Actually, I could title this, “The Real Secret to Life UN-happiness just as easily. In tracking my progress over the decades, it’s easy to see the ups and downs. Much like standing on a mountain and looking back over the path you’ve walked to get there. The downs are just as pronounced as the ups. I’ve made money and lost it and made it again. I’ve found love and lost it and found it again. I’ve had power, prestige, attention, and lost/found that again.
At the bottom of all of these wins and losses? One word. Or rather one pair of words: Hope/Hopelessness
That’s it. That’s the secret to Happiness. That’s the secret to Unhappiness.
When we have hope, we can put up with just about anything.
When we feel hopeless, we spiral down into helplessness, fear, depression, and overwhelm.
There are those who deride people who motivate and inspire, as if it is a hollow pastime. Yet the world needs those cheerleaders. Even the cheerleaders need cheerleaders. As humans it’s easy to fall into a negative spiral. No matter how wonderful, how beautiful, how much you have in the bank, from time to time you need to be reminded that there is, after all, HOPE.
In looking back over the years, it wasn’t my success that made me happy. It wasn’t money in the bank or the great cars I drove, or my houses overlooking beautiful Waikiki Beach or the Kapolei Coastline. It was hopefulness. The sense that no matter what, everything would work itself out.
Hope feeds self confidence / self confidence feeds Hope.
Of course, once one has HOPE, one needs to take action.
Without hope, however, action is hard to come by. It is far easier to sit in a pity party if you think everything is hopeless. If you believe a little action will put you one step closer to your goal, the action becomes automatic.
I think about this as I read the paper and watch the evening news. We have always known that our media is falling more and more into the trap of negative sensationalism for the sake of a good 2 minute soundbyte. They have become our worst purveyors of hopelessness.
How about turning off the TV for a couple of days? How about NOT reading the news on the internet; NOT reading the paper? Instead, how about saying to yourself, “This is just all process. The market has to adjust itself from time to time. We need to rethink our conservation choices from time to time. It will all shake out. Meanwhile, I’m going to keep doing the best I can. I’m going to take action for myself, my family, and my business that will move us a step closer to our goals. BECAUSE I CAN.”
Why do this? Because if even 10% of our population focused on hope and hopeful action, we might pull ourselves out of this situation. So much of ‘the market’ and ‘the trends’ is just a fantasy agreed upon by all. Stop agreeing that ‘the US is a mess.” Yeah, we have major problems. AND – We are still a pretty amazing country full of wonderful people.
Find hope. Focus on actions that will move you forward. Turn down the negative input and turn up some positive ideas. Hang out with people who are doing something to make things work, instead of the ones who are complaining that it doesn’t.
Happiness? It’s still all in your head. Claim it, Choose it, and Get past the fear.
Besides, in 200 years, we’ll all be dead! (somehow that always comforts me… LOL)
Beth Terry, CSP. is a Professional Speaker, Author, and Corporate Trainer who has spoken to more than 340,000 people in 6 countries in the past 20 years. More information
© 2008 Beth Terry Seminars, Inc. All US and International Rights reserved