The Secret Of Happiness

Be.

Here.

Now.

No, seriously – that’s it.

If all you did was slow down, be present and stop living every moment in anticipation of being somewhere else, your so-called problems will melt away and you’ll be MUCH happier.

Let go of thinking, obsessing and all the ‘what if’s’.

Release all your goals and concerns for the future and instead replace them with the power of this instant and enjoying it to the fullest extent.

Learn to accept things as they unfold in your life – surrender to ‘what is’ and not what you think it ‘should’ be.

That applies to your spouse, the president, your boss, your kids, your financial status, etc…  As hard as this may sound, surrendering to the present moment and allowing things to unfold as they do will literally change your life immediately.

There are no lacks or shortages in your life.  You may think there are – but in reality, things are what they are.  It’s YOU who can’t accept that which causes never-ending stress.  Simplify your life by accepting EVERYTHING as it is.  Anything that may seem to be missing in your life is really only an illusion.  Learn to have contentment with ‘what is’ and you’ll begin to have a completely stress-free existence.

Look back on your life and on all the so-called problems you’ve had at one point or time.  First off, you probably can’t remember 90% of the things you used to drive yourself nuts worrying about.  And second, things always seem to work themselves out over time – they always have and always will.  You don’t need another ‘thing’ to make you happy – all you really need is right here and now because right here and now is all you’ll ever really have.

DAILY ACTION:  Catch yourself when you find yourself not in the moment or striving to be somewhere else.  Bring yourself back to the present.

You Can’t Escape Your Final Destination

 

There is only one destination that we will all ultimately end up at.

No one can escape that fact.

That said, so many of us end up living a life of regret – spending our lives looking over our shoulders in fear of losing something that we will ultimately surrender upon death anyways.

Many of us spend our lives blindly following rules, ideas or norms that were put it front of us by others even though they never really resonated with us.

Many of us spend our time on this planet defending our precious little ego – getting upset whenever that ego is threatened.

That’s a shame simply because it doesn’t have to be that way!

Life is the best video game we could ever play.  And just like the greatest video game, it’s set up to have challenges to make it fun to play.

I remember when I’d get the cheat code for invincibility in a Nintendo game and then I’d breeze right through it.  Well guess what, the game became pretty fucking boring once I had that code!

Life has challenges and rewards worthy of our greatest efforts. So game on!

Stop taking things so seriously and getting so stressed out.  So you had a fight with your boss at work? Okay.  So you and your spouse are arguing about something? Okay.  Your dog got run over by car?  I know – it sucks.  But remember, it’s ALL part of the ultimate video game and you have to treat it like that.

You will go through challenges and setbacks but that is how the video game is set up – those who win will keep playing and push through challenges (while expecting them to occur) until they ultimately win!

DAILY ACTION:  Constantly remind yourself that you are an avatar in the greatest video game ever – expect challenges along the way, know anything worthwhile is never easy… and have an absolute blast playing the game! 

You Have To Trust In “Something”

Steve Jobs gave an amazing commencement speech to Stanford graduates back in 2005.

In his speech he mentions ‘You can’t connect the dots moving forward. You can only connect them looking backwards. You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down and has made all the difference in my life

I couldn’t agree more.

Now, some people are religious and believe in a God and others do not.  Some people would consider themselves spiritual and others would not.

That’s all cool – you’re a free bird and are entitled to your own opinion.

But I’m with Steve on this one – I truly believe there is ‘something’ out there – the Universe, the Tao, etc… – that is universally making things work… and we’re all small pawns in it.  We make our own problems into catastrophic mountains when in reality, we are like ants in a giant forest.

I have learned throughout the years – and I highly recommend you do the same – that you trust that ‘something’ is out there connecting it all together and that you need to follow wherever you feel pulled towards.

We all tend to think too much and listen to our minds obsessively chatter around trying to solve our problems.  Yet, if you look back throughout your life, most of your great ideas, breakthroughs and epiphanies came when you weren’t thinking about them (taking a shower, walking in a park, etc…).

DAILY ACTION:  Stop thinking so damn much you beautiful bastard.  Relax, let go and trust that if you follow what you FEEL – and stop trying to solve all your problems with your mind  – in the end, it’ll end up all good with a hell of a lot less stress and worry along the way. 

