Ok folks... I'm gonna break it down for you Dr. Phil style today, and talk about happiness.
Now, first of all - I don't see why happiness is always priority number one. "Do whatever makes you happy", they say. "Yeah, but is she HAPPY?". Who says this is the holy grail? Personally, I think giving Tynan presents should be the end goal. "Do whatever makes Tynan get more presents" and "Yeah, but is she giving Tynan presents?" both sound pretty sweet to me.
But we live in a world where happiness is number one. They don't ask if happiness makes you money, but if money makes you happy. So, let's get happy.
I should offer one caveat : I was never seriously depressed. If you are seriously depressed, give this a try - I'm sure it will help, but it may not get you all the way to candyland, if you know what I mean.
When I was younger, though, I wasn't always happy. Things got to me a lot, I would find myself unhappy (depressed? I don't really know), and apathetic.
When I became a professional gambler things got interesting. If I won I would be ecstatic and in a great mood for the rest of the day. If I lost I would be detached and moody. After a few months of this it became obvious that something had to change. But what was also obvious is that I COULD be happy almost any time I wanted.
For example, if I was having a bad day, and reluctantly started playing... if I hit a royal flush I'd be in a great mood again.
So I thought about it for a while and came up with an idea. I tried it for a week and it worked. I went on for a month and it kept working. After a few months it was totally subconcious and I was always happy. Surprisingly it stuck, and people always remark at how I'm always happy. Because of my new positive outlook on everything, people always talk about how lucky I am too, as I always seem to be happy with what happens to me.
Now I know some people are thinking, "well, do I even WANT to be happy all the time? I mean... aren't there times when it's good to be upset?". And that's a good question. You can be happy and still be upset - when I'm wronged I'm upset, but I'm still a happy person. I don't let it get me down and depressed, but rather I see it as a chance to create a new, better situation.
Ok, so how is this magical feat accomplished? It's pretty easy. But before I explain it - do yourself a favor and commit to trying it. If you don't want to be more happy, then you don't need to read this post, so go read another story. But if you plan on reading on, then promise yourself that you will follow it, even if it sounds too simple to work.
Here's what you have to do :
Start off by comitting to only one week. This makes it easy enough that if you don't like it you aren't locked in forever, but it still gives it a fair chance. What I want you to do for this one week is this : be hyper aware of your thoughts. Evaluate whether they are positive, negative, or neutral (almost nothing is neutral other than things like - "hey, that pear is green"). If they're anything but positive, STOP. Think about the situation and find something positive about it. This is much easier than you think and gets much easier as you go on. Here are some examples :
Before : "I'm stuck in traffic. I hate traffic. Rrrrrawwwwrrr"
After : "Being in traffic gives me time to sit in my chair, relax, and listen to music. Most other times I feel obligated to do something, but not now"
Before : "Heidi Klum just dumped me. I Looooooooooveeee her."
After : "If she dumped me, things weren't going well. Now I have the chance to find a better relationship where things WILL go well."
Before : "My car broke down, my dog died, and I have cancer"
After : "When my car gets fixed it will work better than ever, fluffy had a better life than almost any puppy and I have some great memories with him, I have a new mission to beat cancer which will make me into a disciplined and focused person - it will also make me keenly aware of the value of life and enable me to live my life to the fullest "
Ok, now that last one might be a bit of an exaggeration, but that's really how I think. EVERY single situation has a positive side. It may have a negative side as well, but dwelling on that helps no one. When you first start this process, it will be cumbersome. It's like having a toddler who does the exact opposite of what you say, and then you have to correct him. However, after a week it will start happening naturally. If you like it, keep going. By month two you will be doing it subconciously and will never be affected by bad events.
I once had an extremely bad event happen to me where 99% of my (substantial) net worth was stolen with little hope to get it back. I hung out with friends that day and no one knew anything was wrong. In fact, just a day later a friend I was chatting with remarked at how everything always went so well for me!
Of course I didn't want to lose the money, but I considered that the real value of earning that money was learning how to earn, which I could do again, and that it gave me a great opportunity to evaluate what I wanted to do with my life. I decided that gambling was too antisocial and tha I wanted to entertain and inspire other people. This site was born as part of that thought!
This practice is actually called reframing, although I didn't know about it when I started doing it. I've advised several people to do this, and they report that not only are they happier, but that other people notice in as little time as a week. It's also a very attractive quality to have - many people have told me that they like being around me because I'm so positive and that help them see the bright side of things.
One issue I need to address is that you want to minimize the bad site - not avoid it. Avoiding dealing with bad things keeps it pent up and amplifies the emotion, which can cause greater problems down the line. If you lost your money, don't ignore that. Go make some more, but think of all the great opportunities that you will have, rather then dwelling on the lost money. If your girlfriend leaves you, think about the happy memories you had and how now you can find a better girl - don't keep seeing her acting like everything's normal.
So today we've learned how to live happy and that giving Tynan presents is more important than anything. If you have a negative thought that you just can't seem to see the positive in, post it in the comments and I'll help you. Or, if it's too personal for that, you can e-mail it to me and I will post it myself, thus embarassing you greatly. Just kidding, I keep secrets.
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