Imagine this: You wake up in the morning with your blood singing at the thought of being who you are and doing what you do. As you go through the day you come radiantly alive with a deep sense of purpose. There are many times when you feel like sinking to your knees in involuntary gratitude at the tremendous good fortune that has been bestowed on you. You know that you are doing exactly what you were set on earth to do and each day is joyous beyond measure.

Does this describe your situation?

If it does not, can you clearly see that you are getting closer to it each week, each month, each year?

If your answer is “No”, I humbly suggest that you are wasting your life. And life is far too short to be wasted.

Are you experiencing authentic happiness?

We tend to use the word “happy” cavalierly and it has become debased. We are prone to say that trivial things make us “happy” – our favourite ice-cream or chocolate, a promotion, going on a vacation, getting a day off from work, winning at bridge, your mother-in-law deciding not to drop by after all.

I am not talking about a momentary rush of good feeling that we experience on such occasions. I am talking about a profound sense of well being that is with us all the time. A deep knowledge that our life is on track and cannot deviate. I’m talking about authentic happiness.

This does not mean that we do not face challenges, some of them quite serious. It does mean that even as we do what we must we are still conscious that, fundamentally, we are fine and always will be. We cannot but be so.

So, defined this way, are you authentically happy? If not, why not?

Unsettlement is the norm

I teach a deeply introspective course called Creativity and Personal Mastery at top business schools around the world and programs based on it to executives at well known companies. I have also been a contributing editor for major business magazines and have talked to thousands of persons, including many CEOs, about their inner lives. So I can make the statements I do with some confidence.

The vast majority of persons are not authentically happy. Even those who seem to have it all – great career success, financial prosperity, picture perfect spouse and accomplished children, sterling reputation – are not happy. They are not brimming with joy. Anxiety is a frequent and unwelcome guest in their lives. There is always an undercurrent of stress and it overwhelms them all too often.

Many of the persons – perhaps most of them! – who attend my programs live in a world dominated by a giant to-do list and it fills up relentlessly no matter how many items they scratch out. There is a constant undercurrent of low-level anxiety, of a feeling that there is always too much to do and not enough time to do it.

Does this, perchance describe your situation too? It does not have to! You CAN escape into the realm described earlier and live there much of the time if not always.

What do you have to get to attain authentic happiness?

That is a good question. What do you need to get to be happy? Say, like Aladdin, you were granted three wishes. What would you ask for and would it make you happy? Most persons have a wish list and vast wealth, trophy spouse, good health, close friends, stimulating job, lots of leisure, bright children etc figure in it along with stuff like fame, power and a body like Adonis (or Aphrodite.)

If you have such a list, throw it out. What I have to say may startle you.

There is NOTHING that you have to get, do or be in order to be happy.

I repeat, NOTHING. In fact, happiness is your innate nature. It is hard-wired into your being. It is part of your DNA. It is ALWAYS with you.

And the question that has probably popped up in your mind is,

“If happiness is my innate nature, how come I am not experiencing it? How come I am experiencing ‘My life sucks’?”

And my answer will startle you even more. You do not experience the happiness that is your innate nature because YOU HAVE SPENT YOUR ENTIRE LIFE LEARNING TO BE UNHAPPY.

Alas, ‘tis true, ‘tis all too true!

It is absolutely true that we have spent our entire lives learning to be unhappy. And we have done it unconsciously and unknowingly. The way in which we do this is by accepting that we have to “get” something so we can “do” something so we can “be” something. Thus we feel that we have to get a lot of money so we can travel to exotic places so we can be happy. Or we have to get into a relationship with a beautiful partner so we can have great sex so we can be happy.

These are all modifications of the “if-then” model and this model tells us that “if” this happens, “then” I will be happy. And I have heard thousands of variations if this:

I will be happy if…

I get a high-paying job
I become CEO
I get married to a beautiful and loving spouse
My son gets into Harvard
My husband would show some interest in me and the house
My wife would not start nagging me the instant I turn on the game
I had children
My children would grow up and go to college
My in-laws moved to Australia
I lost twenty pounds
I didn’t have this nagging headache all the time
I got ten million dollars
…and more and more and more.

Look at all the people around you and in your life. The only way in which you are different is the particular “if” you are craving. Look backwards at your own life. You may have changed physically but the principal difference between you now and what you were ten years ago is the particular items that appear in your “if-then” list.

This is really important, so don’t rush on.

Think of your life as it is right now, as you would describe it in your journal or to a close friend. It is an excellent idea to actually write it down and read it after a few days. You will notice that – explicitly or implicitly – you have a wish list in the document. “If” only this would happen, you will be happy. Or happier.

