“How Can I Be Happy?” A Timeless Lesson told by a Personal Development Legend

How can I be happy?

If you Google “how can I be…”
Care to guess what Google will autofill? No guessing required… (see image below)

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 2.37.11 PM
only here is the dilemna.

“The art of happiness is to serve all. To be truly happy, we must think not only of how we can help ourselves, but how we can help others.” ~Anonymous

I wrote extensively about this here (see post)

I love the above video, here Jack La Lanne underscores all the above! Watch it at least three times this week and see what happens!

Enjoy!
~mws

Sam Says: My Philosophy for a Happy Life, Sam Berns (10/23/96 – 1/1014)

What a guy!

Sam, YOU are the man… Thank you! What an inspiring young man!

You are/were the perfect example of how anyone can overcome ANY obstacle. You taught us where to put our attention, energy and focus. You understood the importance of setting goals, not letting circumstances dictate your attitude and the value of positive relationships.

The thing you (the reader) should know is this, Sam insisted that above all, he was HAPPY! Yet, here was a guy suffering from an incurable, debilitating disease.

HAPPY.

“I’m HAPPY!” He would say again and again – and that he wants to change the world. The funny thing about changing the world (as I’m sure you recognize) is you first have to change yourself, then influence another– and, another and so on. The process is rather slow to start but catches steam pretty quickly. With 2 Million plus views – his message isn’t going unnoticed.

Sam’s Secrets to a HAPPY LIFE:

#1) Focus on things he CAN DO vs. the things he can’t do
He might not be able to ride a roller coaster but he could read comic books
He might not be running a marathon but he could watch his favorite sports teams
He couldn’t carry a snare drum but they found a way to work around the obstacle!

Q: What do you want to accomplish and think you can’t because of a “real” or made up obstacle?

#2) Surround yourself with people you want to be around
Sam recognized and appreciated his supportive family and friends.
He loved his great friends and called themsleves “band geeks”
He would insist that the music they created together was bigger than any disease and allowed him to transcend his condition
this happened BECAUSE of other people – great relationships!
MUSIC served as an escape and made him feel good.

Q: What are you doing to appreciate and express love for your family and closest friends? How are you acknowledging and appreciate your mentors and community?

#3) Keep moving forward.
Sam shared a Walt Disney quote “we keep moving forward opening new doors and doing new things.” Sam believed keeping your eyes on the horizon helped to keep his spirits up. Perhaps it was an upcoming family trip or ball game.

Now, there may be some “confused” people who might judge this mindset and accuse it of not being present or in the “now” (not zenlike perhaps) if he’s constantly looking forward. However, they would be a bit off base since one of the great values in setting goals is it helps to bring your present into focus and alignment. For instance, if I have a marathon I’m looking forward to my present will be more focused on good choices. And, there is another terrific benefit. With any future event, the seed of “HOPE” is always planted and this helps us through those moments of great challenge. As Sam said, “A bright future ahead may get me through some difficult times.”

Always remember, where there is hope in the future, there is power in the present.

Sam’s words again, “I always try to have something to look forward to.”

Q: “what are you looking forward to?”

Finally, Sam insists that YOU shouldn’t waste energy feeling bad about yourself… accept it /acknowledge it and then move past it. “Being brave isn’t supposed to be easy.”

“I don’t waste energy feeling bad for myself.
I surround myself with people i want to be with.
and i keep moving forward!”

Finally, Sam ends it with this little gem and you get a sense just how he looks forward to events and leave’s us with,
“Never miss a party if you can make it!”

One Day To Live, The Immaterrial and an Exercise of a Lifetime

It’s great to hear that you have your “dream” list of goals and material “toys”. It’s pretty exciting to think about the big house you will own and the 4 high performance or luxury cars, maybe even that ridiculous 135 ft yacht, etc. And, there is no reason you shouldn’t have that list. But, there is a different list…

Do me (and you) a FAVOR right now. Consider for a moment, what you would do if you found out you had only ONE day to live. Do you have any idea how you’d spend it? And, here’s the kicker, with WHO would you spend those last precious hours and minutes?

You see, as unfortunate a scenario as that might be, it takes the often muddied waters of our priorities and values and bring them to the fore with pristine clarity. The fact is, your dream mansion would be worthless, your luxury cars or yacht would all have no redeeming value as you said your final goodbyes.

My guess is this; upon finding out you had only A SINGLE DAY TO LIVE, you’d be immediately reaching out to the one’s you love the most. You’d be sharing your deepest feelings of gratitude for their love and friendship and support over the years.

In short you’d dive into LOVE and GRATITUDE. Love for all those who’ve supported you throughout the years and gratitude for the opportunities and relationships that enriched your life.

One day to live would mean
No BullSh*t….  No wasted time
No fake gestures… little to no concern about what other people think

One day to live would mean:
Focusing on the people you love. Sharing your most meaningful thoughts and ideas.
You’d probably identify some regrets and missed opportunities for time squandered—for losing focus on what was truly important in your life. You’d probably even do some last minute mending of fences and going out of your way to reconcile— to leave this world in peace.

