So you say you’re unhappy and you want to be happier. Here’s the second truth; you have the power to change yourself. You say, “you don’t want to change yourself?” You want to “believe and behave” the same way that made you unhappy and still be happier? I hope you see the lunacy in this. If you are unhappy the way you are, you must change the way you are to be happier. This is not rocket science!
Changing your point of view is not an easy project but it can be done. If you want to be happier, you must take on the challenge. Here’s a big clue; you see what you believe, not the other way around. So to change yourself means to begin to see your life from a different perspective. Until you do this, you will behave and believe the same way you always have. Nothing will change. You will be doing the same things and expecting different results.
This is one of the biggest challenges after drug or alcohol rehab. People go away to facilities where they are with different people in a different place. If they come home to the same life they had before, the chances are good that they will relapse. They will get the same results.
Okay, so you’re not a drug addict or alcoholic but you are human. The same principles apply; do the same things and get the same results. Somehow you need to see life differently. In other words, see your life as though with “new eyes”.
In the first truth, I said that you alone are responsible for your happiness or unhappiness. That’s also the first step in becoming a new observer. Consider the journey to happiness to be a ladder that needs to be climbed. The first rung on that ladder is taking responsibility for yourself. This is the second rung. If you don’t get up at least this high, you will never get to the top. And that’s where happiness lives.
The thing that keeps many people stuck in unhappiness is that they keep trying different actions but they don’t try changing their point of view. Different actions without a different point of view just seem different. They are not. They are just rearrangements of the same thinking that didn’t work. When what you’re doing doesn’t work, try anything else. You know for sure that what you did didn’t work.
As an example, some years back, my youngest son complained, “Dad, you don’t have to be so directive, you still see me as a fifteen year old. I’m in my late twenties now. You don’t need to tell me what to do.” He was right. Somehow, I had failed to see him as an adult. My interactions with him were always from the point of view that he was still a youngster. When I changed my view of him, I was able to re-think how I acted with him. I didn’t need to “tell him what to do anymore”. I could talk to him as an adult. It was a wonderful relief for both of us and our relationship became better.
Had I not changed my point of view, I don’t think we would be getting along as well as we do now that he’s in his late thirties. When I became a different observer of the same part of my life I found new options.One of our biggest obstacles in life is that we think we see things the way “they” are. When in fact, we see them the way “we” are. That’s called projection. We project our beliefs on the world and then react as though they are the real world. If that projection is negative we won’t find happiness “out there”. It starts “in us” or it doesn’t happen at all