think it's a perfect introduction to this article:
"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing- that's why we recommend it daily."
The same thing can be said for all the different techniques that lead to happiness.
Often you will hear people say,
- "I tried affirmations, and they didn't work."
- "I tried NLP, and it didn't work."
- "I tried subliminal programming, and it didn't work."
- "I tried (insert any other technique), and it didn't work."
Well, the reason is NOT that the techniques are faulty. Every technique has had some success. And every technique has had some failures. There is no holy grail, magical technique, guaranteed to work for everyone. Why is this?
Quite simply, we're all different.
In my search for happiness, I tried many things. Some I can relate to, others I can't. Some I didn't even try. My scepticism ruled out subliminal programming, right from the start. That doesn't mean it won't work for others who are open to trying it. In fact, some people swear by it.
So don't be stressed if you try something and it's not a good "fit". Accept we're all different, take the positives out of the experience, and move on and try something else.
Here are a few pointers though in how to find "what works for you:
(1) Firstly, understand that these techniques are not a direct cause of happiness. If they were, then everyone who used them would achieve happiness. These techniques are an indirect cause of happiness, with another step in the middle.
There is one, and only one, direct cause of happiness. And that is for you to change your thought process.
Happiness comes from positive thoughts. EVERYONE who focuses on the positive side of their life, with gratitude for what they have now, IS HAPPY!
And everyone who focuses on the negatives, and worries about their future, or lives regretting their past, IS UNHAPPY.
It's as simple as that.
So what we're looking for is a technique (or bunch of techniques) that simply help us focus on the positives in our life, right here and right now. If you try something and it doesn't effectively focus your thoughts on the positives, don't worry about it. Find something else that does.
(2) Make sure you use the technique properly. Some like meditation take many years to completely master (of course there are great benefits along the way). Others are quite simple. Whatever technique you try, research it completely, and consider seeking a teacher, coach or mentor.
(3) As Zig Ziglar said, use the process continually. You are aiming to replace any negative thoughts with positives. Doing it once doesn't guarantee positive thoughts forever, for the rest of your life. You need to make this a continual process.
However like riding a bike, or driving a car, with practice it will become automatic. Your subconscious will take over much of the process, and you will be well on your way to the lifetime of happiness that you so richly deserve.
(4) Don't put all your eggs in one basket. What works one time may not be the best answer next time. My favourite restaurant at the moment is called Base Camp. It's a Nepalese Restaurant just down the road from us here in Melbourne. But that doesn't mean I always eat there when I go out for dinner. Sometimes we eat Italian. Sometimes we might feel like Thai.
As I said earlier, I tried many things in my search for happiness. Some worked for me and some didn't. I found my answer in a combination of many techniques. I personally love affirmations. But at other times I get more value out of EFT. I have a morning routine of manifesting visualisation and meditation. I have an evening (before bed) routine based around the expression of gratitude.
Find a whole truckload of ways to make you feel happy. And use them all at the appropriate time.
There is no holy grail, magical technique, guaranteed to work for everyone. So stop looking for it. Try something. Use it properly, and consistently. And if you get great results, keep using it. If you don't get results, move on to something else.
Careers & Employment
Grief & Loss
Kids & Teens
Self Improvement & Motivation
Travel and Leisure