Have you ever told yourself things like “one day, when my ship comes in” or “I can’t wait for the day when…” or “I’m too busy to enjoy life”? Of course, you have. We all have.
I don’t want to burst your bubbles or depress you any more than you may already be. But, your ship will probably never come in. The day for which you wait will most likely never come. You will never cease to be busy and in all likelihood, you will never get to enjoy your life in the way you envision.
We have been conditioned by society, culture and the day-to-day demands of life to give up our dreams and focus on the practicalities of the here and now. We are taught to accept our current situations and to defer our personal desires and being happy until some mythical future date. We learn to repress our feelings, our goals, our passions and live the life that fate has dealt us. Then, before we know it, we are old and time has passed us by. The ship never came in, the day never arrived and we failed to enjoy our lives.
The key to true happiness and unbelievable success is very simple.
Do not wait to feel good or be happy. Do it now. Do it every day. Do it with a full and open heart and live the life you want to live now.
This may sound much easier than it is to achieve. However, in reality, it is not that hard to do. It only requires a shift in our perspective, a transformation in our outlook.
And the first step is to smile.
Have you ever tried to be angry, sad or upset about something and smile? You can’t! You feel instantly better.
Try it for yourself. Stop what you’re doing, close your eyes and smile for the next sixty seconds, then come back.
Don’t you feel a little better? It is a scientifically proven fact that “smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate, a well-regarded pleasure-inducer, cannot match.”
Smiling is a kind of feedback loop for the brain’s happiness response. When you feel happy and good, the brain tells the face to smile. Conversely, when you smile, it signals the brain to make you feel better, and you do.
The trick is it has to be a real smile. Well, what is the difference between a real smile and a fake one? A fake smile is made with only moving the muscles that control the corner of the mouth. You can do this now. Just turn them up and fake a smile. You don’t get the change in feeling.
Now, really smile. Turn up the corners of your mouth, but also move the muscles around your eyes, so that the corners of your eyes also turn up. It is a small, but significant change. Just think about how you really move when you really smile and do that.
The Second Step, and the more difficult one, is to change how we think. Don’t dwell on negative feelings and emotions. If something bad happens, think about how fortunate you are that it wasn’t worse. Maybe you learned something beneficial. If you are waiting for something to happen that may “change your life”, instead of waiting for it, think about how great you will feel when it has already happened. Embrace that feeling and feel thankful and happy for having received it.
It comes down to changing our perspective. We need to understand that we are ultimately in control of and the cause of our feelings. We always try to blame other people, situations and things for “making us” feel a certain way, but in reality, they are only influencers. We, being controlled by our egos, create the negative feelings when we feel a perceived shortcoming in our personal wants and desires.
I want to be on time even though I procrastinated to leave the house and forgot to put gas in the car yesterday. So, when a slow driver gets in front of us, we become angry at them for “making us” late. We perceive that the other person is the cause of our being late, denying our “want”, and we make them the focus of our anger. When in reality, we probably would have been late anyway.
So here are some tricks you can try when you are not happy or not feeling good. They may not always work for you, but you can try them.
Understand that your thoughts are the most important cause of your feelings. If you don’t feel good, you’re thinking the wrong thing. Change what your thinking and you’ll feel better. Ask yourself: 1) what is it I’m thinking? 2) how does that make me feel? 3) why do I feel that way and 4) how would I feel if I didn’t think that way?
Have empathy for the other people who you perceive to have caused the situation. I call the this the Excuse Game. Come up with 5 excuses for the situation that is causing you to not be happy. However, they’re not excuses for you. You never create excuses for yourself. You come up with 5 excuses for why the other person or people did what they did that you believe made you feel bad.
For example, say someone cuts you off for a parking space that you had been waiting for. “Maybe they are security for the place and got a call they were being robbed. Maybe he had a really bad day and needs to express his anger by cutting me off. Maybe he didn’t see me. Maybe he’s a foreigner and in his country, it is ok to do that.”
Another thing you can do is play what I call the “Could Be Worse” game. Come up with a bunch of ideas for how the situation that is causing you to not be happy could be worse. Say them out loud. For example “It could be worse if the slow driver had hit me.” “It could be worse if I drove into oncoming traffic trying to pass her.” “It could be worse my battery died when I tried to start my car this morning.”
Then, turn them around into statements of gratitude. Say, “I’m thankful that” and then restate the could-be-worse sentence. For example, “I’m thankful that the slow driver didn’t hit me.”
Another trick is to create two lists. In one, list out the things about the situation that you can control. In the other, list out the things that you cannot control. Then, try to focus on the things you can control and let go the things you can’t.
One last technique that really can work miracles is called “tapping”. I’ll do an article just on this topic soon. Until then google “tapping”, “eft” or “tft” to learn more about it.
As I said at the beginning, it is important that we stop waiting for things to improve or for situations to change in order for us to feel better. But, how do you feel good when your dreams have not come true or you’re in a shitty job with no pay and you see no end in sight? Well, for one thing, our happiness should never be tied to some future goal. Your happiness is your birthright.
The Universe wants you to be happy, or maybe a better way of saying it is that being happy is the natural state of our existence. All you need to do to be happy is open up to the flow of the Universal Light. When we are not happy, it is because WE CHOOSE not to be. We put blocks in the way of the free-flowing of the Universal Light inside of us. These blocks can be physical, emotional or mental.
We will talk at length in a future article on manifesting our dreams, but for now, suffice it to say that if you live your life, feeling what you would feel if your dreams had already come true, you will feel happy and your dreams will come true much faster.
May the Universal Light bring you pure love and pure happiness.