Happiness…Without the 5 Easy Steps

19 Jul

Nobody who knows me at all would likely cite me as an example of a “Happy” person, although I have been known to appear “deliriously content” from time to time. And I’ve always been suspicious of those who blithely declare people like me are only unhappy because we “choose” to be.

But I was impressed with some of the thoughts of writer Roger Fransecky which showed up in the Huffington Post under what I took to be an almost taunting headline, “Happiness is a Choice”.

Yeah, right.

Well…maybe.

You can read the whole thing here.

Although the post sometimes rambles a bit, I did find a few gems I could at least choose to consider…even if I balk at the idea of simply choosing to be Happy.

…fear bind(s) us, edits our hopes and diminishes our potential for happiness.
 
Dan Baker’s book, What Happy People Know…notes that a major barrier to happiness is fear. He writes, “We all have a neurological fear system embedded deep within our brains, a neural network that once helped us survive as a species, but now limits our lives. The biological circuitry of fear is the greatest enemy of happiness.”

 To his credit, Fransecky follows the admonishment to face and defeat our fears with a:

Yes, but how?

And that’s when I really started paying attention.

He offers a few ideas:
Love yourself enough to create a life you will love living. Entertainment legend George Burns, whose own sense of purpose helped him live to 100, offered this wise advice: “Everyday, do something you love.”
He provides a beginner’s checklist.
Ask yourself:
• What brings vitality to my life? When do I feel most alive?
• What is my proudest achievement?
• What is my greatest gift? My legacy?
• For what are you most grateful?
 
Near the end of the piece, Fransecky touches on something many of us overlook, sometimes because of misguided modesty or a reluctance to claim the genuine good stuff in our own experience:
Happiness can become your default state and not some elaborate life lie by acknowledging your gifts, your lessons, the people in your “cast” who love and teach, tolerate and celebrate you.
My favorite phrase refers to the danger of happiness being “some eleaborate life lie”. I mean, if you have to work that hard at being phony, what’s the point? What I like about his effort is the idea of steering your concentration more toward your own genuine attributes with the hope and expectation that it’ll become a habit over time. And there’s that bit about taking time to notice the people in your “cast”. Even those of us living a solitary life as a voice talent tucked away in a home studio have some such group, even if it’s often not there in person day-to-day.

It also helps that he’s not presenting these as some magical incantation that will float you to the top of the mountain…more like some practical hand-holds you can use to help you get a grip on your way up.

Hmm…that’s a choice I think I could make.

— over and out —

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3 Responses to “Happiness…Without the 5 Easy Steps”

  1. Bobbin Beam August 5, 2008 at 8:57 pm #

    Rowell,
    I too, am an optimistic person. Generally a happy camper most of the time…so I really enjoyed this post. Another George Burns quote I absolutely love is, “I can’t die, I’m booked.”
    All the Best,
    Bobbin Beam- Voice Actress

  2. Rowell August 5, 2008 at 9:06 pm #

    thanks for looking in, bobbin.

    of course, my FAVORITE george burns quote was about the importance of Sincerity in acting: “…once you can fake that you can do anything.”

    topped only by my favorite gracie allen quote: “no, that was the right answer. you asked the wrong question.”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Bookmarks about Happiness - December 14, 2008

    […] – bookmarked by 1 members originally found by LaurenandNichole on 2008-11-05 Happiness…Without the 5 Easy Steps https://voices2go.wordpress.com/2008/07/19/happinesswithout-the-5-easy-steps/ – bookmarked by 5 […]

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