It is about time I got back to completing this short blog series about the “6 rules for happiness”. I know “rules” sounds a bit weird. Don’t care. What I do care about is the fact that this actually works and I wish I had the balls to actually do something about this many many years ago.
Look, you can do what you want, I am only writing about my own opinion and experiences here. I am not a big fan of motivational speakers such as Tony Robbins or Les Brown. I am more interested in the science of happiness and once you start digging this brings you automatically closer to positive psychology, neuroscience and cognitive science. You’d be surprised how much of your happiness, or rather being happy, is driven by super simple activities or specific behaviours.
Back to my 6 rules. If you are reading this, you most likely read part 1 of this blog post series. If not, it makes sense to have a quick read before you continue with this update.
Don’t do what you don’t want to do.
That’s rule number 2 and sounds a bit like rule number 1 “do only what you want to do” but is totally different. According to Labkovsky, “Concessions and compromises are a direct path to the cardiologist” and, doing things which you don’t want to do, trigger a scenario for the worse. Maybe not immediately but you’ll get your payback.
Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later I’m uglier ways.
Sigismund Schlomo Freud
Society has conditioned us to think of ourselves as selfish if we put ourselves first, but the truth is that most of us would be better off if we spent more time focusing on ourselves. There is a good analogy I use quite often and that’s the oxygen mask situation on a plane. There is a reason why they – in case of an emergency – ask you to put on your own oxygen mask first, before you help others. You simply can’t help anyone else if you can’t breathe.
Don’t do what you don’t want to do is really hard to learn because it is so much easier to say “yes” than “no”. You are afraid of saying no because your biggest fear is rejection. You are afraid that saying no will disappoint someone, make them angry, hurt their feelings, or you appear unkind or rude. Having people think negatively of you is the ultimate rejection.
This goes back to our childhood (well, for some of us) because as kids we learned that saying no was impolite or inappropriate. If you said no to your mum, dad or teacher you were most certainly considered to be being rude, and you would have probably been told off for it. Of course as kids we had no idea what was potentially dangerous or what was the difference between right or wrong. Still, we didn’t learn how to say “NO!”
Give it a go and say no.
Seriously I just came up with this! Sounds like a cool book title, except there are plenty of books on this particular topic. One that I can recommend is Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty… And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, And Unapologetically Being Yourself by Aziz Gazipura.
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