By Gregg Sanderson
“There is no path to happiness: Happiness IS the path.”— Gautama Buddha
Peace, love, and happiness are yours for the taking, along with a long, healthy life. Stress kills, suffering is no fun, and misery sucks. It all has a single cause, and you have full control over it.
Last month we introduced a new paradigm for emotions: “Stimulus —> NEED —> Response.” The response no longer depends on a change in the stimulus. NEED is the ONLY cause of stress, suffering, or just plain unhappiness. It’s an acronym for Never Ending Expectations and Demands.
A need is an unconscious demand for a person, situation, or condition to be different from the way it is.
It triggers all unpleasant emotional responses, from mild irritation to terror and despair. Here’s how it works.
Start with “What Is.” It can be anything in your life—past, present, or an expectation for the future. It’s may be a “stressful situation,” an aggressive driver, or traumatic toilet training. You perceive it through your senses, or your memory, or your desires. Then it’s transmitted through your need for it to be different. It’s not OK the way it is.
You know it’s not OK because you feel bad. In our new paradigm, stress and suffering isn’t the end of the story. It just indicates you have an unsatisfied need—a need for “What Is” to be different.
Many people think they can create happiness by controlling or manipulating the stimulus: “What Is.” How has that worked for you? How do you think it worked for them?
Other people have their needs, too, and tend to respond to the energy directed at them on the same level. Sometimes you can get temporary relief, but often things get worse. You’re still left somehow unsatisfied—No fun, no relief, no kidding.
There is an alternative:
What happens if “What Is” is OK with you? You feel fine. No need gets triggered, and your feedback to “What Is” is positive. It can only get better. It’s called happiness, and you can have all you want by changing that pesky program that says, “It’s not OK.” to one that says “It’s OK.”
“But what if it really isn’t OK?” you may ask. What if your lover leaves, you get fired, or (God forbid) the wrong person gets elected. My first reply is, “How will suffering help?” Unless you’re planning a guilt trip, it won’t do much to change “What Is.” A guilt trip usually isn’t the best way to ensure closeness, permanence, or happiness.
When you “Make it OK,” you’re dealing ONLY with your unconscious belief that says it’s not. You aren’t supporting or sanctioning “What Is.” You can still disapprove, take action to change things, or leave. You just won’t suffer and stress over it.
After all, you’re justified and it’s your life and your choice. Sure you have a right to get angry, get even, or get drunk, and I’d be the last to deny you the pleasure.
Or maybe you’d rather just get happy.*
*Author’s Note: Don’t miss next month’s exciting edition of Transformation Magazine. We’ll show you a simple and easy way to “Make it OK” in your day-to-day adventures. Meanwhile, your comments and questions are welcome. Send them direct to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gregg Sanderson is author of Spirit With A Smile, The World According To BOB. He is a licensed practitioner in the Centers for Spiritual Living, and a Certified Trainer for Infinite Possibilities. His earlier books were, What Ever Happened To Happily Ever After? and Split Happens—Easing The Pain Of Divorce. His latest project is the New Thought Global Network, where subscribers can enjoy the best in New Thought presentations from anywhere at any time. You can see it at www.newthoughtglobal.org.