3 Steps to True Happiness; The Next Frontier of Success

Successful people realize that success does not bring happiness. Happiness is the next journey for most successful people. Early on, most top performers equate that success will fill the void within them and show the world that they are valuable. Sorry to say, it doesn’t happen. Happiness takes a different set of skills, disciplines, systems and procedures.

Here are the first three steps to getting on the path of true happiness:

Step One: You must see the mind, which I call The Drunk Monkey, for what it really is. The Drunk Monkey, all that talking in your head, is just biology. It’s energy moving through fields of neurons in your brain. It’s job is the same as all the other cells in your body… Keep you alive longer!

Here’s the big problem; you are not in a dangerous situation. If you are reading this article, you are seeking happiness. People seeking happiness are not trying to survive. Yet, I would be willing to bet, you feel emotions like frustration, anger, doubt and fear pretty frequently. Those emotions are chemicals used by the brain to move you away from danger. Hello! Your life is not dangerous and yet, you let The Drunk Monkey trick you into thinking that it is. Awareness is a skill that must be developed if happiness is your goal.

Step Two: With awareness comes flexibility. Being flexible means you start to use some discernment. You no longer take The Drunk Monkey’s statements about reality as truth. You start to see that the talking in your head is just one particular point of view. As soon as you see that the thoughts in your head are not “the truth,” you become more flexible. When you are more flexible, you are less reactive. To be less reactive gives you more choices. More choices represent more power over the situation. In other words, awareness makes you flexible, which makes new options available and those options give you power. Empowerment is one of the ten forms of happiness.

Step Three: Practice accepting things as they are. This is a discipline. It’s the exact opposite of your normal mental functioning. When you pay attention to The Drunk Monkey, you see that it has an opinion on everything; including things it knows nothing about. The Drunk Monkey says, “He shouldn’t be that way!” or “This is not right!” To create true happiness, you must recognize that these are just opinions. Even more important, is to realize that opinions are the source of your suffering. Life is just “life-ing” along and your opinion about it won’t change it. To accept the situation as it is, gives you the emotional well being you need to focus on what really matters to you. To allow The Drunk Monkey to ramble endlessly about how things should be different, is a waste of time and energy. Ultimately it degrades your experience of life.

There are ten forms of happiness and each will lead you to a life of ridiculous bliss. Start practicing the three steps today and you will notice an immediate difference.

How To Be Grateful

Everyone says gratitude is the key to happiness and after coaching more than 8000 people to achieve happiness and success, I believe they are right. But how do you actually achieve gratitude? Have you ever noticed that your mind, which I call The Drunk Monkey isn’t normally grateful? In fact, have you noticed that being grateful isn’t as easy as people make it sound? In this article we will explore why it is hard to be grateful and how to actually be grateful.

Why is Gratitude Hard to Achieve?

Gratitude is difficult to achieve because The Drunk Monkey isn’t particularly interested in what you are happy about. As you pay attention to The Drunk Monkey in your head, you will notice that is concerned with safety, getting ahead and routine matters. The mind is just biology. It is just energy moving through fields of neurons in your brain. It’s job is to assist this giant colony of cells, which you call your body, to stay alive and propagate.

Today, as you start paying attend to The Drunk Monkey in your head, it will be easy to see The Drunk Monkey does not spend time appreciating and enjoying. It’s to busy keeping you safe, organizing the future, analyzing the past, making assumptions about what will happen next and planning to do something about it. Since gratitude is not about anticipating potential problems and avoiding it, gratitude is not a normal process for The Drunk Monkey.

How to Achieve Gratitude

To achieve gratitude you must recognize your habitual mental states and go beyond them.

How Happy People Deal with Anger

As an Inspired Action life coach, I support people with the process of transmuting their anger and moving back towards being happy, positive, fulfilled, and satisfied. This is not always easy to do, but many successfully happy people have created strategies that assist them in moving out of the anger and back to happiness again. Here are three of those strategies.

1. Change the context – One of the most successful methods for moving out of anger and back to happiness again is to change the context of the situation. Change the meaning that you have given this situation that makes you angry.