Think of the person you were ten years ago and what life was like then. Visualize it as clearly as you can. You had a wish list back in those days as well. Chances are good that many of the items in that long-ago list are now a regular part of your life. In programs I conduct, on average, about 80% of the participants acknowledge that they have received many of the items that they wanted a decade earlier. Despite this, their sense of well-being has not increased.

Quite a few are shocked to realize this. They wonder why.

The model itself is flawed

What we don’t realize is that the “if” I get this, “then” I will be happy model is fundamentally flawed. The model itself is fallacious. But, instead of recognizing this, we simply change the items we load on the “if” side of the equation.

I met a start-up entrepreneur who dreamed of cracking a million dollars in annual revenue. Five years later he was convinced that $100 million is the mark that separates the men from the boys and something magical would happen when he crossed that line. He is now chasing $1 billion and not far from it.

Don’t laugh. Variations of this are all around you and especially in your own life. Teenagers are ecstatic at the thought of getting their own set of wheels and a beat-up, 15 year old Dodge Dart is welcome. Two decades later it takes a new Lexus to get that same feeling and this one does not last either. What’s next? A Ferrari? Or a Ferrari AND a Rolls Royce? That won’t do it either. Nor will a hundred foot yacht or your own island off the coast of Greece.

Remember what I pointed out earlier. There is NOTHING that you have to get, do or be in order to be happy. The really pernicious effect of the “If…then” model is that it is supremely effective in preventing us from experiencing the happiness that is an inextricable part of us. The more we believe in that model and try to manipulate it to become happy, the more happiness eludes us.

That is how we learn to be unhappy and most of us never catch on that this is what we are unconsciously doing.

You have experienced freedom!

Have you ever come across a scene of such spectacular beauty that it took you outside of yourself into a place of profound serenity? A place of peace and healing calm?

Maybe it was a brilliant rainbow after a sharp shower, or a snow-capped peak thrusting out of wispy clouds. Or perhaps it was the rolling ocean with big waves crashing in a hypnotic metronome against the cliffs, or a jagged lightning flash in the midst of a storm of awesome, majestic power.

You can recall such an occasion. Virtually everyone can. Have you ever wondered why you experienced what you did? It was not the place or the scene. The travel industry grows rich off persons who return to places of magical moments hoping to recapture them.

No! What happened was this: Somehow, inexplicably, at that instant, you accepted the world exactly as it was and you were OK with it. You did not think. “That is a great rainbow but it’s off to one side. If I could move it two hundred yards to the right it would be more symmetric and ever so much better.” Or, “That’s a beautiful valley but the tree in the foreground has too many crooked branches. If I had a chainsaw and twenty minutes I could make it more impressive.”

Such thoughts never crossed your mind! The off centre rainbow was perfect in its skewed position. The crooked branches of the tree had their own charm and were, likewise, perfect in their gnarled presence.

When you accepted the scene exactly as it was, when you did not crave for it to be something else or different in some way, your habitual ‘wanting’ self dropped away.

And, instantly, the happiness that is your inherent nature surfaced and you experienced its fullness. You did not have to do anything. It rose of its own accord and you felt it. And you know you felt it because you still remember this after all the years that have passed.

Your life is perfect!

Your life right now, with all of the trials and tribulations that you face, with all of the problems that weigh you down and cause you sleepless nights, is perfect. It is every bit as perfect as the scene you can recollect. And the only reason you do not experience that same well-being is that you do not accept this. You are busy rejecting one or more aspects of your life and striving with might and main to change it using the “if…then” model. And that model itself is flawed.

No wonder you don’t experience the joy, the sheer happiness that is your essential nature!

Does this mean that you stop striving? That you don’t try to achieve goals? That you don’t try with might and main to improve your lot or build your business or accomplish great things?

Of course not! You do all those things and with every fibre of your being. But you do it from the knowledge that whether or not you succeed has no iota of bearing on your essential wellbeing. If my entrepreneur friend achieves a billion dollars in sales, Great, Life is wonderful. If he does not, Great, Life is still wonderful.

The moment you sever that link in the “If…then” statement, the model drops dead. If it happens, fine. If it does not, still fine. And you discover that life is a blast and every day is full of wondrous surprises and all of life is a joyous journey of discovery.

And here is something strange, a wondrous paradox that many have discovered. When you drop your insistence that something happen in exactly the way you want it to, the chances of your getting what you desire increase greatly

A learnable skill

Is it possible sever the link in the “if…then” model? To accept life exactly as it presents itself even while striving to achieve a vision? To live a life of great joy and fulfilment where each day brings many moments of radiant aliveness?

Absolutely it is. It is a skill. No different from learning to ride a bicycle.

If this article struck a chord in you, please do leave a comment and ask a question. If others chime in and ask the same question or a variation of it, I will answer it directly.

