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Posts tagged ‘Robert Holden’

Embrace Happiness

I read a book recently entitled, “be happy,” by Robert Holden, Ph.D. The subtitled says ‘release the power of happiness in YOU.’ I must admit until I read this book I had not processed the thought of happiness in quite the same way. Holden says, “Maybe we get stressed and depressed because we forget how to be happy.” The eight week course that he has transcribed in his book offers great food for thought. For instance, he asks us to think about who is the happiest person we know. That will give you pause as you think of at least 10 people and their attitudes – do their really embody happiness? Well, I can think of two people. One person gets up in the morning and the first thing she says is, “It’s a beautiful day.” It can be raining or snowing but she is happy to be alive. Being around her causes you to see more of the positives in life. What a lesson for the rest of us. We remember the statement that teachers come along just when the student needs them. Another person I know will often have music playing in her house and do a little dance step as she is at the stove making dinner. It makes you happy just being in her presence. Both of these people genuinely love life. Do they have stresses and challenges like the rest of us – absolutely – but they refuse to let go of the happiness that is their birthright.

Holden also talks about the importance of making happiness a conscious intention. For instance, if the first thing you tell yourself when awakening in the morning is that, “Today, I choose to be happy,” you automatically start your day with more positive energy. It may sound a bit strange but think about the alternative. If we don’t put our intention out there we just let life happen to us and we may have the tendency to see our glass as half empty rather than half full. Granted the same amount is in the glass but it is the ENERGY we bring to the thought that can bring happiness and opportunity to us – or not – for the rest of the day.

Think about the people you like to be around. Of course they are good listeners because everyone likes to have someone listen to them but in addition they actually cause you to feel more hopeful, more energizes (there is that word again!) just being around them.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all committed to bringing more happiness to ourselves and others? What activity gives you energy? I love to put my ear buds in and walk a few fast paced miles in the morning to music. My neighbors just wave as they see me walk through the neighborhood sometimes singing along with the lyrics. Guess what – maybe a smile came across their face as they watched me and maybe it will be infectious. Life is like that – we often mirror the energy around us.

What can you do tomorrow to let the world know that you are glad to be alive?

Have a great few days and remember – think happiness – it is your birthright!

Happiness is an Inside Job

Listening to a webcast yesterday, I was hooked from the first statement. The moderator (Lisa Garr, the host of the Aware Show) said, “Did you know the number one goal people have worldwide is to be happy.” Then she added a shocking statistic, when responding to a survey on personal happiness, Nigerians ranked number 1 with the happiest people and the U.S. ranked 46 out of the 50 areas surveyed. Researching this further, I discovered that Nigeria has a per capita income of $2,748. The people of this country live on $1.25 -$2.00 per day. Health care, life expectancy even access to drinking water in the rural areas are major challenges dealt with on a daily basis. Yet, they are happier? Why?

Robert Holden, a British psychologist has been running a course on happiness for over 15 years. He explains that when we look OUTSIDE ourselves for happiness it is our ego controlling our thinking. For instance, the thought, ‘I will be happy when…’ ( I get a better job, a new boss, more money, etc.) is conditional happiness that doesn’t last. If you, by chance, achieve one of your “wish fors” by habit you will simply replace it with the next thing on your mental want list and feel unhappy, unsettled once again. Funny how that works. We are never at a loss for our next want. This approach keeps us locked into a thinking pattern of lack rather than abundance. We focus on the negative energy involved in what we don’t have causing us to feel lack in our lives rather than on what we do have which brings the positive energy of abundance to our tables.

Maybe the Nigerians do not live in a constant state of want but rather accept what they have with a belief in themselves and a higher power, feeling gratitude for simply being able to live another day. Sounds deceptively simple, yet their happiness ranking is number 1. They must be doing something differently than we are to achieve that ranking.

We each have the DNA of Divinity in us. Being happy, regardless of our circumstance is something we can achieve if we recognize the root cause of happiness. We were born happy – a gift from the Universe. Somewhere along the way we began comparing ourselves to others and accepting negative messages or experiences in our lives as truth. We may have lost our happiness – our belief and confidence in ourself – along the way. Our egos may have gotten involved and we began judging ourselves and others and the cycle of unhappiness began. Something in our lives from then on just felt a bit off.

Let’s return to the place where we were early in our lives, a place before life happened to us, a place of self acceptance. You are on your own unique path and learning the lessons you have chosen to learn in this lifetime. You don’t need to be more or less of something. You are perfect in the image of the Divine. When you think about it the Divine Energy that created you doesn’t make mistakes. The Energy made you perfect in every way so that you could learn the lessons you have chosen to learn this time around. You are learning, growing and becoming the person you wanted to become. Once you accept yourself, unconditionally, for who you really are – a spiritual soul in a physical body who is on their own unique path of learning, you experience happiness from the INSIDE and that can’t ever be taken away from you. It is not something to be bought, achieved or acquired. In other words, happiness truly is an inside job.

It may take time for these thoughts to take seed. I visualize these ideas like a feather. They are not something to be grasped at but rather to let settle into your outstretched hand or mind as you think about them over time. True happiness – the kind that brings a smile to your face for no apparent reason at all – will come to you once you accept the thought that the DNA of Divinity is in you and remember that the Universal Energy/God does not make mistakes.

Have a great few days!