This is not easy to do because you naturally default to the automatic meaning you have been conditioned to attach to things. Like a dog, each of us was domesticated by the people who raised us to view the world in a particular way. With practice you will begin to see that no such world exists. The world you see is defined by the context you view it in. Happy people understand this and practice stepping back and looking at the situation from other people’s shoes.

Try it today. Look at whatever is upsetting you from different angles, from different points of view. How would the Pope see it? How would a street person see it? How would a starving child in Africa see it? Keep changing the point of view until the anger begins to dissipate.

You will notice, with practice, you can very, very quickly get yourself right out of the emotional fury that occurs from the ‘one perspective’ you are conditioned to have.

2. Recognize The Drunk Monkey and its antics. Anger is just your body’s response to potential danger. Yet, think about how often you get angry, frustrated, upset, and hostile in situations that are not actually dangerous.

We have, in our society, created a very effective survival strategy. If you live in a first world country, the odds of you being in serious danger are very, very small. Yet, we still have this animal part of our brain, which I like to call The Drunk Monkey, which is looking out for danger and avoiding it.

When you get angry, consider the idea that you are The Drunk Monkey’s puppet. See the strings as anger, frustration, anxiety, fear or doubt. Visualize The Drunk Monkey pulling the strings to steer you away from danger. Notice that it does this without your permission. Realize that The Drunk Monkey is a bit dim witted and can’t tell the difference between real danger and imaginary danger. Once you begin to see that happening and observe it, suddenly it doesn’t have a grip on you any longer and you can move right out of the anger back into happiness, by conscious choice.

3. Choose gratitude. Happy people have developed habits, rituals and disciplines that keep them happy. One of those disciplines is asking effective questions.

Happy people have the discipline to be in a hostile, angry situation and suddenly ask themselves a question such as “Why is this good?” “What am I learning from this?” “How will I be a better person because of this?” “How will this situation benefit me?”

By moving from a position of “I’m powerless and I’m going to get hurt or am in danger,” the happy person shifts the context through questioning, back to a place where they feel gratitude. “How is this going to benefit me?” By taking on these techniques, you will find that you can very quickly move yourself from anger back to happiness again.

5 Reasons Massive Success Will NOT Make You Happy

If you are already successful, then you know that success does not create happiness. In fact, success often creates the exact opposite. Success is often defined as a series of well-managed breakdowns. The more you succeed, the more there is to manage, the more goes wrong and the less time you have for yourself. Look at the landscape of superstars and notice how many self-destruct under the pressure of their success. Often, the more successful you get, the worse your life gets. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

As a life coach to the biggest players in the world, business, entertainment, sports and politics, I have found that there are five reasons success will not make you happy:

1. Happiness is a point of view and not a set of circumstances. Most of my Clients have achieved extraordinary success in their area of expertise and yet they come to me unhappy and wondering when life is finally going to work out. Nothing outside of yourself will make you happy. Only a change in your perspective will make you happy.

2. The mind, which I call “The Drunk Monkey,” is not designed for happiness. The Drunk Monkey, all that talking in your head, is just a part of your biology. You are genetically programmed to survive. The problem for successful people, is that they are not in survival situations. Yet, The Drunk Monkey is focusing its attention on the potentially negative situations in order to avoid it. Put another way, 1000’s of things are going right and the crazy Drunk Monkey focuses all it’s mind power on the 2 things that are going wrong.

3. Success in business, entertainment, athletics or politics does not mean that you are good at everything else. Many of my clients focus all of their attention on the one area they are superstars, because they can derive external pleasure from it. This is often masking the internal pain of being ineffective in relationships, health, mindset, finances, their social life, recreation and being a contributor to society. Happiness occurs naturally when you bring everything into balance.

4. The drive to succeed is often fueled by its opposite. Most people achieve success and then are disappointed to discover it does not resolve the internal feeling of not being enough or not fitting in. Happiness is the next level of success for most people. It takes realizing, that years ago, you accepted false conclusions about yourself as correct and began to live your life as if these misperceptions were true. Now, no matter how much you succeed you never feel like you have made it.

5. To be a big player in the world, is a different skill set than being truly happy with every aspect of your life.

6. True happiness is the next frontier of success for most big players. To achieve it, will take an entirely new set of skills, disciplines, systems and procedures. Many mountains will need be climbed, but in the end, it’s the only journey worth taking.

