5 Core Steps to Live a Happy Life
[stepbystep-item] Many people assume that they can not influence or control their happiness. This is mainly because some people have not stopped to think deeper about where their happiness comes from. For others, they feel that they can not control the happiness that comes their way because they don't get to choose the actions of those around them. [bctt tweet="Are you looking for ways to enjoy more happiness? Live a happier life in these 5 steps."] How about you? Have you stopped to think about where your happiness comes from and whether you lean on the right sources? Do you think you have a say in your own happiness? Work through the 5 steps below to get control of your happiness in life. [/stepbystep-item] [stepbystep-item step=1 title="Recognize What Happiness Is"] Validation is when someone around you gives you confirmation, approval, acceptance, and recognition for who you are and what you are all about. The person could be seeking validation from you too or maybe not. Validation usually feels like a stamp of approval that is given to you and goes a long way into affecting your Identity. This is where happiness comes from: the feeling that who you are is accepted and recognized. When you review, sieve and make informed choices about your Validated Support, this works great to nurture and strengthen your Identities. When they are and offer you Emotional Support (more pain and drain instead of love and energy) then this only serves to increase Identity Gaps around you. It is one of the biggest causes of frustrations and pain in people's lives, leading you to be unhappy with yourself and life. Even if you mostly lean on Validated Support (people who add to your bucket and energy), keep in mind that the need for validation is an emotional need within you which forms the very foundation or base of your Balance. If you are within a setup that encourages and is too concerned with how others in the society see you, you are prone to seek approval from everyone around you whether they are themselves in Survival or not. This poses as an area of concern because it is then very easy to slide and chase recognition from too many people and in the end feeling lost and empty. [/stepbystep-item] [stepbystep-item step=2 title=" Find Who You Need to Be Happy"] Let us borrow a lesson from an interesting allegory of an ancient Greek philosopher: Plato. Imagine a group of prisoners who are in a cave, stuck facing a wall their entire lives. Think about the sun shining into the cave and what view they get when people pass outside the cave. What reflections do they see on their wall? Vague, non-detailed shadows of the unknown. Can you imagine how their minds would be tricked into seeing things and shaping their identities and views? How about the amount of mistakes and assumptions they would make based on vague shadows and distant noise? Now imagine that one of them escapes one day and breaks out into the world. This person may be blinded by the sun at first and can't see anything. Everything looks new and somewhat uncomfortable. After some time and hiding, he starts to see and realizes their mistakes on the way they viewed the world. He realizes how much more beautiful the world really is and how life really is. The wonder of life cycles from plants, animals, and people. The wonder of freedom and choices. As a cave prisoner, the assumptions were that all those shadows were chained up too, just like them. That those chained up shadows were miserable just like them. They would see the shadows and think they were just the same objects and people passing through day after day and not a lively existence of travel, discovery, and comfort Now imagine that the prisoner is recaptured and sent back into the cave. Imagine the stories he would long to tell. Imagine the details he would want to fill in for his "blind" companions. Can you imagine his excitement? Think about the reactions of the prisoners. The perceived lies that they would hear and lead them to reject the stories and embrace their own long-held fears. Because they can't relate, they would do all they can to bring down this person who tries to bring in 'tricks and lies'. They would work to 'protect' themselves and even attempt to hurt him in order to maintain the existing group dynamics and beliefs. A person who is a threat to their future generations too. They will refuse to let go of their childhood stories and fears at the risk of great punishment and death. So they cling to their miserable existence because that to them is what 'works' Now think about your group. What is the group dynamics? What do you believe in and seek validation for? Are there visible fruits in your group? Which ones are they? Are you seeking validation in the right group or do people in your group see their own shadows, not the sunshine that you are trying to communicate? To evaluate your upbringing and group dynamics some more, learn more about the fears that hold you back in groups, the fruits of making tougher much-needed choices and then come back to brainstorm the above questions. [/stepbystep-item] [stepbystep-item step=3 title=" Seek Happiness from the Right Sources"] After reflecting on the group that you seek validation from and being aware that this is an emotional need, what thoughts cross your mind? Have you experienced looking for validation from a person or group that makes comments to bring you down? Think about it from a new lens: do they do it to challenge you and help you grow or to keep their own Identities and group dynamics in place? Are you, therefore, seeking validation and approval from someone who is conditioned to see life through only one lens and that is their own? What fruits has this brought you so far?
