Asking the Right Questions

    I am struck by the elegance of the four questions that
    William Glasser, the author of Reality Therapy, posed way
    back in 1965 to anyone seriously wanting to create a
    happier life:

  • What do you want?
  • What are you doing to get it?
  • Is it working?
  • What else could you do?

    These four basic questions challenge us to stop waiting
    passively for happiness to just happen to us and to start
    doing something actively to make it happen.  They have
    led me to develop my own three-step process for helping
    my clients and myself to create happier lives:

  • Knowing Where to Start
  • Understanding What Gets in the Way
  • Overcoming the Barriers to Success

    Knowing Where to Start

    You must develop and be consciously aware of your own
    personal view of life.  The following are the results of my
    own study and experience:

    Rights & Privileges of a Human Being

  • You are valuable, lovable, and capable; the sole
    occupant of your body and mind; separate from,
    yet in some mysterious way, connected to the
    whole world; and you have as much right to be here
    as anyone else.
  • You may run your life at whatever speed you
    choose and make pit-stops as often as you need to.
  • Your goal in life and the purpose for being is to
    create your personal happiness.

    The Journey of Life

  • The Road to Happiness is marked by the twin
    guide posts of Creativity and Love.  Creativity adds
    zest to life.  Loves adds meaning.  Personal
    Responsibility and Mutual Support help them to
    flourish.
  • Life is not a series of isolated milestones.  It is a
    dynamic process of learning and doing, and it is, by
    its very nature, filled with all kinds of crises.
  • All crises contain elements of both danger and
    opportunity.  Your happiness depends on how well
    you learn how to identify and minimize the danger
    in each crisis and to identify and maximize the
    opportunity that each crisis also presents to you.

    Balance of Oppositions

  • You must take the time and energy to gain
    knowledge about yourself and about others.
Creating a Happier Life!

  • You must take actions to meet your own needs
    and the needs of others.
  • You must learn how to balance the need for learn
    how to balance the resources that you spend on
    yourself and on others.

    Three Special Qualities

  • 'Awareness allows you to learn from your
    experiences and the experiences of others.
  • Wisdom allows you to plan for the future.
  • Courage allows you to take the actions that you
    need to take in the present.

    What Gets in the Way

    Fear, Doubt, and Guilt.  These roadblocks are especially
    troublesome when they have their roots in our early
    childhood development.
  • Self-Defeating Habits.  You just keep doing the
    same thing over and over again even though your
    actions do not bring the results you want.
  • The Myth of Independence.  One of the biggest
    paradoxes is that while we are certainly alone in
    our bodies, we cannot create a happy life for
    ourselves without the help of others.

    Overcoming the Barriers

    This involves changing your behavior patterns, and
    meaningful change takes time.  It also takes motivation,
    imagination power, and will power.

  • Pain, as a  motivator, will get your attention and
    start you looking around for ways to get relief, but
    it is not enough.  
  • Only a Pleasure motivator, something special that
    you really want, can carry you through the
    demanding process of change.
  • Imagination power gives you the ability to create
    your dream, what your life will be.
  • Will power helps you to use the basic human skill
    of Trial & Error Experimentation.

    Doing It!  Talk is cheap.  To make your dream of a
    happier life come true you must:

  • Commit yourself to it;
  • Learn how to laugh at life's little jokes;
  • Be gentle with yourself when you falter;
  • Give yourself time to rest and recover; and
  • Have faith in the process of life.

    Baby-Stepping is the key.  Put a small part of a new
    behavior into practice.  Get use to it.  Celebrate it. And,
    then, add another little piece.
Reference:
Strive to be Happy! by Frank Losik.  
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