Two Rules That Make You Happy What determines your happiness? Does someone else decide how happy you are? Is your happiness predetermined and out of your control? Does luck have anything to do with it? The happiness business is big business: drugs, alcohol, gambling, overeating and other bad habits are based on our need for happiness. Unfortunately, these "solutions" become bigger problems and make us unhappier. Many people give up on the idea that they can be happy. They say things like, "Anyone who tells you they're happy is lying." "I'd be happy if I had a better _____ (spouse, job, body, house, income, parent, child, boss, employee)." "Life stinks and then you die." Yet because you are reading this article, you know something can be done about it. You know you have the power to make yourself happier. You control the amount of joy in your life. You control it based on how well you follow these two rules: "One: Be able to experience anything. "Two: Cause only those things which others are able to experience easily." -- L. Ron Hubbard from Scientology: A New Slant on Life. Rule One To follow this rule, you become willing for ANYTHING to happen to you. You can face it and experience it. For example, someone yells at you and you can take it. You don't want people yelling at you, but you can deal with it. You are not afraid of being yelled at. Because you can experience people yelling at you, you'll still be happy whenever it happens. A few years ago, a California fire alarm salesman was terrified of his house catching on fire. He worked out escape plans, installed fire sprinklers in his house and installed the latest fire alarms. He talked about fire so often his seven-year-old became fascinated with matches. Naturally, his son started a fire, the sprinklers didn't work and the house burned to the ground. Luckily, no one was hurt. After getting over the shock, the fire alarm salesman started laughing. "Even though I did everything I could think of to prevent fire, I ended up causing a fire with my fear. It turns out it's not so bad! The house burned and we're okay!" After that, the idea of his house burning down no longer made him unhappy. He could experience it. "To be happy, one only must be able to confront, which is to say, experience those things that are." -- L. Ron Hubbard Anything you cannot experience or confront will make you unhappy. So reversely, learning to face reality is the first rule for being happy. For example, to do your job you need to give presentations to a group of people. However, you hate speaking to groups. You make up excuses and avoid this part of your job until you get fired. If instead you face the music and give the talks, despite your fear, you are able to experience. You confront the job and feel happy. Rule Two To only cause things which others can easily experience means you need to pay attention to other people. Everyone experiences things differently. For example, your colorful language offends your mother, but makes your friend laugh. Spending the day at a shopping mall is a joy for your daughter, but a boring waste of time for your son. Your views about politics enrage your father-in-law, but inspire your neighbor. To be happy, you can't have attitudes like these: "I say whatever I want to anyone I want." "If you don't like what I do, that's your problem." "It's dishonest to not say how I feel." If you don't care about other people's happiness, the people around you will eventually not care about your happiness either. Everyone is unhappy. "If you examine your life, you will find you are bothered only by those actions a person did which others were not able to receive." -- L. Ron Hubbard For example, if you punch someone in the mouth during a boxing match, neither of you are bothered. However, if you punch your friend in the mouth during an argument, your friend cannot easily experience the punch and you are both unhappy. "To create only those effects which others could easily experience gives us a clean new rule of living." -- L. Ron Hubbard If you break this rule, you create enemies. If you follow this rule, your work relationships, marriage and friendships all thrive. The rule requires you to notice what people can easily experience. For example, you notice your spouse cannot easily experience your constant complaining about your work. You realize it does not help you to complain to her. You stop complaining and your spouse seems more cheerful. You feel happier. The rule worked. Judgement You may think this second rule means you can't demand good performance from employees or correct your children. For example, "My employees can't easily experience hard work, so I'll be soft on them." However, high productivity boosts morale. Laziness ruins production, lowers morale and ruins your company. A bankrupt company is difficult for anyone to experience! So you learn to demand good performance while being cheerful and everyone is productive and happy. Children may not like eating their meals or brushing their teeth, but poor health or tooth pain is much more difficult to experience. You learn to get your kids to do what they should without anger or threats. Use your judgement. Planning Use the two rules for happy living in your planning. For example, you need to resolve a conflict with your business partner. To resolve the disagreement, you can either A.) Threaten to sue if you don't get your way, or B.) Find and work toward mutual goals. You plan to use the second choice as it is easier for both of you to experience. Business owners and managers earn a bad reputation when they cause effects others cannot easily experience. For example, you own a business and discover your monthly payroll amount is too high. You can either A.) Fire 20% of your employees, or B.) Promise they can keep their jobs if the business income increases by 20%. Which is easier for your employees to experience? Which will make you happiest in the long run? The two rules for happy living are powerful marriage rules. For example, if you learn to experience ANYTHING your spouse does, how can he or she make you unhappy? Additionally, if you ONLY do or say things your spouse can EASILY experience, how will you both feel? Four Recommendations for a Happier Life Make four lists to make yourself much happier this week. 1. Write down everything that was hard for you to experience last week. 2. Write what you can do to more easily experience these things this week. 3. List out what you did or said last week that others could not easily experience. 4. Write how you can accomplish next week's goals while causing effects others can easily experience. Additional Idea: Imagine what would happen if you spent all day causing effects others enjoyed. Why not?
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TipsForSuccess: Two Rules for Happiness
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