 

16 Comments

  • lawrence says:

    excellent advice. would like to know how to convince another

    person to agree with you so we could move on together with

    our lives.

  • lawrence says:

    excellent advice. would like to know how to convince another
    person to agree with you so we could move on together with
    our lives.

  • My motto "be happy where you are and watch where it takes you" has changed my life! I affirm this all day everyday!

    My question:

    I have a friend that is in such despair, we have been reaching out and sending words of wisdom, he does not FEELthe message, he counters any message, he doesn't see the love being sent.

    How can we reach him? He is living the "if-then" model and continues to repeat the same "insane" scenario.

    What is a first "baby step"

    Thank You!

    Anna

  • My motto “be happy where you are and watch where it takes you” has changed my life! I affirm this all day everyday!
    My question:
    I have a friend that is in such despair, we have been reaching out and sending words of wisdom, he does not FEELthe message, he counters any message, he doesn't see the love being sent.
    How can we reach him? He is living the “if-then” model and continues to repeat the same “insane” scenario.
    What is a first “baby step”
    Thank You!
    Anna

  • Focuzd1 says:

    It reminds me of the advisory of Baba Ram Das. I am being here now and have felt truly overwhelmed by the financial calamity that I've been facing after being unemployed for over 6 months now.

    It is such a quandry..at what point do I accept that I have done all that I know to do and wait for the universe to provide a return on my focus upon my desires as if they already existed? I maintain an attitude of gratitude and begin each day with gratitude and affirmations.

    I am "happy" and aware of the many sources of awe around me. I still feel this fine line where these circumstances are concerned..I will be happy when I am evicted from my home ?

    Please comment..

  • Focuzd1 says:

    It reminds me of the advisory of Baba Ram Das. I am being here now and have felt truly overwhelmed by the financial calamity that I've been facing after being unemployed for over 6 months now.

    It is such a quandry..at what point do I accept that I have done all that I know to do and wait for the universe to provide a return on my focus upon my desires as if they already existed? I maintain an attitude of gratitude and begin each day with gratitude and affirmations.

    I am “happy” and aware of the many sources of awe around me. I still feel this fine line where these circumstances are concerned..I will be happy when I am evicted from my home ?

    Please comment..

  • Dear Dr. Rao,

    Thank you for bringing out the universal truth in such a simple but FORCEFUL & EFFETCTIVE manner. I am sure this will stay with us for a much longer period-as we tend to revert back to "If and Then model" very often.Thank you for the life enlightenment.

    Can you also please guide us as how to nip the feeling of 'If and Then' in the bud at the moment so that we stay in the joyful state for prolonged periods of time?

    Thanks a tonne and warm regards-Brig SSSidhu.

  • Dear Dr. Rao,
    Thank you for bringing out the universal truth in such a simple but FORCEFUL & EFFETCTIVE manner. I am sure this will stay with us for a much longer period-as we tend to revert back to “If and Then model” very often.Thank you for the life enlightenment.
    Can you also please guide us as how to nip the feeling of 'If and Then' in the bud at the moment so that we stay in the joyful state for prolonged periods of time?
    Thanks a tonne and warm regards-Brig SSSidhu.

  • Hilary says:

    Dear Dr Rao

    Anna Banguilan and Focuzdi have both expressed the pain of their conflict given the situation they or their friend is in. I share this conflict – my buisness is about to go into involuntary liquidation in the face of the recession, and it is likely that I will lose my home. Our main income is dervived from the business. The humiliation, responsibility (10 employees also losing jobs) and general anguish are palpable. I know the theory behind what you say, and fully endorse it. Walking the walk is another matter. Any tips on waht Anna calls the "first baby steps" to sanity when one faces waht appears tobe overwhelming loss – and at over 60, it is hard to make up such financial losses and feel in control of one's budget, however small, and life.

  • Hilary says:

    Dear Dr Rao
    Anna Banguilan and Focuzdi have both expressed the pain of their conflict given the situation they or their friend is in. I share this conflict – my buisness is about to go into involuntary liquidation in the face of the recession, and it is likely that I will lose my home. Our main income is dervived from the business. The humiliation, responsibility (10 employees also losing jobs) and general anguish are palpable. I know the theory behind what you say, and fully endorse it. Walking the walk is another matter. Any tips on waht Anna calls the “first baby steps” to sanity when one faces waht appears tobe overwhelming loss – and at over 60, it is hard to make up such financial losses and feel in control of one's budget, however small, and life.

  • Thank you all for your heartfelt comments and thoughtful queries. Anna, Focuzdi, Hilary – I feel your pain. Do let me know if what I say makes sense to you.

    A person once remarked to Helen Keller that it must be terrible to be blind. She thought for a moment and replied that it was not terrible to be blind but it would certainly be terrible not to be able to bear blindness.

