The third and final of The Three Happiness Questions is Where am I going? To get ready to move onto this last stage of the Ready to Bloom program, start out by reviewing your journal or notebook with your responses to the first two Happiness Questions. It’s important that you’re clear on your answers to both of these questions, because this information and understanding is vital for creating your path forward.
Ready? The next step is clearing out and changing some of the things you may want to get rid of, to enable your progress down your path. It may resemble hacking through the undergrowth with a machete, or it may be more like cutting back some stray brambles. Either way, it’s important to get this done now so you can move forward.
It’s time to make some changes:
- In the first Happiness Question, we looked at your ceiling: the limitations you’ve created for yourself. Which of these things are still holding you back? Be aware of them, and accepting of them. Understand that these limitations are not set in stone, and that you can let go of them at any time…like now. Understand that you can change these limitations: take each phrase that you wrote out, and transform it into its opposite: instead of “I am afraid of ___,” write: “I embrace ___.” And so on, for each statement. How does that feel? Copy this new list to another sheet of paper and focus on it throughout the week.
- In the second Happiness Question, we looked at your attitudes: an often settled way of thinking or feeling, which is typically reflected in your behavior. Some were useful to you: attitudes that help you see the world in a positive light. Others may drag you down and make you feel a bit more negative. Which of these “negative” attitudes do you still hold (remember that nothing is either good or bad, it’s our perception of them that makes them negative or positive)? Be aware of them, and accept them without judging yourself. Understand that these attitudes are changeable, and that you can let go of them at any time. Now is a good time to release these “negative” attitudes: write down the “positive” attitude next to the “negative” or non-useful one. Copy the “positive” list to another sheet of paper and focus on this list throughout the week.
- In the second Happiness Question, we looked at your habits: behavior that may be repeated on a regular basis: perhaps several times a day, once a day, weekly, or with another frequency. Some of these habits may not be useful to you: perhaps you’re embarrassed of your unsightly hands because you bite your nails. Or maybe you consistently get involved in relationships with “negative” people who complain all the time. Which of these “negative” habits do you still have (remember once again that nothing is either good or bad, it’s our perception of them that makes them negative or positive)? Be aware of these habits, and accept them as a part of yourself that can be changed. Understand that you can let go of these habits at any time, and focus on changing them.
- In the second Happiness Question, we also looked at time wasters: one of many survival techniques, where we waste time to keep our minds busy. Return to your list: which of these time wasters are you still making use of? Be aware of these, and start cutting them out of your daily schedule. This is easy: make a list and keep it close to you throughout the day. When you notice you’re in the middle of a time waster, stop. Move onto something else.
- Another thing that we looked at in the second Happiness Question was expectations: those that we have of ourselves and those that others have of us. Review your list and focus on releasing yourself of all of these expectations. Remember that we’ll be setting clear, achievable goals that will help you down your path. Free yourself of your own expectations and those that others have of you.
How did that go? At the end of the week, identify which of these issues you’ve released and cleared, and which you still hold. Update your lists, and focus on the “positive” for the following week.