The Reward?
If you have truly processed this mental exercise for all that it’s worth you will have a great idea of WHO and WHAT is most important to you and WHY

Create that list now. Who are the people? What are they experiences and why are they meaningful. Have there been opportunities lost? What are they, can you re-write the outcome. It all begins with clarity.

Expectations or Reality?

Great lesson from Stephen Covey (7 Habits of Highly Successful People) about self-fulfilling prophecy and human potential. If you are a PARENT, COACH, TEACHER – basically, ANYONE who deals with kids, you can NOT afford to miss this message. I’ve personally witnessed so many teachers and parents unfortunately limit their kids’ with unintended and believed to be innocent statements.

Notice in this video the deep significance and impact of OUR/YOUR “FRAMING” present “REALITY” whether it’s social or even personal, (You talking to yourself).

The gist is really this; ANYONE’S POTENTIAL is as much their “REALITY” as their past behavior. To put this another way, when you belittle another (OR, more likely yourself) you not only inhibit that potential for growth you dangerously shift/alter and change your present reality by altering your FUTURE expectations.

Since NOW is the only moment YOU, Continue reading

Guest Post: Kill Your Inner Cynic

“What is a cynic?
A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

I read a magazine article today about cynicism, and it really got me thinking. The author basically stated that the reason that men fail in their endeavors is an abundance of cynicism. And of course the cynics in us all are automatically skeptical of this statement, but he further goes on to ask us to stop and see if we can think of ONE successful cynic. Just one. It’s damn near impossible.

Incredibly successful people, whether they’re actors, entertainers, athletes or just general moguls, all share one thing: a sincere belief in themselves and in other people. It’s not enough just to be self-confident and self-sufficient. To be successful also requires that you sincerely believe in the good of mankind.
Continue reading

CERTAINTY and FAILURE

toaster

“If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.”

~Clint Eastwood

Seems we all want a guarantee these days.

Similar to the microwave ‘complex’ (post) the majority of people seem to fear failure. They seek certainty. Who can blame them? Unfortunately, the problem with certainty is it simply doesn’t exist- not in this world. Don’t take my word for it. Consider this quote straight out of Wikipedia, “It is widely held that certainty is a failed historical enterprise.” How good is that?

The absence of any certainty creates FEAR.

(Zig Ziglar acronym for FEAR is; False Evidence Appearing Real) which prevents people from trying new ideas, learning new things and often times even pursuing their dreams. Simply put, FEAR can cripple one’s ability to create their ideal future.

Fear is the path to the dark side
Fear leads to anger
Anger leads to hated
Hate leads to suffering

~Yoda

Have you ever considered what the opposite of SUCCESS is. Remember, it’s probably best to have a definition of success and preferably not some trite little slogan like “to have a lot of money and a lot of friends”. I humbly recommend you figure out that definition prior to attempting to understand its opposite. (see earlier post).

So what is failure and what is its definition? (a good question indeed) Typically, students tell me failure equals the opposite of success. But, we all wondered collectively, could that really be the opposite of success?

Consider Thomas Edison and his 10,000 + failures to develop the light bulb. Had he not “failed” so many times he wouldn’t have realized the end result – the incandescent light bulb. No, “failure” you should be VERY HAPPY to note is NOT the opposite of success.

I came upon a great answer many years back in one of my early ‘Success Skills’ classes. A wonderful Hispanic girl, I can’t recall her name, provided an answer so profound I nearly fell down. “Hopelessness” she declared with a sense of pride. I was so blown way. “That is it!” Of course, who could possibly become a success if they are hopeless? Without hope there is no possible way to succeed! And, with hope all things are possible.

I strongly encourage you to always maintain a sense of hope. Hope is both a thought and an emotion only YOU can control! Typically, when one feels hopeless they are forecasting a dismal future. They are leaving the NOW, the present moment and putting their attention and focus (even using their imagination toward an image or an outcome that is totally discouraging). The ‘reality’, of course, is they have the ability to use those same ‘mental tools’ to project from a hopeful perspective and to positively envision a victorious outcome just as they might a discouraging one.

Often times, hopelessness arises from the absence of certainty. Since we now understand certainty to be nothing more than an illusion we can feel liberated rather than discouraged! If there is no certainty – you have nothing to fear. GO FOR IT! Those who are successful are not only the people who have failed multiple times, they are the same brave souls who recognize there are no guarantees! That success is a process and failure is a requirement for success.

When one can accept these truths; that failure is a prerequisite for success and that certainty is an illusion, they are likely to find the route to success much more enjoyable and ‘arrive’ far more quickly.

You are encouraged to move forward bravely. To use your powers of imagination to aid you in the attainment of your goals and not to let fear or uncertainty prevent your from taking those critical initial steps. (see Belief Tree post below).

~MWS

P.S.  This will be the last month to download the full version of “The 3 C’s of SUCCCESS” the success ebook at no cost. The Book is going to print next month and the download version will then be abreviated. Be sure to download and share the link with your loved ones while the full copy is available at no cost.

All the best. Enjoy!