Turn Off The Narrator To Live A Happy Life

The definition of a narrator is ‘a person who delivers a commentary accompanying a movie, a broadcast, etc.’  It’s basically the storyteller in a book or a film.  They keep us entertained and following along.

Often times a narrator is so good that we get caught up in the story and end up getting lost in it and unaware of our current surroundings.

That happens all the time when watching a movie.  You forget that you’re actually watching the movie and you almost feel as if you are in the movie.

Yet that is actually how most of us operate in our daily lives as well.

The majority of us are not aware and present enough to realize it… but we all live with a narrator inside our heads every single day.

In fact, most of what we say to ourselves throughout our waking hours is the narrator in our head talking.

That narrator in our head puts its spin on what’s going on in our lives… and it tells a story to us based on how it PERCEIVES things to be.

It tells us who we are, how things are going in our lives and how we should view others.

It tells us what is right, what is wrong, how things should be and how things shouldn’t be.

And it normally doesn’t shut the hell up!

Those that live the Optimized You have become aware enough to notice that this narrator exists.  They realize that almost always the cause of any stress in their lives is because they got so caught up in what the narrator is reading to them that they believed it to be true.

None of us are immune to having a narrator in our heads — however, those that live the Optimized You have learned to recognize when they are getting caught up in the narrator’s story… and can press ‘mute’ on their remote control.

Pressing mute allows them to stop and go back to the present moment.  It allows them to observe that the narrator is not them and the story it’s telling them isn’t necessarily real – it’s just the narrator’s version of it.

Byron Katie (@byronkatie) teaches to ask 4 questions when your narrator is telling you something.  Let’s say it’s telling you that a project you’re working on isn’t going to work and it’s putting you in a bad mood:

  1. Is this 100% true?  (Well, no — I guess it’s not 100% true just yet but I ‘think’ it’s gonna be true)
  2. Can you 100% absolutely know for certain that it’s true? (Again, no – I guess I can’t 100% say that it’s true.  I mean, it hasn’t not worked yet.)
  3. How do you react when you believe that thought? (It makes me feel like shit and puts me in a bad mood)
  4. Who would you be without the thought? (Well, I guess I’d just be sitting here right now in the present moment eating this sandwich that I’m eating right now)

DAILY ACTION:  Try this out next time you are having a bad day.  See if your stresses are tied to your narrator’s story.  Press ‘mute’, go back to the present moment and you’ll begin to realize that the story is just that –  a made-up story based on interpretations and beliefs.  It is not 100% real or true.      

Trusting That You Will Get What You Desire… Just Like When You Order Something On Amazon

Amazon has to be one of the most influential, disruptive and convenient businesses to be birthed over the past decade.

It makes ordering something take under 10 seconds and is mind boggling how it’s changed & disrupted the way we buy things.

I, personally, tend to get multiple Amazon notifications on my phone and email every day.

“Your shipment of Quest Smores Protein Bars is on it’s way.  It will be delivered on Tuesday by 8pm.”

I’m sure you can relate.  I bet you also get multiple pings from Amazon that something is on its way.

But what does Amazon have to do with you achieving the life you want?

Well, let me ask you a question.

Do you ever question if your package of toilet paper, laundry detergent, headphones or batteries that you ordered will actually come?

Do you ever sit around anxiously wanting to know if you’ll actually receive what you’ve asked for?

“I wonder if Amazon is gonna deliver my salad chopper.  What if they don’t ship it?  What if it doesn’t end up coming?  What if they lost my order?”

No.

I can answer that one for you.  The answer is you don’t.

You trust that once you hit “Buy Now” & you get that confirmation email, your package of Peeps will arrive.

So, what does this have to do with living the Optimized You?

Well, living the Optimized You means having faith in the process.

It means trusting that if you just keep moving forward – even when you don’t want to – with what feels right and stay centered in the present moment, things will eventually turn out how they are supposed to – and all for the better.

It’s staying positive, not letting self-doubt get you down and make you give up… and ultimately having faith that your ‘package’ of living an optimized life will, in fact, arrive.

But like your Amazon package, you need to immediately start having some faith that things will work out okay — just as they always have before.

DAILY ACTION:  Start to believe that what you wish for is on it’s way.  Don’t question it.  Don’t put a timeline to it.  Just have faith that it will occur – or something even better that you’re not thinking of quite yet will occur instead.  Trust that everything is happening FOR you and not TO you on your journey.  And then take action each day on what feels right while focusing on your daily process goals.  They may change as you go – that’s okay.  Just go with it and stay flexible.

