There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.
Sounds a little like a Zen riddle, doesn’t it?
And while it may sound to some like some trite slogan, these two sentences carry a world of profound truth in them. One of the saddest things I’ve seen in my life is the amount of depression that people carry with them. And I would know: I suffered from depression throughout my early twenties.
If everyone wants to be happy, then why are so many people depressed?
Well, for starters “happiness” becomes a place or destination that is sought out “somewhere else”. People literally and figuratively seek out happiness throughout their lives. They are searching for it – the next lover, job, house, car, etc and are hopeful that such external pleasures will imbibe them with happiness. Can a new car make you happy? Sure. Such happiness might last a week or it might last a year – but it’ll be temporary. Often there will be such external influences or events in your life that can bring about momentary happiness–but those are likely to leave you – seeking the next happiness “event”. Sadly, in the meantime – you’ll be left feeling empty or lost.
Happiness is an emotion and, therefore, just like any other emotion, is controlled only by you! All such emotions are derived from your thoughts, and there is only one person who is in control or your thoughts!
YOU control of your own happiness! This was very hard for me to wrap my head around, because of its absurd simplicity: Happiness must then be my responsibility and, ultimately, my obligation!
In fact happiness is so essential to a fulfilling life that Aristotle once proclaimed, happiness “as man’s chief aim” in life – “the highest good”.. I was stunned when I read that. Aristotle! I believed great philosophers sat around disgruntled with it all–bored with the minions and upset with mankind for all its continued blunders. Well, that was two thousand years ago so, I’m sure he’d be pleased to see how much progress there has been.
So, let’s just run with our buddy Aristotle and his concept that happiness ought to become your chief aim in life— let’s allow him do our homework (after all he is one of the greatest philosophers of all time). Why not agree with that statement?
Who desires unhappiness? Seriously, nobody I know. Could it be that simple? Could this be yet another “simple, profound truth”?
Let’s dissect it further – Do you not enjoy being with happy people? Aren’t happy people more productive, supportive, generous and loving? And, here is the kicker – as it relates to the 3 Cs of Success … how can any successful person realize his “ideal future” that is, be successful without being happy?
Jim Rohn is flat out brilliant… some people don’t dig the guys delivery but it works for me. You could watch this video ten times and not get the full value. Again, brilliant. Take the time — remember, the time to get smarter is when you don’t have the time. : )
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.
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.
I know, you’re a VERY BUSY person…. Really, I know, you are “super busy” and don’t have enough time to watch a video that is almost an hour long yet has the information and insight that is very likely to transform your life.
I get it… sort of.
Guess what my friend, BUSY is just another form of LAZY.
I just heard you say, “WHAT!?” “Did he just call me lazy?”
Listen, if you’re too busy then what you’re really saying is your just too LAZY to identify the most important things in your life. There is a great “Law” of efficiency that Brian Tracy talks about (he’s funny that way because so many things are “Laws” and he has what seems to be about 100 different laws). Having said that, the man is spot on.
The Law of Forced Efficiency states, “You never have enough time to do everything, but you ALWAYS have enough time to accomplish the most important things.”
“Your self-image is either your life-handicap or your auto-pilot for winning!” ~Dr. Dennis Waitley
I recently heard Brian Tracy, a living legend in the personal development space, give a talk to a group of entrepreneurs and out of his mouth came this statement, “All of your achievement ultimately, will be directly related to your self-confidence—directly related to how much you “LIKE YOURSELF”.
At first I’ll admit, I thought that was fairly obvious. However, (as I write in the The 3 C’s of Succcess) I’ve learned that a critical trait of all successful people is to remain OPEN and examine ALL new ideas and possibilities. For some strange reason I couldn’t shake this idea so I decided it was time to test is myself. Time for me to practice what I preach and write about, right?
Words of wisdom all around
but no one ever seems to listen
They talk about their plans on the paper
Building up from the pavement
there’re shadows from the scrapers on the pavement
It’s enough to make me sigh
but that don’t seem like it would make it feel better
The words are all around
but the words are only sounds
and no one ever seems to listen
~ Jack Johnson “Traffic in the Sky”
Do you have a definition of success?
I’ve taught hundreds of students for over five years. Every time I ask this simple question: “Who wants to be successful?” every single person raises his hand. At this point, I actually have inverted the question to simply be, “who does NOT want to be successful.” Just to verify that not a single person will raise their hand. Obviously, it is unanimous, EVERYONE WANTS TO BE SUCCESSFUL. This of course is where the “fun” begins…
Then, I ask them to define success.
Can you say deer in the headlights… pretty much a room full of blank stares. The students kind of squirm in their seats, perhaps a little concerned I might pin them down and actually ask them for their definition.
Wild isn’t it? Throughout the years, I’ve discovered that only about 3% of my students actually have a working definition of success.
You may have noticed this too? Everyone wants to be successful, yet, how many have defined it?
There seems to be lots of people searching high and low for “answers”- for “shortcuts” to this elusive “success.” You’ve seen the headlines and the advertisements, no doubt:
“Be Outrageously Happy in Three Easy Steps”
“Seven Secrets to Riches”
“Be the Success You’ve Always Dreamed Of”
The crazy thing is . . . if you ask them what “success” truly is they – just like 97 percent of my students — would probably be at a loss for words.
Try it sometime. Ask someone to define “success” for you. You’ll probably be received with a blank stare. If not, you’ll get some vague definition that sounds something like:
“Success is waking up with a smile on my face.”
“Success is knowing that someone loves me.”
Now, this brings me to the question of the day: How in the world can YOU hit a target when YOU can’t see it . . . or worse yet, does not even exist?
Creating your personal definition of success
Welcome to Exercise #1. You guessed it! Time for you to write out your definition of success!
Think about it. It seems only logical that the first step to success is to at least to resolve in your mind what exactly success is. What it ought to look and feel like! You must first have a definition for it if you plan to attain it!
Ideally, your definition of success should be no longer than two or three sentences. In fact, the shorter the definition, the better. One time I asked a person to give me his personal definition of success. He gave me a description a mile long. “Success,” he said, “is when I’m happy, my dog is fed and when my girlfriend is happy and we have a lot of money and no financial worries.”
what!? – why not just add when the cat is sleeping and the baby isn’t crying!
I could probably fill several posts here on success theory alone. However, for now, what is most important is to identify an acceptable definition – one that has stood the test of time. Here, humbly submitted for your consideration is the one I teach in every class…
SUCCESS = CREATING YOUR IDEAL FUTURE.
Be sure to leave comments and share your thoughts. Really looking forward to some quality success definitions posted here. Let’s see it!