    I teach at some of the top business schools in the world and in every class someone recounts how she traveled to some distant, impoverished part of the world where the people had "nothing" but they "seemed so happy". More often than not there is a sense of wistfulness that she cannot reach that state and bewilderment that emotional well being can exist in the midst of such "deprivation".

    There is also a considerable amount of research that shows that persons have a "set point" of happiness and tend to revert to it fairly quickly. Thus lottery winners are temporarily exultant and paraplegic accident victims are temporarily depressed but both revert to their set-points and quicker than expected. Certainly within months.

    This "set point" of happiness can be altered and raised but not by acquiring more stuff or by getting rid of stuff in an attempt at renunciation – which is the way most of us try to move it. It can be raised to a much higher level – and can stay there – by cultivating dispassion in a disciplined way and I will describe exactly how in future articles.

    In the mean time I hope these pointers help:

    1) Affirmations and gratitude do not work for many because they "think" it rather than "feel" it. This is not an intellectual exercise. If you don't feel gratitude grabbing you by the throat and welling out uncontrollably from every pore, so powerfully that you cannot keep it down, then you have not truly experienced gratitude.

    You cannot force yourself into this state but you can ease into it and create conditions for it to manifest. I describe how in my book "Are You Ready to Succeed" as well as in the Personal Mastery Program and you can download the first CD of this program through the link given in this article.

    2) It seems heartless to tell someone whose business is failing or who might well be evicted from her home that she is still fundamentally OK, but this really is the case. These are just bumps in the road of life and some give a bigger jolt than others. The reason we do not instantly recognize this is because we have conditioned ourselves into the belief that such things are "terrible" and "unbearable".

    We CAN decondition ourselves but, for most, this is neither easy nor fast. We spent decades getting ourselves into this hole and it may take some years to truly get out of it.

    Here is a powerful tip. Whenever you find yourself suffering, go into the "witness" mode. Don't "be" the person who is suffering. Instead be the "observer" of the person who is suffering. Relief comes surprisingly fast when you do this and if you can even laugh at your predicament, healing is imminent.

    3) The concepts I – and so many others – share are a way of being and not a technique. If you ask a question along the lines of "how long must I do this before I see external results?" then it is a clear sign that you are using it as a manipulative technique and it is much less likely to succeed.

    This is a paradox but the method is powerful and will bring phenomenal results but they come when you are TRULY unconcerned about whether and when they come. Even asking "how long" betrays that you are not truly unconcerned.

    4) By far the best way to bring realization into your consciousness that the "if-then" model is faulty is to constantly think about it. See how quickly the thrill fades when you get something that you have striven mightily for, how expensive vacations disappear from memory. No matter what you face, acknowledge that "This, too, will pass." And, in time, dispassion will flower on its own.

    It is an excellent idea to get many of the books in the Life Changing Books section of my course syllabus and browse them when you can. Buy them and leave them around your house because they have an energy of their own and this will influence you in subtle ways. The syllabus is available at no charge from my website http://www.areyoureadytosucceed.com

  • Thank you all for your heartfelt comments and thoughtful queries. Anna, Focuzdi, Hilary – I feel your pain. Do let me know if what I say makes sense to you.

    A person once remarked to Helen Keller that it must be terrible to be blind. She thought for a moment and replied that it was not terrible to be blind but it would certainly be terrible not to be able to bear blindness.

    I teach at some of the top business schools in the world and in every class someone recounts how she traveled to some distant, impoverished part of the world where the people had “nothing” but they “seemed so happy”. More often than not there is a sense of wistfulness that she cannot reach that state and bewilderment that emotional well being can exist in the midst of such “deprivation”.

    There is also a considerable amount of research that shows that persons have a “set point” of happiness and tend to revert to it fairly quickly. Thus lottery winners are temporarily exultant and paraplegic accident victims are temporarily depressed but both revert to their set-points and quicker than expected. Certainly within months.

    This “set point” of happiness can be altered and raised but not by acquiring more stuff or by getting rid of stuff in an attempt at renunciation – which is the way most of us try to move it. It can be raised to a much higher level – and can stay there – by cultivating dispassion in a disciplined way and I will describe exactly how in future articles.

    In the mean time I hope these pointers help:

    1) Affirmations and gratitude do not work for many because they “think” it rather than “feel” it. This is not an intellectual exercise. If you don't feel gratitude grabbing you by the throat and welling out uncontrollably from every pore, so powerfully that you cannot keep it down, then you have not truly experienced gratitude.

    You cannot force yourself into this state but you can ease into it and create conditions for it to manifest. I describe how in my book “Are You Ready to Succeed” as well as in the Personal Mastery Program and you can download the first CD of this program through the link given in this article.