Choosing To Be Negative Is Always The Wrong Choice

How many people do you know that do nothing but complain?

Hell, you may be one of them without even knowing you’re doing it!

Some people simply have a negative outlook on life… or maybe they’re just always expecting bad things to happen. These are the ones who say “well, with my luck…” or “must be nice for so and so but that would never happen to me”…

Another form of negativity is trying to think up all the bad shit that could happen in all facets of your life… so that you’re somehow more prepared for it if it does.

Pretty sweet way to live your life!

Always remember that no amount of feeling bad or being negative will ever create a good result.

Never.

I’ve struggled with my fair share of negative thoughts throughout the years. Even outwardly high-achievers can fixate on the 1% that they feel is “wrong” with their life instead of focusing on the 99% that’s great.

I was the type that always would obsess over what was going to go wrong in business matters so that I could somehow prepare for it. And I remember my attorney once said to me on a real estate deal that no matter the million things you think of that could go wrong that you try and prevent from happening, chances are 99.9% of the time, they’ll never happen… and if something bad does happen, it will be something that wasn’t even on your radar.

That stuck with me.

All these negative thoughts and planning for every variation of “what if” events was basically all for naught and did nothing but create a ton of unnecessary stress.

I’ve since learned that it takes the same level of effort to be positive as it takes to be negative!

And that’s what those that live the Optimized You follow.

We only have so much bandwidth between our ears. So they realize that it makes absolutely no sense to ever expect anything negative out of life.

Play that out. Even if you’re positive about the outcome of an event and the outcome ends up not being what you were hoping for, you STILL were better off being positive along the way instead of negative!

That doesn’t mean you should be irresponsible and not have a Plan B if your Plan A doesn’t work out… but having a Plan B in place and then moving forward with Plan A with positivity is much different than obsessing over every detail that might make your Plan A fail… and what if your Plan B doesn’t work either – we should probably put together a Plan C through Plan ZZ today as well!

What a ton of wasted mental energy.  You will never, ever be able to think of all the bad things that ‘could’ happen.

One strategy those that live the Optimized You follow is to never, ever believe a prediction about the future that you tell yourself that doesn’t empower you.

I know for myself, keeping that top of consciousness allows me to snap out of negative thought patterns when they arise (because they will) – and go back to expecting positive outcomes, thinking positive thoughts and making positive comments.

And once you start eliminating negativity from your life, magical things seem to start happening.

You’re happier at home, at work, with your kids, etc… and good shit just seems to start flowing into your life.

Give it a whirl.

DAIlY ACTION: Always choose to be positive in your thoughts, actions and predictions about the future. It never pays to be anything else.

Stop Chasing In Order To Get What You Want

Treat what you want like a butterfly.  You chase it and it will fly away from you.  You stop giving it so much attention and it will fly up to you and sit on your shoulder.

Why is it that the super hot girl in high school always went for the guy who paid her no attention… while the guy who constantly bought her flowers, built a shrine in his bedroom and wrote her poems every day never got a shot with her?

Well, other than the fact that the shrine was probably a tad bit overboard, the real reason why he never landed his dream girl is the same reason why many of us never achieve our goals – “the more we chase something, the faster it moves away from us

I remember taking a sales training course early on in my career and they taught us about treating sales as a pendulum.  And it’s essentially the same concept – the more you push at someone, the more they are turned off and view you as the pestering ‘salesman’.

But when you pull away a bit and act as if you don’t “need” the business, the more they come running after you and want to work with you.

I remember it feeling odd when trying it… but being surprised by how well it worked.

Whenever I would do the traditional salesman dance and press the customer on why they should buy my product, go over all the features and benefits and do the typical dog and pony show, they would get defensive and immediately feel like they were being sold something.

But when I took the approach of ‘look, maybe this isn’t something you should do…’ they would immediately tell me “no, no, no — it’s not that at all.  This definitely is something I want to do – I just need to understand more about XYZ first before I buy”.

So, moral of the story, if you really want something, treat it like a butterfly.  It may sound paradoxical but the more you are chasing it, the more it eludes you.  But if you turn your attention to other things, it’ll come and sit on your shoulder.

DAILY ACTION:  Think of yourself as a magnet and begin to let things flow TO you instead of you chasing after them.