Identify and be cautious of those who take away from and drain your bucket. ~ Dave DarbySocially we have been conditioned to seek validation from our family. We have been taught to believe that our parents are the only ones who ever HAVE to love us because we are an extension of THEM. So loving us, is in turn, loving a part of THEM. When we are void of that love, it haunts us because when we don’t have the love of the ones who are MOST likely to love us. We keep thinking that to some degree they HAVE to love us even if a little. When they don't it is easy for society and for us to wonder "Who ELSE could love and support me then if my own parents could or would not?” Have you felt the same about your parents, siblings or other close people around you? Do you also seek and chase approval from people who themselves are struggling and only focused on their own needs and lens of life? There is a deep pain that keeps people to continue seeking validation even from sources that bring pain and rejection. Upon trials of being accepted and throwing oneself out of the boat, people experience even more rejection and pain. Stop for a minute to think about needs. What are your validation needs? What is it that you seek in the approval of those around you? Why do you seek it and are you seeking it from the right group? Re-evaluate your source of Support and seek two to four people who are Balanced and can offer you Validated Support to be the ones to Support you and your Identity. If you are seeking validation from only one person or a large group, you will be prone to struggling with Identity Gaps and fall into Survival. Learn how to evaluate your Support further and improve relationships to make sure, that you are surrounding yourself with validators who bring value to your life. Seek productive validation and value for your needs instead of chasing either perceived or wishful validation which just turns out to be noise. [/stepbystep-item] [stepbystep-item step=4 title=" Surround Yourself with Happy People "] It can be and is challenging to break away from validation and Support that we have strong emotional ties with. When confused and caught up in noise, challenge yourself to review the fruits that are around you. Ask yourself which real fruits are around you. Do you see any? Are you happy and are your Identities being Supported? Is the group that you seek validation from, people who have your needs in mind or they own? If it is their own, then they are most likely to preserve their own values and their own Identities. If you try to break away from their manipulations and they make comments about you, expect this to be a drain. Keep in mind, though, when people are tightly held to their own beliefs the comments they make are NOT a reflection on you but a reflection on who THEY are. For this reason, use the lens of the AHON to help you understand them and why it is they react the way they do. Then focus on your own Identity needs using the help of your Validated Support. [/stepbystep-item] [stepbystep-item step=5 title=" Reciprocate the Happiness You Receive "] Once you have identified two to four people in your circle who can offer Validated Support, think about the Validated Support that you can give them too. Remember, we get what we want when we help others get what they want. In this case, you will receive the Validated Support that you need once you invest and offer the same to others. Offer praises to those who have earned your trust and Validation and even praise or impact those who may not be part of your Validated Support, but note that this does not mean unlimited Support or availability to Emotional Support as that will be pursuing noise. As you give validation, keep in mind that there are two ways that people validate others: either validating their task and efforts (example: you did an awesome job with the cleaning, bravo on the organization and planning ) or it could be validating a person (example: you are such a special person, bravo Sue you are awesome) Think about the praises and validation that others offer you. Are they praising what you did or you as a person? Which one do you appreciate more? Now turn it around and think about the validation and praises that YOU offer others. Do you focus on them or what they did? And which responses do you get from them? Both kinds of validation add value, but be sure to make time to validate a person as that is the type of validation that creates more impact in making people feel loved and Supported because it is the highest form of validation that people receive. Helpful Tip: when working to retrain and recondition those around you, do the opposite. Correct and focus on what they do (the behavior, choices, and consequences it breeds) instead of focusing on them as people because it eliminates the effect of feeling attacked or feeling not worthy as a person. This will help separate themselves from a feeling of failure and inspire them to change their choices in order to adapt. [/stepbystep-item]
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