    2) It seems heartless to tell someone whose business is failing or who might well be evicted from her home that she is still fundamentally OK, but this really is the case. These are just bumps in the road of life and some give a bigger jolt than others. The reason we do not instantly recognize this is because we have conditioned ourselves into the belief that such things are “terrible” and “unbearable”.

    We CAN decondition ourselves but, for most, this is neither easy nor fast. We spent decades getting ourselves into this hole and it may take some years to truly get out of it.

    Here is a powerful tip. Whenever you find yourself suffering, go into the “witness” mode. Don't “be” the person who is suffering. Instead be the “observer” of the person who is suffering. Relief comes surprisingly fast when you do this and if you can even laugh at your predicament, healing is imminent.

    3) The concepts I – and so many others – share are a way of being and not a technique. If you ask a question along the lines of “how long must I do this before I see external results?” then it is a clear sign that you are using it as a manipulative technique and it is much less likely to succeed.

    This is a paradox but the method is powerful and will bring phenomenal results but they come when you are TRULY unconcerned about whether and when they come. Even asking “how long” betrays that you are not truly unconcerned.

    4) By far the best way to bring realization into your consciousness that the “if-then” model is faulty is to constantly think about it. See how quickly the thrill fades when you get something that you have striven mightily for, how expensive vacations disappear from memory. No matter what you face, acknowledge that “This, too, will pass.” And, in time, dispassion will flower on its own.

    It is an excellent idea to get many of the books in the Life Changing Books section of my course syllabus and browse them when you can. Buy them and leave them around your house because they have an energy of their own and this will influence you in subtle ways. The syllabus is available at no charge from my website ” target=”_blank”&gt “” target=”_blank”>;www.areyoureadytosucceed.com“ target=”_blank”> ” target=”_blank”>;www.areyoureadytosucceed.com

  • Mariana says:

    I think it´s a great article, very eyes opening. Sometimes we are so caught up in getting more than what we have already, that we don´t appreciate life´s gifts.

  • Mariana says:

    I think it

  • OLAF says:

    in order to enjoy life we are to experience and discover new and exciting things – whether they be a new car, home, vacation, relationship etc. It is one thing to say 'be happy where you are' but that gets old really fast. If you do not have the means to do different things in life, (as mentioned above) you will live a boring existence…you can't just live in your mind – you are a spiritual and a physical being with needs and desires – both psychological and sensory. To deny them and say 'it doesn't really matter' is just a mental game you are playing. Deep down you know you want to experience everything life has to offer – if not your life has been wasted. On your deathbed are you really going to think 'well, i worked in a cubicle for 30 years, have no money, couldn't afford to really do anything or go anywhere but I was happy because I played a game in my mind or I remember seeing a cool sunset once?' I don't think so. Ask any person if they would rather be poor or rich – and the answer will invarariably be 'rich'. Being rich gives you opportunity and freedoms. Being poor gives you nothing. You will have much better memories from a rich life than from a poor life. Think about this – would you rather watch a beautiful sunset from your luxury home on the water knowning all your bills are paid and you can do anything you want, or would you rather sit in your living room watching rich people on tv actually having a life while you eat your kraft dinner and wonder how you are going to pay your bills, or survive if you lose your job or home? Why do you think we are here on this planet? To live out a boring hopeless existence or a rich full life with the ability to be do or have anything you want?

    Your call.

  • OLAF says:

    in order to enjoy life we are to experience and discover new and exciting things – whether they be a new car, home, vacation, relationship etc. It is one thing to say 'be happy where you are' but that gets old really fast. If you do not have the means to do different things in life, (as mentioned above) you will live a boring existence…you can't just live in your mind – you are a spiritual and a physical being with needs and desires – both psychological and sensory. To deny them and say 'it doesn't really matter' is just a mental game you are playing. Deep down you know you want to experience everything life has to offer – if not your life has been wasted. On your deathbed are you really going to think 'well, i worked in a cubicle for 30 years, have no money, couldn't afford to really do anything or go anywhere but I was happy because I played a game in my mind or I remember seeing a cool sunset once?' I don't think so. Ask any person if they would rather be poor or rich – and the answer will invarariably be 'rich'. Being rich gives you opportunity and freedoms. Being poor gives you nothing. You will have much better memories from a rich life than from a poor life. Think about this – would you rather watch a beautiful sunset from your luxury home on the water knowning all your bills are paid and you can do anything you want, or would you rather sit in your living room watching rich people on tv actually having a life while you eat your kraft dinner and wonder how you are going to pay your bills, or survive if you lose your job or home? Why do you think we are here on this planet? To live out a boring hopeless existence or a rich full life with the ability to be do or have anything you want?
    Your call.

