INTRODUCTION TO THE LIFE BOOK
HOW TO CREATE BEING HIGHLY EFFECTIVE AND VERY, VERY HAPPY
We go through our lives thinking that we never have enough, that where we are is not where we should be or want to be, and who we are is not good enough. Then we have to have "value", but fail to define it clearly and realistically.
Oh, and then, somehow, we think we can be happy!
Is there anything wrong with this picture?
Let me be clear here: You are not finished with this learning and implementing process until you can actually say "I love my life" and feel it deeply and truly. This is Level One, our first goal...and then we'll add more that will have us loving life even more.
This life is lived without illusory fear (which is 99% of the fears, and, yes, this is doable), without the constant drag of preoccupation with the past or the future. It is a life where energy is massively freed up to be directed toward what you really want, all of which is attainable and very doable.
As a way of life, you will be living in HighSanity, settling for no less.
[Though there are links herein for you to "check out" something in more depth, be assured that we will visit those areas later in more depth, so you can establish a stronger base in them.]
NO QUESTION ABOUT IT - YOU CAN SURELY PRODUCE HAPPINESS
I contend that we can quite simply and definitely produce a happy life. I purport that you can create such certainty and such a firm foundation for your life that you will be deeply, lastingly happy no matter what the circumstances.
Of course, you do have to put in some effort in learning what works. But what we will do will be very practical and very doable, so you can, for sure, achieve the results. This "internet book" is designed to have you achieve this in a more direct, more efficient way, by far, than other approaches.
Be assured that there is a huge payoff to doing these: a happy life!
And I guarantee that you will be reaping current payoffs that make doing the work a satisfying, happy experience.
THE NECESSITY OF REMOVING THE BARRIERS AND OBSTACLES, FIRST
Of course, we want to "get on with it" asap, to get those things we really want in life. But first we have to deal with "gravity", in a sense:
You can't operate well with too many barriers, no matter how much you try to motivate yourself!
People who fail to handle the barriers, despite learning motivation and lots of skills, do not do well in life.
A SUPER NECESSARY PERSPECTIVE TO DETERMING "WHAT YOU REALLY WANT"
Of course, it would be profoundly stupid of one to not determine clearly what one wants in life, for there would be no direction to go and surely few good results.
So, let's look at two principles that are worth heeding.
Don't base your life on outcomes you have no direct control over!
Up front, identify that which produces the greatest value in terms of long term happiness - and then decide to do those!
Of course, we will come back to these in much more detail, but I wanted you to have the perspective that results from this simple, but vitally important set of basic principles.
SETTING OURSELVES UP FOR A SURE WIN VS. CONTINGENT HAPPINESS
If we merely accept what society says is of value and buy into having to get certain outcomes, we are setting ourselves up for failure, for not achieving happiness. We have unreasoned and unrealistic expectations and some incredibly "off" aspirations. We try to get happiness from things that do not produce happiness and fail to do that which does produce happiness.
We lean our ladder against the wrong wall, the one that we incorrectly think will get us to where we want to be: deep, enduring happiness.
We spend alot of our efforts in life trying to control no or low payoff items, wasting the energy we could use on high payoff items. (Read The Happiness Creators - What Does And Doesn't Produce Happiness. We will also eliminate The Unhappiness Creators; read How To Create Unhappiness.)
We waste our energy worrying about outcome goals, when circumstances only influence our happiness by 10%.
The key to what I am proposing that you do in this book is for you to do that which is "doable", practical, to build what is of definite and controllable value, to base your life on certainty and not contingency or wishful thinking.
When you get to the "what I want in life" section, the primary prioritized items are best to be those which do, in fact, have the greatest impact on your happiness [the ultimate "what I want"].
We will build a foundation and a set of strengths that will assure us of a good life, of being happy - and along the way we will develop "effectiveness" in life.
