"I just want to be happy" is something that people often say, yet they often do not know how to reach this goal. In a large way, this because the "goal" of happy is too vague. It identifies a state but nothing that qualifies what happiness is for you and how you get there. Vague thinking is used a lot of places. It is easy to recognize when you start to look. For example, what first responder would be satisfied to hear from the chief "we have a crisis...go solve it!" ? There would be no way to solve it because there are no specifics. This is true for happy as well. Rather than thinking of happy as a goal, it is much more useful to have goals and action steps towards those goals. Imagine how happy you will feel as you make progress towards your goals...no matter what they are or how small they are. Perhaps, you can already tell that happy is truly not a destination...rather it is something that can accompany you on your life journey when you know where you want to go (at least for now) and take steps to get there.
I wonder how often you have heard people say "You can't teach an old dog new tricks"? I wonder if you even...sorta...believe that saying. If you do...it is because you may have witnessed or felt it in yourself how hard it is to change. The good news is that people can "re-wire" their neurocircuits all through life. The thing is...once we have repeated something for so long...it is hard to change...simply because we get sooooo good at doing whatever we have repeated. It becomes fast and automatic. Fighting with yourself doesn't work. Fighting yourself is a formula for frustration and even defeat. So now you may be wondering...what do I need to do to change? How does anyone really re-shape their brain? Well...to start...you need to know how the brain makes effective and long lasting change. In order to change, you need to learn how to become a competent self-manager to effectively guide what your brain learns to do. You can find all about this by listening to the new podcast series "How to be a Competent Self-Manager for Health and Well-being" by Lori Olson. You can find it on itunes, facebook.com/discovermepg and soundcloud.com