  • Simon Forman says:

    To Focuzdi, Hilary, Michael and anyone else who might find this helpful,

    Those feelings are natural, and part of the reason you are experiencing the circumstances you are in right now is exactly to draw out those feelings.

    You "create your own reality" but the rest of The Universe helps edit it too, it's purpose being to heal and grow you.

    Some concrete advice on how to deal with "bad" stuff:

    First, be grateful for your "negative" circumstances, continue to have faith that your needs will be taken care of: you won't starve, and you won't be challenged beyond your capacity (although you may find your capacity to be immensely greater than you ever imagined. ;)

    Second, whenever you feel bad or despair of your "problems", there will always be a physical component of the experience, I mean a sensation located somewhere in your body. Use this as a handle to relieve the emotional burden and stress due to your "IF .. THEN .." erroneous model. Whether you use EFT, massage, Reiki, meditation, breathing exercises, prayer or any combination of those or other means, it doesn't matter. Don't resist the negative emotions, go "through" them and flush them out. Accept yourself as you accept the world and circumstances around you. Heal and grow.

    Last but by no means least, practice giving. Similar to manifesting, it is law that as you give, so shall you receive. Bluntly, whatever you seek in life, give it to others.

    We are entering a time where we will all be called upon to treat each other as family, we will know our heritage as one people, unified and loving.

    If you want comfort in life, if you seek to be assured that you will be taken care of, give these to your neighbors.

    No matter who you are there are people in the world today worse off than you. (For goodness' sake, you at least know about manifesting, and Dr. Rao's article here!) ;]

    Find strangers and take care of them, serve the poor and destitute in your own community (even if you and your family are them, you can find someone worse off.) Ten dollars worth of rice and beans can feed a dozen people.

    Teach and be the truth you know, go outside yourself and your conceptions of your needs and fulfill the needs of others as selflessly as you can. The "return" on this "investment" is beyond all concepts of wealth. You will want for nothing.

    Love you,

    ~Simon

  • Simon Forman says:

    To Focuzdi, Hilary, Michael and anyone else who might find this helpful,

    Those feelings are natural, and part of the reason you are experiencing the circumstances you are in right now is exactly to draw out those feelings.

    You “create your own reality” but the rest of The Universe helps edit it too, it's purpose being to heal and grow you.

    Some concrete advice on how to deal with “bad” stuff:

    First, be grateful for your “negative” circumstances, continue to have faith that your needs will be taken care of: you won't starve, and you won't be challenged beyond your capacity (although you may find your capacity to be immensely greater than you ever imagined. ;)

    Second, whenever you feel bad or despair of your “problems”, there will always be a physical component of the experience, I mean a sensation located somewhere in your body. Use this as a handle to relieve the emotional burden and stress due to your “IF .. THEN ..” erroneous model. Whether you use EFT, massage, Reiki, meditation, breathing exercises, prayer or any combination of those or other means, it doesn't matter. Don't resist the negative emotions, go “through” them and flush them out. Accept yourself as you accept the world and circumstances around you. Heal and grow.

    Last but by no means least, practice giving. Similar to manifesting, it is law that as you give, so shall you receive. Bluntly, whatever you seek in life, give it to others.

    We are entering a time where we will all be called upon to treat each other as family, we will know our heritage as one people, unified and loving.

    If you want comfort in life, if you seek to be assured that you will be taken care of, give these to your neighbors.

    No matter who you are there are people in the world today worse off than you. (For goodness' sake, you at least know about manifesting, and Dr. Rao's article here!) ;]

    Find strangers and take care of them, serve the poor and destitute in your own community (even if you and your family are them, you can find someone worse off.) Ten dollars worth of rice and beans can feed a dozen people.

    Teach and be the truth you know, go outside yourself and your conceptions of your needs and fulfill the needs of others as selflessly as you can. The “return” on this “investment” is beyond all concepts of wealth. You will want for nothing.

    Love you,
    ~Simon

  • Rebecca says:

    For those of you who feel your "life sucks" or you are in a troubling situation, I think it might help if you understand what it means to be your own friend.

    If you had a friend or a family member in the situation you are facing what would you do? If my friend came to me going through tough times, lost their job and was afraid of losing their home, I would first of all listen to their concern with empathy, then I would point out all the good things they still have in their life, talk about their talents and resources, remind them of all their blessings, tell them it will be okay, tell them to have faith and trust. After the pep talk I would give them a hug and make them laugh. AND I would mean every word I said to them. Sometimes friends go through things that words don't help so I may just sit with them, take a walk with them, watch the sunset with them. Just being present for them helps, feeling the love of a friend takes the sting away. We need to learn to do that for ourselves. Love ourselves as we love our friends and family.

