Being Happy is easy, once you eliminate what makes you unhappy.
Happiness it is such a simple thing. Yet in the realm of emotions, simple does not mean easily attainable. Particularly as we have been taught to be rewarded for a more complex intellect. All our effort to get good grades in school and be successful, has largely been an effort to think more complexly. This includes having a lot of serious opinions. Thus pushing away being simply happy. In our complex opinions , we get lost in emotions of frustration, anger, sadness, jealousy, and…. well,,,, you have the idea. We are no longer just happy.
If you are to change our emotional state then it seems that a shift in attitude would be in order. After all, if we are in a different emotional state, a different attitude is present. But if we are to change our attitude, then perhaps it would be easy to start with changing an opinion. Now switching sides on an opinion, that can sometimes be tough. I don’t know too many people who just up and switch political parties. So lets start with shifting our opinions on things that have less emotional investment. And then we can build from there. Once you are able to shift your opinions you will find it easier to shift your emotions.
What can you find in your inventory of opinions that you could let go of, or change? For instance, an opinion about the weather. How tough would that be? Try it. When you notice an emotional reaction to the weather, see what the opinion is and just as an experiment, decide to not believe your own opinion.
Then maybe try it about what someone else is wearing. Continue practicing on these little ones. Then, maybe work up to what your opinion is about someone else. Then, maybe don’t believe the opinions you have about yourself. Try it just as an experiment.
You might try these shifts with other people. Where you might instinctively disagree with someone, catch it, and just for practice, agree with them. You don’t need to do this in cases that are critical to your life just things about the weather, politics, fashion, or a sporting event.
You might find that after a while that your attitude about the weather has changed. And your attitude towards other people has changed. You might also find that how you treat yourself has changed. What will sneak up on you though, is more of a simple feeling of happiness.
When I entered into the process of transforming my personal dream, I did so to be happy, no matter what. I soon stumbled upon a man who was happy, don Miguel. What I found out about him was that he rarely had an opinion in his head. I found that he is a very simple man. He has the capacity to be complexly brilliant, no doubt about that. He use to be a medical doctor. But he prefers to be simply happy instead. I think this is a brilliant decision, but that is just my opinion.
Here is another trick to help you let go of opinions.
Whenever possible and appropriate try the following. When someone asks you for your opinion, let your response be, “I don’t know.” You might also do this even when you have a ready opinion to share. Doing this then will be even more helpful in letting go of your opinions.
One of the ways we are often asked for our opinion is by people first giving us theirs, and then they ask us to agree with them (or sometimes disagree with them). This is a perfect time for “I don’t know.” You may find that tossing the conversation back in their court will take off some of their surprise and possible discomfort. A simple way to do this is to ask them a question in return such as: “I don’t know, I hadn’t thought about it. What do you think about it?” or “I don’t know. But can tell me how you came up with your point of view on the issue.”
If we practice letting go of our opinions we will find we have changed quite a bit. With out our opinions, we let go of the attitude of being right. We also let go of the attitude of others being wrong. We also don’t need to carry around all those justifications to prove those points of view. In this way life is becoming simpler. If we let go of our well justified and defended complex opinions, certainly we will change. But perhaps this is what will make us simply happy.