10 Sep 2016

Anger Paradox - Heart & Brain

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Happiness Tool 5 - Entitlement

Entitlement is the idea that someone owes you something. 

My parents should support me, 
The government should give me money,
My employer should give me a good raise every year, 
My spouse should make me happy.
Notice all the “should”s?

The fact is, the world doesn’t owe you a living, 

And you’ll feel better about yourself if you make your own instead. 

There’s much more satisfaction in that.

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4 Sep 2016

Happiness Tool 5 - Victimisation


Have you been wronged? Has something that happened to you kept you from doing what you 
want to do, or living the life you want? If so, I’m truly sorry to hear that. I wish the world was the sort of place where things like that didn’t happen.

The good news is, you have the power to turn this situation around. Whatever happened, no
matter how bad it was, it doesn’t have to define your life. It could be your whole story, or it could be just an experience from the past that you’ve overcome, one of many things that have made you stronger. Only you can choose, and you do have a choice. You can keep holding onto it, or you can let it go. It is standing between you and happiness. Even if something unspeakably horrible has
happened to you, you can still rise above it. Rape victims, children sold into slavery, people who have been blinded or crippled, even Holocaust survivors have managed to overcome the atrocities committed on them and go on to live positive lives. Consider this quote from Man’s Search for
Meaning, a book by Viktor Frankl about how he and others survived the Holocaust and rose
above their time in the concentration camps:

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but
they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own

In life’s worst circumstances, these people didn’t let anyone make them victims. You don’t have to either. Starting now, choose to define yourself in a new way, not by what other people do to you or have done in the past, but by what you do. Exercise your freedom to choose your own way

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3 Sep 2016

Happiness Tool 5: Responsibility


  1. 1.
    the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.
    "women bear children and take responsibility for childcare"
    "we train those staff who show an aptitude for managerial responsibility"
  2. 2.
    the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.
    "the group has claimed responsibility for a string of murders"
    synonyms:blamefaultguiltculpability, blameworthiness, liability
    "the organization denied responsibility for the bomb attack at the airport"

In order to be happy, we have to take our lives in our own hands. We have to take responsibility for our own happiness, and ultimately, our own destinies. That sounds both obvious and impossible, but in reality, a very small number of people do it. You can be one of them.

It means choosing your present over your past, and your power over the power of anyone else or anything that’s ever happened to you. That isn’t always easy, and many people never
do it for the simple reason that it would change everything. If you, and you alone, control what
your life will be from now on, that means you have to act to make it what you want, or accept that you’re choosing your current situation voluntarily. A lot of people are too afraid to ever face that, but it is reality.

If you’re stuck and want to get unstuck, there are four main ways people give up control of
their lives: 


You need to eliminate these from your life in order to be happy.

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2 Sep 2016

Happiness Tool 4 - Being Nice To yourself Part 2

For years I had been my own worst enemy, getting myself into all kinds of stupid situations
and causing trouble for myself, and then piling it on by being my own harshest critic and judge. That night, I started being my own best friend instead. It takes a little practice, but it’s not that hard, and it really works. Remember, the first step is recognizing when you’re getting into a bogus thought pattern. If you start feeling upset or thinking everything is terrible, awful, never, or always, that’s an indicator that you’re making yourself upset. That’s right, it’s not events or other people that make you upset, it’s your beliefs about what’s going on and your reactions to them. Of course we’d rather good things happen, but how you react when anything happens is up to you.

Your feelings come from your thoughts, and we’ve just seen that your thoughts are not always right. When your thoughts are causing you to freak out, you need to change them. Once you recognize that you’re in a bogus thought pattern, study and dispute it. Ask yourself what thoughts are behind what you’re feeling. Then look at each one. Is it true? Do you have proof? How does it make you feel? Is
there another interpretation for the situation that’s equally true but not upsetting?my case, it’s often one copy of my voice in my head (Critical Me) attacking another copy (Weak Me): “You never do anything right. Why are you even trying? You’ll fail at this, just like you’ve failed at tons of other things, and everyone will know! You’ll be a laughing stock!”

I’ve found the quickest way to defuse that is to have a third copy of my voice (Advocate Me) stand up to Critical Me, just like I would stand up to someone who was bullying my friend: “Hey, [me] has done plenty of things right! You can’t expect to do things perfectly on the first try, but failing is good—it’s part of learning, and it’s not permanent unless you quit. Maybe there are some mean people who would laugh if this ends poorly, but probably not, and who cares about them even if they do exist? [Me] is an all right sort who’s doing the best she can,
so lay off.”

It sounds ridiculous and crazy, but I’ve found it very effective. In fact, I hardly ever even need to do it any more. That’s partly because my life has settled down quite a bit, but mostly, I just don’t think such harsh things about myself any more. By standing up to Critical Me and disputing her thoughts, I’ve retrained myself to be more accurate and more pleasant in my thoughts. I highly recommend this—my head is a much nicer place to be as a result

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1 Sep 2016

Happiness Tool 4 - Being Nice to Yourself Part 1

Have you ever said “I’m my own worst enemy”? Many of us are, but we don’t have to
be. By changing what you think, you can be your own best friend instead. Wouldn’t that be
nice, to have the one person who is always with you helping and supporting you instead of
hurting you and making things worse? You can be your own best friend. Think about what’s great about best friends, and be that way to yourself.

