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.
This reminds me of “The Glad Game” from the children’s classic Pollyanna.
I had a similar realization, I suppose when I was 17 or so. I realized that I was quite a negative person, and tried to become more aware of how I presented myself to other people. While this stragety worked in the eyes of others, I was still the same in my mind. The negative thoughts and criticism were merely kept to myself.
This is a nice reminder of something I really need to be more aware of. Thanks!
(By the way, I’m sort of trying out the raw foods thing, but I’m having a hard time finding anything to eat other than fruits and salad. Do you have any tips to share with those new to the idea, such as myself?)
This is exactly the sort of thinking that helped me go from badly depressed – suicidal, taking (herbal) happy pills, and generally hating everything – to ‘normal’.
But then I carried on – if a ‘normal’ person starts thinking like this, they become pretty much unstoppable. It’s deeply spiritual.
Magnus reads this too! Man I love Bristol Lair. You rock.
Just wanted to say it reminds me of the 7 day mental diet that Tony Robbins talks about.
I’m SO working on Inner Game stuff right now, I think this idea is great and I will add it in.
I always wondered about what it was with you, Ty, that everyone liked so much. I begin to understand.
This is simple and yet so cool.
Thanks man. Honestly I don’t know if you really need this, though. You immediately struck me as someone who was very happy.
Good thoughts, man. I actually discovered this for myself when I was living in India (I’m German) – there’s so much fucked up shit going on there that you’re kind of forced to look on the bright side if you ever want to be happy.
Probably the reason why some people come out of bad situations stronger than before (think Lance Armstrong after cancer) – an abundance of bad stuff forces you to look for the good side in everything.
I have a similar theory (which I haven’t gotten around to writing yet) 😛 but this is great stuff!
this does seem so easy. I’m gonna give it a try, and see if it works out. it seems really difficult at the same time too. especially when there are so many disenchanting events that keep coming, one after another after another. The bright side isnt always so easy to see. 🙁 but i’m willing to at least try to get out of this slump!
me ha costado una cantidad de tiempo enorme traducir parte de la pagina ( no hablo ingles ) , pero aun asi merece la pena , pareces un buen tipo y creo que de los mejores de proyecto hollywood , si parece peloteo pero no lo es , tu articulos del blog son buenos.
te felicito tio tienes los huevos de hacer lo que te gusta , poca gente los tiene.
me gustaria escribirte en ingles pero no tengo ni idea espero no lo tomes como una ofensa.
saludos , Crespo
Gracias para escribir. No puedo comprender todo que tu escribes, pero comprendo unas cosas. Necesito aprender mas Espanol si voy a vivir in Panama!
wow… that’s simplification to the extreme. is it really black and white?
do you find satisfaction carrying a big labelmaker around calling everything “good,” “good,” “good?” your friend slashes his wrists, and you say… “here’s an oppurtunity to try some new medication?” obviously, there’s more to it. i admire someone who can grin and bear it, but don’t just internalize! i love a positive person who radiates hope and ambition, and sees the good where there is good, but everyone has to admit, there is SO MUCH MORE.
I’m not suggesting that everything is good. I wouldn’t be glad, for example, if a friend slit his wrists. A good friend did kill himself a few years back, though, so I can relate to that situation.
The point, which I may not have explained well, is that there are so many overwhelmingly great things happening in life (and even just having life), that there’s no reason not to be consistently happy.
I’m not going to pretend that if a close friend or family member was killed that I’d be happy about it, but I would probably get over it quickly and focus on the happy memories I had with that person. After all, that’s what I’d want if I died.
Thanks for reading and posting a comment!
Excellent advice, Tynan! Just one slight correction from my own learning of similar things: it takes people a month of doing/thinking new things/thoughts in order for their “horse” to fully digest and internalize new information from their “rider”.
For Free Translations/Para Las Traducciones Libres:
It doesn’t do idioms well at all (e.g. “huevos”/”eggs” in Crespo’s post), but otherwise one can generally get the meaning rather quickly. So in the spirit of positive thinking…it gives you a chance to think more creatively when idioms are in the translated text!
Wow. This is pretty good advice, well at least something to try.
