How to be Happy, or how to be Happier, is one of the key questions in life. And there are lots and lots of different answers out there, aren’t there?
If you believe in the power of Manifestation then you believe that we are a being capable of directing all the powers of the Universe simply with the use of your mind; and that each and every one of us is capable of this, not just a select few, not just the gifted, or the special, or the brilliant. All of us fit into the same category. We are all creative beings. We are powerful and can draw to us anything we want. We can also draw to us anything we don’t want. It’s all a matter of focus. We get what we focus on. The theory goes that it is as simple as that.
Within this ‘frame’ the answer to the question ‘How to be Happier?’ is to choose to be happier, by managing what you focus on mentally – If you focus on disease and poverty if you watch the evening news and focus on the wars and the famine, you are drawing these things, these events and these emotions to you. If you envelop yourself in negativity, which is what the news is designed to do, then you will experience negativity in your life, and lots of it. But even giving up on watching so much news is a tricky thing to do – the reason there is so much fear-inducing news on the TV is that we are evolutionarily wired to filter for danger and focus on it, to ensure our survival. So, we actually are more interested in it.
Sometimes the ‘Positive Thinking’ mantra can make you feel worried about worrying, because it really is tricky to live life without falling into patterns of fear, and still find the balance of noticing and thinking about real risks.
Because I am an NLP Trainer, people often assume I am also a believer of the power of Manifestation. And the answer is, I both am, and I am not. I believe that what we think about programs the part of our brain that sets up our cognitive filters (our Reticulating Activating System) to notice what we believe and delete what we don’t. I believe, from personal experience, that changing your beliefs about what is true for you (not just in the whole world) can make the world of difference as to what happens next.
Last week I was interviewed for a podcast WA Real, and got to talk about a time in my life when I consciously changed my filter about opportunity as part of a larger ‘project’. I created a personal development project called ‘My Cunning Plan’. That was the short name for it, the full name was ‘My Cunning Plan to Get Paid to Do What I Love’. It had a few key points:
There were a few other rules that were especially important for me. The Cunning Plan had a year to run. During that year, I made a decision to ‘stop working for free’ (at the time my work satisfaction came from work I did for free) and ‘use my research skills for myself’ to work out how to get paid to do what I love (at the time I had just finished a thesis of over 20,000 words, so I couldn’t help but think I was capable of researching the answer to this question). And, in essence, it was also about deciding to use my skills and time for my own benefit, on something that was purely about my own life.
Within a year, I had both surfaced, pursued and made a decision about ‘the secret dream’, the dream that stopped me from pursuing a career in anything else. (‘The Secret Dream’ is another article.) And, at the end of the year, I had managed to cross a rather tricky line – the line from being the secretary for a group of consultants to being a consultant myself, a Graduate Consultant. And I was doing work I was passionate about, leading up Equal Opportunity and Diversity work in a large company. I am really passionate about social justice and getting to do that work really did fulfill my outcome. And, it was the beginning of a journey to get closer and closer to doing what I loved MOST – being paid to work with people in personal development. As you can tell, I nailed that ultimate goal eventually!
It was a Project that changed my life at a time that I was critically unhappy about the direction of my paid work. I decided to focus on changing that, and do it in a way that was different to everything I had done before. I not only had to think differently to do it, I had to act differently. I can recommend it to anyone (with rules adjusted to be just right for busting your own specific patterns that keep you stuck).
If you would like to hear more about that Project and what happened next in my journey, or just find out more about this woman who is writing emails to you, you can listen to the Podcast interview here!
And, coming back to the question on the power of manifestation. People who are close to me and students in the last few months will have known that in July I lost someone close to me, in my immediate family, completely without warning. It has been a very sad time, straight down the middle of the year. And, not very surprisingly, this has made me think even more about spirit and the nature of the universe than I did before. I can thoroughly recommend Mike Dooley’s book ‘The Top Ten Things Dead People Want To Tell You’. With a beautiful and massive frame about life and life purpose, it presents this idea of Manifestation in a way that has intrigued me.
And this has inspired me to do a new project! Together with my peer coach, (which means my personal development project buddy) I will be testing his approach to manifestation in action (a combo of thinking and action). So stay tuned! There is nothing like a learning experiment in action to change things up and keep the question of ‘How can I be happy?’ a question that is part of the adventure.
If this resonates with you, or it doesn’t, you can comment at the base of this page!
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