Be gentle with yourself. Listen to what you say to yourself ( I call this mental chatter, try to keep it positive) , and if you wouldn’t stand by and let someone say those things to a close friend of yours, don’t stand by while you say them to yourself, either. Think about what you would say to defend your friend, and say it in your own defense instead.
I realize that now you’re not only talking to yourself, you’re arguing with yourself, but bear with me. If you’re already talking to yourself, there are at least two of you in your head. Introducing an extra won’t hurt, and may bring you to a pleasant majority!
For example, I used to beat myself up a lot. The first time I tried this, I had just had an ugly conversation with a person who has a long history of being very compelling to me but not very nice. He said some well-targeted things to push my buttons. I ended the conversation promptly and signed off, but I was still upset, and I caught myself thinking “What an asshole he is! I can’t believe I’ve wasted all this time loving him! I’m so stupid! How humiliating!”
Normally, I would just go on and on this way, but for the first time, I stopped and listened to
what I had said. “Wait a minute,” I thought, “that doesn’t even make sense. How does his being a jerk make me stupid? At worst, I was naïve and unrealistically hopeful—is that really so
horrible? I acted with love and the best of intentions, and I did nothing wrong. The fact is, I’m going through a pretty hard time and doing the best I can, and I don’t need or deserve this kind of harsh judgment.”
Hearing these things, even though it was just myself saying them in my head, really helped.
It was like a cloud lifted. What the other person said still hurt, but I no longer felt devastated, humiliated, or miserable; more like “gee, that’s too bad.”

Part 2 of Being Nice to Yourself Tomorrow

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Hello September

27 Aug 2016

Happiness Tool 3 - Defeating Faulty Thinking Part 3

6. Every problem has a perfect solution. Only that solution will do, and you must find it as
quickly as possible. Most problems have many possible solutions that will work. If you insist that only the perfect one will do, you may spend so much time trying to find it that you can’t get started. Meanwhile, the more time passes, the more tempting it is to freak out that the problem isn’t solved. It’s much more effective to pick a solution and start working toward it. If it turns out there is a better solution, consider switching to it (but make sure the switch doesn’t cost more than you gain with the better solution). Certainly think things through before jumping in, but don’t spend so much time analyzing that you never actually get started. What you decide is rarely a permanent commitment—you can change your mind later if it doesn’t work out. It’s better to pick one of the many things that will work and get started than to stay paralyzed in your search for the perfect way, or even the best way. A good way is good enough.

7. It is easier to avoid difficult situations and responsibilities than to face them. This one is insidious because in the short term, it does feel easier to avoid these things. But over time, the dread associated with these things grows, and the tension of the disconnect between reality and your actions will make you miserable. By avoiding these situations, you’re basically pretending they’re not there. The bad news and the good news is that reality always wins. Stay away from denial, delusions, pretending, avoiding, or anything that causes a disconnect with reality if you want to be happy.

8. You can protect yourself from getting hurt by never caring too deeply or investing yourself too much in any pursuit. So many of us try to stay safe by staying detached. We shoot down ideas because they sound too good to be true, and we don’t want to be fooled or taken advantage of. We don’t try as hard as we could because then if we fall short, we can always excuse it as not having been our best effort. We don’t open up to others for fear of being vulnerable and getting hurt. This used to be one of my prime directives, and it was extremely scary to try doing things the other way. Admit that I liked that corny movie? People will know I’m not cool! Try something I’m not good at? People might see me fail! Let people see the real me, warts and all? They won’t like me! I used to work very hard to keep people from seeing anything but the perfect veneer I presented to them... and then get upset that nobody understood me. If this sounds familiar, I can tell you from experience, because I’ve tried it both ways: be real. You may think you’re protecting yourself by staying detached, but actually, you still get plenty hurt that way, and you keep yourself from fully living. You can’t change the world by shooting down other people’s ideas. You can’t do something great if you never risk screwing up or letting other people see you being less than perfect. You can’t have a truly intimate relationship if you never let another person see the real you, all of you, raw and unvarnished. By staying detached, you keep yourself from ever fully living.
9. Your past determines your life now and forever. Nope. Your experiences have shaped who you are, but they only determine your life if you let them define you forever. Don’t be a victim, and don’t stay mired in your past. Don’t use it as an excuse not to be great now. You can’t change what happened to you, but you can refuse to give it the power to rule you now.

10. Bad people and things shouldn’t exist, so if hey do, you have to get upset about them. There’s that “should” again. Bad people and things do exist. The world is not perfect. People hurt each other, natural disasters and calamities occur, lamentable things happen. But you don’t have to get upset about them. It’s hard not to sometimes, but getting upset doesn’t help anything, so why put yourself through that?

Also, how many times has something happened that wasn’t what you were hoping for at all, but looking back, you can see that it all worked out to your advantage? It may help to remind yourself of those times and consider that your current situation may turn out the same in the long run.

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