Buildable and acquirable, with definite high payoffs:
1. Developing character strengths
2. Creating clarity and definitiveness on what works, and then taking a stand on a very strong, very firm foundation. (Confusion and lack of clarity create much of the unhappiness and ineffectiveness in life)
3. Doing that which we absolutely can control at the center, where the storms around it are of no effect.
If you take this approach and do the work, I guarantee the payoff. I guarantee that you will be happy.
But it takes a commitment on your part, to persist until you have achieved "Level One" of mastery - after which you can add greater levels, though life will by Level One already be very happy.
The method here is to install what works, but to realize, as mentioned above, that we must remove that which gets in the way and/or produces the opposite [i.e. poor emotional outcomes]. We are first removing the obstacles, so we can fly without the weights and shackles, and then we are building a firm foundation that produces reliable payoffs and on which we can build a life. And that life is built so strongly that it is not one of contingent happiness or a question of "will I be happy" or "will I be stressed?" (One thing you'll give up Poor And Ineffective Control, saving massive amounts of wasted energy - read Control.)
If you follow the path in this book, there is no question: You will be happy. You can construct a life that works with certainty. One without worry, fears, stress, dysfunctionality. One where you are proud of yourself, truly compassionate with yourself and others, feeling good emotions, healthy, truly living life, completely in control of all that truly matters.
I repeat: This will be done in a practical, non-airy-fairy, way that you have the ability to do with no magical leaps being required!
Now, we'll do an overview on what we'll be doing and learning about.
EASE AND GRACE AND AUTOMATICITY...
One thing that people often lose sight of is the principle that:
"Practice makes permanent, not perfect."
If we practice the wrong thing, we'll be perfect at doing the wrong thing.
For instance, we practice wrong thinking and wrong beliefs, until they are truly grooved in (in strong neuronal pathways easily accessed and automatically repeated).
So we have to start off with what is the right thing to do or think... and then practice that.
And in order to practice the right thing we have to design it, see it, think it through, use our great prefrontal cortex. We can do this ourselves, but it is best to do it based on what an expert (a great coach, for instance) has designed (and then improve on it) or copy an example of a person who is successful at it. More later on how to do this in a way that works better.
For now, see that there are three things we need to do:
1. Design, determine, see what is the right thing to do or think.
2. Write it out in really clear detail.
3. Practice it until perfect (overriding the competing wrong practice if necessary to rewire the brain.
Then use it in real life - and enjoy the benefits of the new practice that has been repeated over and over, not only doing it better but doing it with effortlessly, with automaticity. This is the power of developing a habit - a super-source of living a good life, if we get enough of the most important routines, beliefs, skills, practices fully practiced and installed.
That's the secret. That's the necessity.
Because each new practice/habit will take more time than doing it slipshod and ineffectively, we must be very careful to select the highest payoff items, because we will be working with fewer items per amount of time allotted. But we will be getting far more benefit in life - and alot more satisfaction from doing it right, creating a better result on average, and from doing it effortlessly and automatically.
John Wooden, called the best coach of all time, winning 10 national college basketball championships, often limited his players to rudimentary basics, practicing until they are perfected - and then everything would come together because the right things were automatic.
AND WE'LL BE ABLE TO DO MORE, EFFORTLESSLY!
Using the power of habit, as discussed, makes things automatic and effortless, so we can have more of our current brainpower available to use for other functions (essentially we get more done at the same time, but without having to think or work harder!).
Using the power making very definite decisions (and commitments), we will no longer have the burden of re-deciding many times in whatever situations come up. This actually frees up our Willpower Reserves, so that we are able to exert better self-control in the moment, with no extra effort and without being "hard to do".
If you use these two realities, you'll find out how some people are able to handle so much more than us but with less effort and/or stress.
We'll essentially be like a professional life player (playing the game of life) with smoothness and expertise where it really matters - and we'll win championships.
STRESS AND ALARM
We must honor the alarm systems and any stress that is out of bounds.
The causes of the problems, which must be eliminated are simply:
1. Learned self-criticism, blame, and faulting - This is stressful, creates illusionary fears, anxieties, and most of all it doesn't produce motivation or benefits that compare to what we get from doing the opposite.