Depression is not pleasant, and sometimes its easier to just give up, think of nothing but the bad things in a situation, possibly, subcoincoiusly creating excuses not to do it. I think that if you can at least attempt to think positivly it will keep you on track for all the goals that you have in mind. It also makes your day that much easier to live, if you can see the benefits in what you do, that no matter how stressful or boring your day has been, that you have progressed just that little further from the person that you were yesterday. You guys may not agree, but thats my thoughts on it.
Thanks for posting, I will definitly give this a go. Its something that I was attempting already, but I am going to put even more of an effort into it!
God dude this is what I try to do to. I am an optimist, but sometimes it doesn’t always work. I think part of it has to do because you are so independent of having to deal with others too. I really enjoyed the point you made in the post on having an interesting life. I envy the kind of time you have in your life to make things happen, but I’m shooting for the same thing in mine. Cheers…
Awsome Post Tynan
I’n already known as the happiest guy in my high school but this will blow their minds! (assuming I don’t already do it subconciously)
BTW, I’m a David DeAngelo fan, and I was wondering what you thought of his rescourses.
I figured this system out myself some years ago and can also say it works superb! I’ve tried to tell my friends about this every-cloud-has-a-silver-lining kinda aspect on life’s ups and downs but they refuse to believe me. Sometimes they even get hurt when I try to suggest the positive sides of some upsetting happening, like I wasn’t serious at all and couldn’t understand the situation.
Love your blog Tynan and thanks for introducing me to Kurzweil’s book “Fantastic Voyage”, loving it too *3*
Thanks Tynan! I’ve been depressed even to the point of suicidal thoughts for about the last 4 years. I’ve decided it’s time for me to get out of this slump and start enjoying life again. Your advice has helped me a lot. I may not understand the universe, you know, but I think that because I can be happy I might as well be =).
I get depression a lot,going over the past all the time.I am going to try your theory as it certainly made me smile and rethink everything.
I think like that all the time. I am a very positive and optimistic person. Out of very little negative situation I always find the positive side.I also consider myself a lucky person.
Awesome post! Thanks
so much for sharing this. I found your blog because I was googling ways to not allow my outer circumstances to affect my happiness. I will definitely apply your suggestions and see what happens. Thanks again! 🙂
and tynan can u help me with this? u k u want to!
ok so in a class i dont have ANY friends and i am a freaking loner, which makes me even more sad 🙁 and the worst part is tht im too shy to go up and talk to others
WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO ?????????
and boo my life cuz i cant switch classes
reply soon, i want to get our of this mess quick! 🙂
UGH! this is the second time im posting this cuz the first time didn’t work … i think
but ok tynan, im in a class with no friends and im too shy to go up and talk to someone…. im so lonely in tht class! like everyone has their own little group and theres this one girl all alone ( THTS ME!)
i need a way to be
happy in tht class cuz im usually all depressed…..
so can u help me??
PLEASE QUICK! im practically dying there
Hey, this seems pretty dead but I hope you’ll reply to my message. I’m kind of a pessimistic person and I don’t really like to share my problems to my friends cause I don’t want to worry my friends. I would sometimes think of things such as I’m always alone and no one really do show any care even though they know I’m not a very happy person. I’m currently falling for this girl but I don’t intend to be with her for now. My current aim is to be happy myself before being happy with her, but I really don’t know how to make myself happy all the times. I’m trying your method for quite sometime already and things seem to be the same. Really hope you could help me, or anyone else.
Great idea tynan. It works well for me but my problem is that I forget to use it the very moment am feeling bad until after sometime b4 I remember. If I could always remember then I might enjoy more happy moments.
I’m 20, my mother kicked me out months ago. I’ve been getting around here and there but reality is life is extremely tough. I can no longer stay with my boyfriends parents, his mother wants to be the only women in the house. I’m trying not to worry but nowI have no where to live. I recently become a certified dental assistant so now I can work in an office but that Job wont come over night. I need advice quick, I’m about to be homeless :'(
I Understand You NOW -TYNAN-!
I Hope you well Live as Long as You Want!
In fact many times I do not feel happy but the problem that I do not know why!
I love a guy who doesn’t love me back at all. Zilch. Nix. None. Veto-milito.
Whats your email?
I really like this and I know that it works. jus that u have to keep reminding urself that u have to be happy always. l tried it and its brilliant. i’ll keep on practicing it till it becomes part of me.