I’d like to take a minute or two to ease your mind. I’m serious here so stop rolling your eyes. This little exercise will make a big difference in your life … if you let it.
Yes, I know there is no shortage of self-help directives, articles, books, you name it, on ways to be happy. I should know, as I’m the co-founder of a fairly large self-help/inspirational website (Our Inner Source), where we write and accept articles on self help and motivation on a daily (even hourly) basis. But I must say, my latest revelation is not so much a new concept (it’s so not), as much as I just “really got it.”
Whoever first told us that life is about being happy really needs to be given a horrendous wedgy. Nope, we are here for the ride—simple as that. We are here for the accumulation of experiences, the good, the bad, and the really ugly. If we take a time-out from trying to be happy, and take an honest look at how life works, things can take a fundamental turn in our lives.
So, think of this as you would a pair of shoes. You have these brand new shoes that have been sitting in your closet for years, they are great looking shoes (why else would you buy them?)—for some unknown reason—you just never wore them and kinda forgot about them. Then one day, you were rooting around in your closet looking for something and you stumble upon these great old (new) shoes! You try them on and realize: hey, these fit really well … and they still look very cool on my feet. So you take these shoes and put them where you put your other shoes—the ones that you actually wear on a regular basis—and you start wearing these great old (new) shoes that you have rediscovered. So think of this next exercise as those great old shoes that you just never wore (for some unknown reason)—but they work perfectly well …
How to have the best life ever:
1. Take a realistic look at the world we live in and notice that everything works on a cycle. Night and day, up and down, on and off. You sleep and wake up, you laugh and cry, you win and you lose, you get the idea … I’m sure if you think about your own life, you will come up with many many examples. But basically, life as we know it on this planet, works on cycles.
2. Stop (like right now) hoping and wishing for a special pass from the cycles of life. If you think that others have life so much better than yourself, keep in mind that everyone (and I mean everyone), has to go through the cycles of life. We all face the death of loved ones, the misery of failing at something, being sick … on and on. So stop imagining that if you read the right book or come across the right “secret,” you can be cured of your misery … ain’t going to happen.
3. This step is my favorite step, and it just so happens is the final step to having the best life ever. The third step is to take a look at step two above and think about all the crappy, miserable things that happen (in your life) and realize (really realize this!) that if the whole cycle thing is true (yep, it is)—then there really are a lot of wonderful things either happening now, or, will be happening very soon. Yes, you may be having the suckiest of days—it may be gut wrenchingly difficult, but remember, the ball bounces just as high in the other direction—day follows night on pretty regular basis—you need to take solace in that fact that, “Hell, I can handle this horrendously crappy time, because I know that what is coming will be soooo much better than this.” This underlying level of perspective is a true gift you can give yourself.
Going through your day and being watchful of the little and big cycles going on around you is a mind-opening experience. Removing the expectations for things not to be in a cyclical pattern is a plain and stupid expectation and once that is realized, you can have a little more fun, put a little more spring in your step, and even smile a bit when the cycle turns negative for a while—oh goody, very soon things are going to be soooo good …