Four More Ways to Kill Your Happiness

  1. Having hidden motives. Tactics like pretending to be something you are not or pretending to like something you don’t, may cause you to win in the short term, but always fails to satisfy your need for well being long term. In order to maintain your ruse, you must keep your true self hidden. When you don’t have anything to hide, you have greater freedom. Freedom always leads to happiness.
  2. Not trusting people. The world is a mirror. But what does that mean? Very simply put, it means that you don’t see people for who they are, you see them for who you are. You filter people’s characteristics and traits through your personal view of the world. If you don’t trust others, you probably don’t trust yourself either. Not trusting yourself or others will diminish your experience of life and reduce your happiness.
  3. Gossiping and criticizing others. What you do not like in other people is simply characteristics and behaviors that you are unwilling to accept about yourself. To hijack a phrase made popular by the Dalai Lama, gossiping and criticizing is like picking up a hot coal to throw it at another. Putting others down does not make you better. It only secretly emphasizes those aspects of yourself that you don’t like.
  4. Being too darn serious. When you take life too seriously, you miss the beauty, majesty and comedy of life. Life is what you make it. If you focus on the melodrama of life, then you won’t be a very happy person.

Feeling Negative Emotions Is Optional, Part I

Negative emotions like frustration, unhappiness, and anger are a part of life. They are often thought of as bad or wrong. Yet, these emotions are not bad, they are survival mechanisms. Here’s the million-dollar question: Are you committed to just “surviving” this life with minimal enjoyment and satisfaction?

How much more exciting would life be for you if you didn’t get worried, upset, or angry?

How much more pleasurable would situations be if you were feeling good?

Being interested in this subject means your emotions have not been serving you. You’ve probably observed yourself getting upset, frustrated, and angry at inappropriate times. You know life will be significantly better when you eliminate mental suffering. Yet, how on earth do you get rid of these negative emotions? People report, “I feel like my emotions control me, not like I can control my emotions.”

When I tell my clients that negative emotions are optional, many of them tell me that I’m crazy. “I can’t live like an ostrich with my head in the sand!” they say. And they’re right! Ignoring your problems makes no sense at all. Especially when we are having a conversation about being empowered and living life to the fullest!

Metaphorically speaking, when you are at the top of the food chain, you are really living. Think about the lion versus the gazelle. The lion’s strength gives it a different perspective than the gazelle. The lion has no natural enemies, lives a life of relative leisure, and picks it’s meals. The gazelle must stay alert and ready for danger. If you are feeling negative emotions on a regular basis, you’ve been fooled into believing that you are a gazelle and not a lion. And yet, I know you’ve had “lion-like” experiences. For example, when you are living without fear, tough situations seem easier to resolve. When you are feeling calm and at peace, situations don’t get you frustrated. When you know that “All is well” and “You are not in danger,” there is no anxiety. If you haven’t lived it, you’ve seen it in others.

To be attracted to this subject is an indicator that you’ve sensed that something isn’t right in your world. You’ve become aware of your own dysfunction and now you are looking to do something about it. But there is Good News, my friend! Fate has served you well. I’ve spent my entire adult life assisting myself and then others in eliminating the fears, anxieties, and suffering that stop people from living full out…Full Blast…No Holds Barred!

In fact, as you read further, you will discover that you are in a position of power! Right now, you possess the ability to eliminate negativity and start living a delicious and satisfying life! You are in a position to have your life be exactly the way you want it to be. There is only one hurdle that stands between you and an extraordinary life. You’ve been pretending that you are the victim of your circumstances. Try that one on for size.

Most people resist that one. It’s okay, resist while you continue reading.

There are two people sitting in an air-conditioned waiting room. They are seated next to each other, on a coach, directly under the air-conditioning vent. As the cold air blows down on them, the person on the left is clearly uncomfortable, while the one the right is smiling. What’s the difference between these two people? How can one be miserable and one be happy as they’re having the exact same experience? It’s their focus. The uncomfortable person is staring directly at the vent wishing it would stop blowing. The other is imagining a hot sunny beach with a cooling breeze. Is either person right or wrong? No. They are just focused on completely different things and therefore having totally different experiences. The question is, “Which experience would you rather have?”

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