2. Unnecessary, "made-up" fears from: Unrealistic expectations, unrealistic self assessments. These cause unnecessary anxiety, and unhappiness. (And in the process you'll learn that "human nature rules", how you need not attribute "weakness" to yourself, and how to manage human nature.)
Eliminating the above would eliminate 75% of all fears.
3. Predicted unreal threats, which we need to
Gain perspective around
See the misestimation and the "unrealisticness" of.
Know we can handle them (and that we naturally handle them better than predicted) Knowing this is what
Handling these will rid ourselves of 99% of all fears, and free up huge energy to deal with real potential dangers. And, in the process, many of our "bad" behaviors will simply disappear - and you'll shake your head wondering why you engaged in them in the first place!!!! And you will escape from trying to win the "enough" game, from trying to get good at a game that is nonsense!
The above are what we would call "the causes" (or the "causal factors"). These causes, of course, have effects, which we need to manage, change, or choose to create.
MANAGING THE CHEMICALS
Once we handle the stress/alarm factors, and/or while we're learning to handle them, we need to be sure to manage our chemicals, so that we have a feeling of well-being and energy. Humans operate off of a mechanical electrochemical system (which we'll go into enough to "buy into" what it actually is, eliminating fantasy-based theories, which will enable us to lay out the strategies that work to produce what we really want).
When our chemicals are a bit "off" and/or our systems are out of balance, we have an automatic adjustment system, which will produce chemicals to "motivate" our bodies to get back in balance. Often, however, we will misinterpret the sensations the chemicals cause to mean something else than what they truly are - that misinterpretation causes inappropriate reactions which in turn will cause us discomfort or "emotional pain", all needless if we learn enough to see and manage them.
THEN WE "SEE", AND WE "ADJUST"
Then, and in conjunction to some extent, we need to learn and implement our "adjustment"strategies to respond effectively to whatever occurs in life. If we have experiences that are not so good, we need to learn what didn't work and figure out what will work - and not let those go by. We must be like a fine athlete (though our lives will take alot less effort), who seeks immediate and frequent feedback and makes lots of adjustments - many, many more than the so-so athletes. Essentially, via utilizing frequent feedback and adjustment, we will be able to Live Life As A Life Champion, easily mastering life without alot of wasted effort - life is much easier this way, believe you me!
STOP, LOOK, LISTEN...ADJUST BACK TO PROPER FUNCTIONING
Part of our process will be to keep ourselves in an effective operating range (a "power zone"), where we use The Pause (a break between what happens and our response) to engage our higher brain (it often doesn't happen otherwise) and then choose to restore ourselves back into "the range" of balance and power, back to a condition of Homeostasis. If we use The Pause in life as part of Pause, Plan, And Pace in life, we will be cool, calm, collected, and very effective in life as we navigate it on purpose and with mastery.
TO DO THIS, WE NEED TO LEARN HOW OUR SYSTEMS OPERATE! (DUH!)
As part of this, we need to learn how our systems (mind/body) operate, so that we can operate them better - and we need to concentrate on the few things that make the most difference. Accordingly, we will be Living The 80/20 Life, where we identify the top 20% of what we can do in terms of impact, which will produce 80+% of what we want in life (the other 80% of actions produce relatively little, with many of them being fully "droppable"). Ignored or not given proper priority is the need for gaining sufficient knowledge to be effective in life (of course!). Since learning will be a major part of our progressing to a very high level of living life, we need to engage in effective learning (Authentic Learning,) where we learn systematically and from experts, as opposed to randomly and from "not so good" sources (with the latter we experience needless problems, which is unpleasant, and then, on top of that, we have to spend time correcting them - which takes more time than learning them correctly in the first place!).
And we'll follow the best techniques for learning more effectively and more quickly, saving a huge amount of time and effort!
