Change – Change to a Happier You

I am always humored when I hear people say things to the effect, “I’m not going to change, I like being the way I am,” or “It’s not going to change me.” News Bulletin: Change occurs, you don’t have a choice in the matter. The only say you have in the matter is in which direction do you wish to change. You basically have three choices:

  • Direct my change to where I want to go
  • Change how others want me to be
  • Happenstance – just drift around going wherever the currents take you

Change Happens

For those who have their heels dug in refusing to submit to change, I suggest you go back and take a look at some photos of yourself, family and friends (people you see on a regular basis) that are five, ten years old. This is really a good exercise for us all to do from time to time. Change is often so slight, so incremental that it goes totally unnoticed.

When we start embracing the change that is naturally occurring in our lives on a daily basis, we can then begin to manage it, lest I say actually control it – well at least in part. There will always be things in our life that are beyond our control.

Use this Technique

Same tree 15 years later

Same tree, fifteen years later

Remember doing fractions in school? Reducing everything down to its ‘least common denominator”? This is also a major philosophy employed in problem solving. Strip away all the minutia, all the distractions surrounding the issue, and get down to the core of the problem.

Now let’s try to apply this technique to change in our lives. Let’s reduce it down to its least common denominator. Change occurs daily (actually by the minute and by the second, but we won’t go there!) For this exercise, I am also assuming you have chosen the first bullet from the list above and want to direct the change in your life, for this is the only way to a happier you.

We must first strip away everything down to the least common denominator. And in the case of change, since it occurs daily, it only makes sense that we consider only the changes of today – this day.

How might this look in our lives?

  • I need to eat healthy today
  • I need to exercise today
  • I need to put a little money into savings today
  • I need to call an old friend today
  • I need to ………………………. today

Does this seem ridiculously simplistic?  Maybe, I also understand that you may say this works with some things but not all things. But remember, problem solving techniques work on all types of problems. Whether its math, what to wear or changing a hairstyle, even a job,  problem solving is a logical sequence of procedures to, well, solve a problem. No matter the problem, it always works.

Putting it to work

Let me put in context from the list above. Today “I am going to exercise and eat healthier.” Doesn’t that sound much easier and more doable then, “I have to lose ten pounds this month”? I get started, I’ve made the commitment to do this diet and jog every day. I will do this by diet and jogging every day.

Day one I sprain my knee. So much for that plan. What next? Change to a new plan!

To incorporate the Don’t Be A Cow!lifestyle into your life, you must learn to embrace and direct the change in your life on a day-to-day basis.

Because remember:

  • “Today is all you have, yesterday is gone, and tomorrow never comes!”

Soulful Quote:“We are the change we seek” President Barack Obama

Song:(From Day 28 – Don’t Be A Cow!)Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitude. Jimmy Buffett

Game Exercise/Life Changer:Look back at some old photographs, take one or several with you today so you can look at them throughout the day. Make a mental note: “I have changed.” Then give yourself one little thing to change for only today.

*An exercise guaranteed to help you live a happier life!!

Don’t Be A Cow!Be You, Be Happy!

Self-Awareness | Keys to Happiness

Lately, I’ve seen a good number of articles floating through email pertaining to self-awareness.

And of particular interest to me are the articles correlating self-awareness to happiness. As I scan these articles, it’s not the particulars of each one that stands out, nor is it the commonality or the stark contrast that stands out. What stands out to me, is how we humans have the remarkable ability to make the complex out of the simple.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to put anyone down. These articles share good insight, and the supporting research provides validity to the simple-minded such as myself. We even posted one such article on our “insights to happiness” blog on dontbeacow.com. I just feel that too often this type of article overthinks things.

Let me demonstrate my simple-minded approach to correlating self-awareness and happiness:

First of all, let’s break it down into the individual components:

  • Self – One’s own being, consisting of the mind, the body and the soul (or spirit if you prefer)
  • Awareness – Understanding that the soul is the only one of the three that you control 100% of the time, and you certainly can’t control anything beyond the self
    • The Mind – It gets too much influence and commentary from outside sources to be controllable. Plus, the mind likes to do things like make simple things complex to make itself feel smarter;
    • The Body – It can become sick or injured from outside sources far beyond our control;
    • The Soul – It is always beautiful if, like cream, we allow it to rise to the top;
  • Happiness – When you live your life always remembering and being self-aware (yes it requires practice but that’s okay). i.e. stop trying to control things outside of your control.

Now, a few examples:

  • First day of vacation, the body gets a virus. The mind is angry about wasting valuable time off, the soul relishes in the much-needed rest.
  • A beautiful Saturday morning with a final exam on Monday. The mind is anxious because students from the semester before say how hard the final is; the body is worn from a semester of long study especially the past week; the soul understands you know the material front ways and back, and longs to spend the beautiful day with friends and understands the break from study will actually help the brain at test time.
  • The mind worries about tomorrow, a week from now and retirement. The body wears from the worries of the mind, the soul understands that tomorrow never, ever comes no matter how hard we plan; therefore, the soul relishes in the moment!

Finally: How to Get Started

Self awareness Image of a frog made of bronze meditating near a body of water.

  • Meditate daily.It is the only way to shut out the noises of the mind and body. This also takes practice, but be persistent. As with anything, start small; 3 to 5 minutes at a time. The soul will provide step-by-step instructions tailor-made just for you.
  • Believe, believe, believe. Never stop believing!

The cream that rises to the top from within is what we like to call Happiness!

And to get on the path to Happiness, pick up a copy of “Don’t Be a Cow!” my interactive guide to true happiness today!