Stop looking down the road – Your “okay-ness” is right here, right now
Bill’s tip for January: Help Yourself by Not Changing
“Self-Help” is a billion dollar a year industry. Search Amazon.com and you will find thousands of titles on how to better yourself through change. Most have a common philosophy: Do this and that and this and you will find happiness….
Please don’t misunderstand me, I believe in helping yourself through the power of the page -In fact, this is why Phillip and I publish this monthly newsletter and why I am currently writing a self-help book (which I hope you all will buy when it comes out 🙂
My issue with most self-betterment texts is their insistence the reader change who they are in order to find peace of mind. I believe this is philosophy is flawed because it is inverted -let me explain:
Because of the way the intellectualizing part of our brain operates, we are in the habit of thinking that our okay-ness is located somewhere down the road. This directional approach to happiness always leaves the golden carrot of completeness dangling just out of reach. The reason Self-Help is the best performing segment in the literary marketplace is because consumers crave to be somewhere other than where they currently are.
However, the true key to fulfillment is to feel-full in-the-moment: That is, it is the discipline to acknowledge and enjoy the only place where you are living -in this very moment. At this current moment you are learning and growing by reading this sentence -everything is as it should be.
What if you lived life like this? What if you decided that you were enough and then approached your day by merely reinforcing this fact with the things you did, instead of trying to catch up to sense of well-being by doing things?
When I discuss this concept with my clients, I am often met with resistance. Many people feel that if they decide to just be happy they will become lazy. They justify being unhappy by seeing it as a motivator. I challenge this intellectualization: It is the people that are unhappy, the ones that decide to think they are not enough, that escape life and become “couch potatoes.”
Decide to accept happiness into your life, then go about your day using your activities to expand and reinforce the already foregone conclusion that you are okay.
-You may just save some time and money at the bookstore.
Phillip’s tip for January: Happy New Year – No Strings Attached
This year, resolve to authentically live a “Happy New Year” by accepting marionette people’s good intentions -no strings attached.
At a recent celebration, someone wished me “happy holiday.” I realize this all seems harmless for most people but, for me, the term “Christmas” appropriately represents the occasion I observe and this is the greeting I prefer to exchange with others.
Now, I did not correct my friend. Instead, I chose to simply accept the spirit in which his pronouncement was given. In doing so I freed myself: I didn’t have to over-explain, brood, correct or take a stand with him.
By choosing to embrace the moment with my friend, I got to feel good about acknowledging his well-wishes, which, in no way diminished my personal Christmas celebration -In fact, the joy of freeing myself to do so actually increased my experience of what Christmas means to me.
Consider putting down the struggle that comes with judging those around us.
In 2011, ask yourself: Do I often respond to others in a way that allows them to share the joy of who they are with me?
Realize that even without keeping a single new year’s resolution, you already have all that you need without having to prove or defend yourself or compare yourself to others. When we begin valuing other points of view without being threatened by these differences, we open ourselves to boundary-pushing growth that strengthens the very relationships that add possibility to our lives.
My heartfelt wish for you and yours: Have an authentically loving and happy new year!
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