    On the flip side, say your friend said to you, after you told them your troubles, "You know what, your life sucks, there is no hope for you, you have no right to be happy, you don't derserve it". I can guarantee you that your defenses would go up and you would be able to come up with many wonderful things about your life to let that friend know that you are okay and you are going to be just fine and you do deserve happiness.

    We need to be our own friends, we need to defend ourselves when we cut ourselves down. We need to empathize with ourselves and remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in our life. We need to make ourselves laugh. Next time you are stressing, ask yourself honestly "how would I treat my loved one if they were going through this?" Then do that for you, be your own friend. Life is never so bad with a friend by your side. Love thyself as thy neighbor. That statement applies to life in so many ways.

    Wishing all of you Peace and true happiness.

    Rebecca

    P.S. I just helped myself by reading my comment for others :-) I hope it helps you, too.

  • Rebecca says:

    For those of you who feel your “life sucks” or you are in a troubling situation, I think it might help if you understand what it means to be your own friend.
    If you had a friend or a family member in the situation you are facing what would you do? If my friend came to me going through tough times, lost their job and was afraid of losing their home, I would first of all listen to their concern with empathy, then I would point out all the good things they still have in their life, talk about their talents and resources, remind them of all their blessings, tell them it will be okay, tell them to have faith and trust. After the pep talk I would give them a hug and make them laugh. AND I would mean every word I said to them. Sometimes friends go through things that words don't help so I may just sit with them, take a walk with them, watch the sunset with them. Just being present for them helps, feeling the love of a friend takes the sting away. We need to learn to do that for ourselves. Love ourselves as we love our friends and family.
    On the flip side, say your friend said to you, after you told them your troubles, “You know what, your life sucks, there is no hope for you, you have no right to be happy, you don't derserve it”. I can guarantee you that your defenses would go up and you would be able to come up with many wonderful things about your life to let that friend know that you are okay and you are going to be just fine and you do deserve happiness.
    We need to be our own friends, we need to defend ourselves when we cut ourselves down. We need to empathize with ourselves and remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in our life. We need to make ourselves laugh. Next time you are stressing, ask yourself honestly “how would I treat my loved one if they were going through this?” Then do that for you, be your own friend. Life is never so bad with a friend by your side. Love thyself as thy neighbor. That statement applies to life in so many ways.

    Wishing all of you Peace and true happiness.
    Rebecca

    P.S. I just helped myself by reading my comment for others :-) I hope it helps you, too.

  • javier says:

    Thank you S. rao for your splendid article.

    It´s a pity I didn´t find it some years ago (when I was down and down in a dark and deep shaft due a dificult life situation realated whit a hard medical problem of my daugther).

    Fortunately, God gives me the help I needed (it tooks much time I hope, but finally came into my life).

    Fortunately my daugther today is quite well, I begin a radiacl life transformation that drives me near of my autentic life (those my heart and my dreams ever imagined).

    Now I´m working on the feeling you write about (I aproximate to this trough books of Eckart Tolle).

    Now I understand that an apparent "bad" situation forced me to change the course of my life, looking for a much better direction for my life and the life of others.

    Blessings all you

    Javier

  • javier says:

    Thank you S. rao for your splendid article.
    It

  • Mike Kendzierski says:

    This is article is a wonderful insight into the entire Creativity & Personal Mastery class around happiness and the "if x, then y" model.

    I am an alumni of the course and this part of the course really made an impact on me and how I see happiness and how it's portrayed in the media.

    I can't say enough good statements about the course and if anyone felt that this article is good, I'd suggest looking at the book and audiobook (I'm a big fan of Professor Rao's booming "guru" voice" myself) to further explore this subject. Great article & great course in general….I wish everyone had access to this information.

  • Mike Kendzierski says:

    This is article is a wonderful insight into the entire Creativity & Personal Mastery class around happiness and the “if x, then y” model.

    I am an alumni of the course and this part of the course really made an impact on me and how I see happiness and how it's portrayed in the media.

    I can't say enough good statements about the course and if anyone felt that this article is good, I'd suggest looking at the book and audiobook (I'm a big fan of Professor Rao's booming “guru” voice” myself) to further explore this subject. Great article & great course in general….I wish everyone had access to this information.

  • […] A few months ago we had an amazing article (actually one of our top rated articles) by Professor Srikumar Rao. It was called Happiness Is Your Birthright, You Have To Reach Out And Claim It! […]

  • Cdin says:

    Agreed, and yet, a question – How is life wonderful for the little child that just died of thirst or hunger within the last 5 minutes? I haven't ever been able to understand, accept, or figure this out… I do not know how to rewrite THIS story.

