As we begin this blog series together, let’s start with the BIG WHY (yours and mine).
First a what.
People ask me what I do.
“I help relieve unnecessary suffering.”
I get a strange look.
Now do you mind if we talk frankly here?
… even personally?
Let me guess… Life is harder for you than it has to be. Everyday you endure some terrible burdens, but somehow you’ve grown to accept that that’s just the way life is. I call that unnecessary suffering. Let me explain.
Here’s a story.
Years ago I went on a filming expedition to Mongolia and watched visiting American doctors remove cataracts that had built up in people’s eyes causing blindness. It was amazing. After a simple surgery people went from being blind to having their sight restored in a single day.
But it begged the question — why should they suffer unnecessarily if a simple procedure could prevent or restore their full sight?
— Oh, yeah. Because they were poor and didn’t have access to the doctors and the medical training.
Still, can you imagine being blind unnecessarily? Having cataracts build up slowly over the years until you finally couldn’t see clearly or at all?
In a way, this has happened to you. You’ve been conditioned by society, by negative experiences, by failures, by doubt, fear, regret, and discouragement.
And since it’s been so gradual, you probably didn’t even realize these limiting beliefs were creeping in. You’ve come to accept the fact that this is just how life is — and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Pain is physical and only lasts for a short time. Suffering is mental and can last a lifetime.
So how much are you suffering?
Let me ask you, do you complain about how things don’t seem to go your way?
— The habit of complaining is a sure sign you’re not seeing things clearly.
Do you whine about your setbacks and challenges?
Do you feel angry or frustrated or fearful or discouraged?
Do you endure the physical consequences of stress, anxiety and worry?
Are your relationships feeling strained or dull and unfulfilling?
Are there people who bug you that you constantly try to avoid?
Are there things that are just out of reach that you believe will somehow magically “make” you happy?
If so, you’ve got psychological cataracts on your thinking.
It’s OK. I had them too.
In fact, that’s why I’m here.
When I learned that happiness was a skill I was able to remove my mental cataracts.
I was able to see clearly. I became more awake. More alive and more aware.
This is what can happen for you.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t have challenges and setbacks, but it certainly means the way you think about them will change.
Imagine if you were to approach life like the happiest, most optimistic person you know. Yeah, that’s a much easier way to live.
Picture in your mind what it would be like to wake up early in the morning excited for what the day might bring, then retire at night satisfied about what you were able to accomplish.
Can you see how different life can be if you were to actively trigger a sense of awe? Or if you were to deliberately stop and savor what was going right in your life? or if you were to feel valued and important in other people’s lives?
Feels good, right?
But, honestly, most people will continue living with their psychological cataracts.
Because as Oscar Wilde once said, “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist that is all.”
I hope you’re not like most people.
I hope you believe you’re capable of more and that you want to experience the fullness of life.
Yes, happiness is a skill. And the key to improving it is repetition. Repetition. Repetition.
Throughout this series I will share many tips, techniques, and strategies for living a purpose-filled life.
Because we both know you’re capable of more.
Click here to download the Expect Good Things to Happen workbook.
I have one purpose only. To inspire you to consistently spend ten minutes each day in deliberate mental focus, then intentionally participate in a growth stretching activity. Do this and you will change your life.