[Read directly on Magdalene.co.]
by Jennie M. Xue
Divorce changed me. It made me rethink about life purposes and what I truly want in life and a relationship. One of them is how happy I want to be and how I can get to that point.
Happiness isn’t a destination. It’s both a journey and a means of arrival. This principle has been accompanying me throughout my adulthood. However, sometimes even the journey itself is full of turbulence. When it happens, happiness is placed on the sideline.
Sure, we all know about it. Mind over matter. Say the daily mantras, the affirmations. Think positively. Bla bla bla.
All those mumbo jumbos wouldn’t mean anything if you don’t quite understand how your neuro system works and the techniques required to switch it on. And you certainly don’t need any “motivators” with their own TV and radio shows.
Our neuro system works both ways: what we think and say affects our brain and what our brain thinks affects what we say and do. It may be the question of chicken and egg. Whichever comes first, the other complements and works in tandem. And both are influencing each other.
First things first, create a solid foundation for our happiness to grow upon. And that is a foundation of forgiveness. Forgive others at heart, no need to meet them in person, if you’re uncomfortable. By forgiving others at heart, you harbor no negativity. Your slate is clean again. Ready to be filled with heavy doses of happiness.
It took me a while to forgive myself. I blamed myself for every single thing that went awry. But, then, I realized that I was overestimating myself. I couldn’t have had such influence on everything and anything in the universe. Over time, I realized that I had done my best, but when things still went wrong, I’d better be ready to accept it and “forgive” myself instead.
Set a goal. A goal is a dream that is quantifiable and measurable. The goal would further set the mindset. Or, the mindset would set the goal. Whichever works. And once the mindset or goal is in place, everything else will be formed based on that mold, because you will align behaviors and actions as the consequence.
For instance, you wish to be rich and famous. How rich? US$10 billion rich? $1 billion? State your number. When do you want this goal accomplished? In 10 or five years? So how much do you need to earn per day? If you want to be “famous,” how famous? State the number of publications that must bear your photo in their covers. Start working backward and align your behaviors and actions, including your demeanor.
The divorce was like a “hard drive crash” to me, in which reformatting and reinstalling operating system and other applications were necessary. Now I’m proud to say that I’m running the latest OS application and have upgraded most of my software, including the one responsible for my happiness.
It took me one whole year to reboot, reformat, and reinstall my mind with working mindsets that would keep my sanity. And I’m sharing the techniques here for your advancement.
There are techniques in mastering your own mind. British philosopher James Allen wrote in “As A Man Thinketh” and Charles F. Haanel wrote in “The Master Key System” that the mind is a powerful thing. So powerful, that many people overlooked it. Why? Because we live in a reality based on what our mind perceives. And whatever we perceive as “reality,” is what we get in real life.
In my case, I’d need to sustain my happiness, joyfulness, and tranquility at all cost. And I’m using these techniques long before I first read about them.
Reframing the goal. Post-divorce, I’m determined that I’ll be more independent, more successful financially, and more productive intellectually. I’ve quantified the “level of success” and am using measurable units. For instance, in 2015, I will be publishing 250 column articles and earning a six-figure income to begin with. Thus, my actions and daily goals are aligned to achieve them.
Sure, my goals aren’t happiness. But happiness should be the manner of arrival and the shuttle I’m riding toward the designated goals. And for this, I’m reminding myself to take control of my own happiness. Anything diverging me from my goals is to be reduced and, eventually, eliminated.
Choosing a role model for the goals. Imitation is the highest flattery. When necessary, choose a few role models from whom you’d be learning how to behave in certain circumstances. Good thing is, we can now have “virtual mentors.” I learned and will continue learning a lot from the late Steve Jobs through books and articles about him. I admire his tenacity, resourcefulness, humility, toughness, and simplicity in design.
Keeping focused toward measurable goals. Some people find it difficult to keep focusing their mind toward the goal. They tend to forget “the big picture” or “the big idea” of the goals. In my case, my goals would rebuild my life, so I can be more useful for humanity. After all, I’m an important part of humanity. And so are you.
At last, wrap up the whole process and progress with a mindset of “I’m focused, so I’m happy.” This way, nothing and no one can take the best of you.
There, I’ve shared with you how I “call” happiness. I hope it’s useful.
*Illustration by raining rita
Magdalene.co, December 18, 2014