I was looking over some recently posted free offerings on my e-publisher's site, Smashwords, and discovered a nifty little text. It is very a propos for sharing here. The book (booklet) title is "I Wanna Be Happy" and the author signs himself as "RVM".
RVM says he (he identifies his gender in the book) used to be a rich businessman preoccupied with the material world but has since mended his ways. That's because he was inspired by a role model who lived in completely the opposite fashion, and because he was unhappy. After some study and reflection, he wrote this book, which he makes available for free. It is also very accessible because of the simple language and organization of ideas. He just wants to help others. Happiness through deciding to be happy and helping others is his motto.
While I recommend eight steps to become a positive thinker,feel better about yourself and create a more positive way of life, he proposes a list of six steps. What is more, his remedies and his book are not as brief as the suggestion of six steps sounds; actually, he recommends "pulling" at least 18 "happy triggers" in the third chapter. I recommend you read it if you are still working on understanding and developing a positive outlook and lifestyle yourself.
RVM is careful to define happiness. He breaks it down into pleasure, joy, and bliss. Then he advises readers to de-prioritize pleasure and instead aim for bliss, which he outlines as being deep, bright and lasting contentment and positive feeling. The book contains a few activities to get you on track.
To sum up for you, here are RVM's six steps. I am sure he will not mind me sharing. In fact, I am sure it will make him happy.
(1) Desire to be happy (don't wallow in the mire; get off your bum).
(2) Discover what makes you happy (it may not be what you suppose or were taught or programmed for)
(3) Pull your happiness triggers. Of the 18 triggers, I'll encapsulate them here. First, make others happy and you'll feel happy. Programme yourself accordingly. Manage problems positively, choosing happiness over poisonous emotions ("joy thieves") and smiling, using hope and ignoring insignificant matters or incidents. Leave unhappy situations including people that make you unhappy. Stop and change. Forgive, connect to God, and love what you do. Make positive self-suggestions and have fun or be silly once in a while (children, pets, travel can help). Finally, take care of your daily maintenance like exercise, sleep and nutrition.
(4) Be aware of joy "stealers" (negative emotions and thoughts like anger, greed, fear and jealousy)
(5) Bounce back with faith and hope (after tragedy, disappointment, etc.)
(6) Choose to be happy. It takes effort, and an active mindset.
Though our lists do not totally line up, there are similarities. For example, I talk at length about journal writing and demonstrate it by blogging. He talks about make lists. For another, he talks about helping others, though not about becoming a catalyst for social change. We are on the same track, though we started out from quite different places and despite these differences in our counseling. I read the whole thing yesterday, and it gave me food for thought despite the fact that I have been working steadily on this topic for over one-and-a-half years. Give it a try.