CREATING A VERY STRONG FOUNDATION
To be effective and powerful in life, we need to create a strong foundation of certainty and clarity. In dealing with the barriers listed above, we will gain some pieces that will become part of the foundation, but we will also add the "what I have, for sure" knowledge and perspective and establish a new baseline above which all we receive are considered to be bonuses that we are also grateful for (as opposed to operating in the very common "what's missing and ain't it terrible" mode). When you understand and "know" this, it will makes a huge, huge, huge difference in your life. Although it is not mystical in anyway, learning this will literally transform your life. You'll come from an appreciative point of view that is very free of worry about the future. As a part of this foundation, we will fully establish our Positives Portfolio, of successes, strengths, values, memories, etc. This is unbeatable and absolutely necessary for a good life!
PRACTICES AND RESOURCES TO DRAMATICALLY FORWARD YOUR LIFE
As we go along the way, we'll institute practices and use resources that will assure that you operate very effectively in life, with greater ease and grace. We add structure to your life, even a "life champion schedule", "allies" and resources to give you a boost in progress and spirit, a "reminder" system, and some practices that insert a strong foundation for your day. You'll follow the practices, which we'll specify clearly, of those people who are effective and of those people who are happy (which is the most important skill to be effective at!).
AND, OF COURSE, WE'LL LEAN OUR LADDER AGAINST THE RIGHT WALL
And, early in the process, you will learn what actually makes people happy and what doesn't, so you won't waste any time putting your ladder against the wrong wall!
AND WE'LL USE THE KEY PRINCIPLES THAT WILL INCREASE OUR PAYOFFS
[Whenever we link into another site, press the "back" button on your browser to return to this site.]
Though we'll go into these in more depth, we will be using The 80/20 Principle (where the most important 20% produces 80% of the results, getting us a huge payoff for less effort) and its cousin The Law Of Diminishing Returns (which helps us determine when to stop doing something, when the returns have declined to a point where we should put our efforts into something with higher return). Ultimately, you will be Living The 80/20 Life, where you are doing what gives you the greatest payoffs and doing it with ease, grace, peace, and happiness
YES, IT WILL TAKE TIME - BUT YOU'LL QUICKLY GET IT BACK, PLUS, PLUS, PLUS!
Of course, this will require your investing your time, but you'll find it will quickly save you time and shortcut having to suffer through problems that are unnecessary. (We'll, as part of the process, free up your time from other low or no payoff areas so you'll find yourself with actually more "net" free time.)
YOU'LL BE CREATING THE "VALUE" YOU WANT FOR YOUR LIFE AND HAPPINESS
Your life, regardless of circumstances, will be one of creating permanent value for yourself that is unconditional and unassailable, added upon a base that is great in itself. You'll be free of the bullbleep beliefs of the culture and much of what you were taught that is simply not true or workable. Life will be simpler without all the extra problems and stuff we throw into it, needlessly and wastefully. And you'll have a sense of contentment and satisfaction, a sense of calmness, and one of relaxed mastery and confidence. And you won't be caught up in all the unwinnable games and life will not be stressful or harried or desperate or anxious.
Now breathe: aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh! (which you will be doing for the rest of your life...)
And we'll start....
First, we are going to start with some simple things that will not be perfected or even mastered at first, as we want to do a "build", where you gain a very good overview of how it all fits together, remove some major barriers/obstacles, and then we add in useful tools and practices and knowledge that builds on itself in a "synergistic" (2 + 2 = 5) manner. Our "build" will not necessarily be linear, as we will introduce as we go concepts that we missed in the logical sequence. Be assured that all the while we will be benefiting as we go.
Right away, we'll do the tried and true, starting with a simplified (to be tweaked and refined later, as we go) version of "What do I want?".
But before we do even that, you will set up a system (which you can adjust to fit you better as we go) where we can put what we do to use on a regular basis, which means we must have it be accessible (i.e.easily found and referred to). You will get two really nice, quality 3" three ring binders and two sets of dividers. You'll have at least the 31 day tabbed divider sets, though some people may prefer dividers they can write on.
Label one The Reminders Notebook (which we'll use an initial table of contents for) and the other the LifePlan Notebook. Click on those links to see an idea of what your initial table of contents for each will be - that will provide a place for putting everything.
WHAT TO DO NOW