    The story of this little child…

  • Cdin says:

    Agreed, and yet, a question – How is life wonderful for the little child that just died of thirst or hunger within the last 5 minutes? I haven't ever been able to understand, accept, or figure this out… I do not know how to rewrite THIS story.

    The story of this little child…

  • Dhiruj says:

    A thought for everyone…

    If all the people in the world suddenly 'disappeared', through some inexplicable reason, and you were left alone (perhaps with only your loved one and children remaining), would any one of you then really want to have 'lots of money', or a Ferrari, or a house 5 times bigger than you have now? Think about this carefully and, if your answer is 'NO', then our 'problem' with achieving happiness can be directly related to the fact that we NEED to 'prove ourselves' relatively to all others. We use 'others' as a yardstick to define our own successes… we have 'won' when we are higher up this stick… relative to 'others'.

    The ONLY KEY to true happiness is to measure yourself against a DIFFERENT kind of 'yardstick'. I do NOT say get rid of 'measuring yourself' because we are human beings and, as a 'social animal', it is natural to do so. When you surround yourselves with the kind of people who use 'money' (as an example) as a 'yardstick', you naturally bring yourself to 'compete' against this 'yardstick'.

    Many years ago I competed too. Working for blue-chip companies, driving the new BMW's.. this was my yardstick. Eventually i came to realise it was the people i surrounded myself with.. they used the same stick. And, you will remain UNHAPPY because you can never 'win' on this particular stick.

    I measure myself now with people who have really unfortunate lives and i realise, very quickly nowadays, that I am very fortunate. I get three meals a day and, if i can only afford one meal a day, then i am more fortunate than the person who eats one meal a week! I will also say i've never been happier in my life than I am now.. without the BMW and crippling mortgage!

  • Dhiruj says:

    A thought for everyone…
    If all the people in the world suddenly 'disappeared', through some inexplicable reason, and you were left alone (perhaps with only your loved one and children remaining), would any one of you then really want to have 'lots of money', or a Ferrari, or a house 5 times bigger than you have now? Think about this carefully and, if your answer is 'NO', then our 'problem' with achieving happiness can be directly related to the fact that we NEED to 'prove ourselves' relatively to all others. We use 'others' as a yardstick to define our own successes… we have 'won' when we are higher up this stick… relative to 'others'.
    The ONLY KEY to true happiness is to measure yourself against a DIFFERENT kind of 'yardstick'. I do NOT say get rid of 'measuring yourself' because we are human beings and, as a 'social animal', it is natural to do so. When you surround yourselves with the kind of people who use 'money' (as an example) as a 'yardstick', you naturally bring yourself to 'compete' against this 'yardstick'.
    Many years ago I competed too. Working for blue-chip companies, driving the new BMW's.. this was my yardstick. Eventually i came to realise it was the people i surrounded myself with.. they used the same stick. And, you will remain UNHAPPY because you can never 'win' on this particular stick.
    I measure myself now with people who have really unfortunate lives and i realise, very quickly nowadays, that I am very fortunate. I get three meals a day and, if i can only afford one meal a day, then i am more fortunate than the person who eats one meal a week! I will also say i've never been happier in my life than I am now.. without the BMW and crippling mortgage!

  • TITO JJ says:

    Imagery Training – All the best athletes have very well-developed mental imagery skills and use them on a daily basis. They use imagery to prepare themselves to get what they want out of training, to perfect skills within the training sessions, and to “see” themselves being successful.

    • TITO JJ says:

      Imagery Training – All the best athletes have very well-developed mental imagery skills and use them on a daily basis. They use imagery to prepare themselves to get what they want out of training, to perfect skills within the training sessions, and to “see” themselves being successful.

      The refined imagery they have developed for running through skills and performances in their mind, is one which takes an “inside” view, as if actually doing the skill, and one which involves feeling the action and excitement, as if actually being there. Most of these athletes call up these inside images or perfect feelings before every attempt at executing a skill.

      It is interesting to note that these athletes did not initially have good control over their mental imagery. It was through persistent daily practice that they perfected these skills.

  • TITO JJ says:

    Imagery Training – All the best athletes have very well-developed mental imagery skills and use them on a daily basis. They use imagery to prepare themselves to get what they want out of training, to perfect skills within the training sessions, and to "see" themselves being successful.

    The refined imagery they have developed for running through skills and performances in their mind, is one which takes an "inside" view, as if actually doing the skill, and one which involves feeling the action and excitement, as if actually being there. Most of these athletes call up these inside images or perfect feelings before every attempt at executing a skill.

    It is interesting to note that these athletes did not initially have good control over their mental imagery. It was through persistent daily practice that they perfected these skills.

  • Kavita says:

    I agree that the 'if -then' model doesn't work – but I realize I keep going back to it! What are some tips to help to change this mindset or habit – are there things that you have found to be more effective than others?

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