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Day Seven Happily Ever After

Day Seven 7

Happily Ever After
Live the secrets of life-long happiness!
The Last Story:
0nE day, a wealthy businessman hired a fishing boat to take him out to sea for a day of relaxation. The sun was shin­ ing, and the wealthy man took a liking to the happy young fisherman who guided the fishing boat through the waters of the harbour.
'Young man,' said the wealthy businessman. T can teach you the secrets of success, if you'll only listen carefully.'
'OK,' said the young fisherman, smiling as he cleaned the morning's catch.
Although he was a bit taken aback by the young man's casual manner, the businessman began his lesson.
'First off, double your prices. You run a good, clean boat and you know where the fish are plentiful.'
'Why would I want to do that?' replied the young fisher­ man, distracted by watching a small crab playing in the waves by the shore.
The businessman could feel the irritation rising as he replied.

'Because then you will be able to buy a second boat, and a third, and you will be able to take on more tourists and catch more fish. If you work hard, you will earn enough to buy a whole fleet of boats.'
'But why would I want to do that?' the young fisherman asked as he rolled over onto his back to soak up the last gentle rays of the afternoon sun.
By now, the businessman was furious.
'Because then you will become rich, and you can hire people to do your work for you while you spend your days fishing and relaxing in the sun!'

'Ah,' the young fisherman said, nodding sagely. 'That sounds wonderful!'
Two Kinds of Happiness
7 have come to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized.
I am happy because I am growing daily and I am honestly not knowing
where the limit lies. ’

I believe that there are two kinds of happiness in the world. The one most of us think of is simply feeling wonderful in your body. The other, more subtle form of happiness is a state of being in perfect harmony with life, the universe and everything. This is the state that psychologists call 'flow', musicians call 'the groove', and athletes call 'the zone'. Today, you will be learning how to take responsibility for your own happi­ness, and the secrets of bringing more of both kinds of happiness into your life virtually 'on demand'. For some, it's a warm, peaceful, glowing feeling. Other people describe it as a kind of delightful sense of inner satisfaction. While I don't know precisely what happiness feels like for you, I do know that if you began to have that feeling that you call happiness in your body right now, you could identify it in an instant.
When is it not OK to be happy?
Many people put obstacles in the way of feeling happi­ness. While some people are still waiting for things outside them to 'make them happy', others are concerned about feeling happiness inappropriately.
I was leading a seminar on creating happiness when a participant stood up with tears in his eyes.
'My daughter just died/ the man said. 'Are you saying I'm supposed to be happy about that?'
First I said: 'It's only right, only natural that you are sad about the death of your daughter. You feel sad because she meant so much to you, but would she want you to feel sad for ever?' As he thought about it I asked him to reflect on all the good times he had with his daughter - all the love that he shared with her and all the experiences they had enjoyed together. When I could see that he was really connected to his experi­ence, I asked him how he thought she would want him to feel.
He paused for a moment, then a smile began to shine across his face beneath the tears. When he finally spoke, we could all hear the love in his heart as he said simply, 'She would want me to be happy.'
We all have our own 'rules' for when happiness is an inappropriate response to what is going on around us. The important thing to remember is that happiness is first and foremost a choice. As Abraham Lincoln once said: 'Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.' 

The Science of Happiness
A few years ago I heard about a medical doctor in New York who helped drug addicts overcome their addictions by putting them into a trance and teaching their bodies to create the response to the drug. Once they learned the technique, they were able to get 'high' naturally. Since they now realized it was their body that was making them feel so good and not the drugs, it became progres­sively easier for them to wean themselves off their chemical dependency.
Here's how it works.
Any drug you've ever taken created a specific neuro­-chemical response in your body. This response is the source of the 'high'. In other words, it's not what the drug does that makes you feel a particular way, it's what your body does in response to the drug that gives you the feeling. 

While I was very impressed with the research behind the doctor's work, what particularly interested me was the idea of creating 'happiness on demand' - that is, the process of teaching the mind to get the body to create the chemicals inside that lead to good feelings where and when we want them.
For decades, researchers had been trying to find out what it was that allowed the drug opium to have its euphoric effects. When Dr Candace Pert was still only a graduate student, she discovered what are called the 'opiate receptors', not just in the brain, but in every single cell in the body.
She found these receptors were particularly in tune with one special kind of chemical messenger, called 'endogenous morphine', or more commonly 'endorphin'. Endorphins are your body's natural opiates, the neuro­ transmitters that control pain and create pleasure. There are happy chemicals inside you!

When I heard about the doctor who was helping drug addicts to overcome their addiction by getting naturally high using hypnosis, I started experimenting to see if I could get people to have endorphin releases using imag­ination exercises. Not only were many of them able instantly to experience those great feelings, but also it was without any formal hypnotic induction, just using a simple imagination technique.
People I tried it with suddenly found they felt fantas­tic! I would simply ask them to remember times in the past when their endorphins were flowing, then to turn up the brightness and colour of those happy memories and keep going through them again and again until some people were smiling with delight while they nearly fell off their chairs laughing.
Since then I have taught thousands of people how to give themselves an instant endorphin release. Recently a psychiatrist wrote to me and explained how he'd been using the technique with his patients who suffered from depression and how much it had helped them.
Let's get happy right now ... 

Here are two simple strategies that will help you turn your feelings of panic or being overwhelmed into the focus of flow ...
1. Lowering your sights
While conventional wisdom tells us to shoot for the stars, happiness research points out that lowering your sights and focusing on a target that you know you can hit can quickly turn even the most daunting challenge into a fun adventure. When Richard Bandler went to transform the US Army pistol-shooting programme, one of the first things he did was cut the distance to the target in half. As people's confidence and skill increased, the targets were gradually returned to the original distance. The result - a vastly increased success rate in less than half the original training time.

Example: Quadrupling my sales volume
'1 lower my sights and set myself a smaller target - doubling my sales volume. No, still too scary. What if I try to increase my volume by one in the next week? Doesn't feel within my control. I know - I'll make 20 more calls a day than I did last month! That puts me firmly into flow.'

2. Focus on past success
If you've got this far in life, chances are you've done more than a few things right. When you start to focus on what you do that's working, your perception of your ability increases, and along with it you increase the possi­bility of flow.

Example: Asking dream lover out on a date
'Hmmm ... I've actually dated before. And some of them have even gone well! And remember that time that______ said yes, which really surprised me? And that other time? And that other time? OK, my heart's still pumping, but it's turned into excitement - I'm still pumped up but it feels like a positive challenge.'

The Problem with Pleasure
A number of people have come to me over the years suffering from what I can only describe as 'an excess of pleasure'. I like to share with them a distinction between pleasure and what I will call 'satisfaction' - i.e. between those things that feel good in the moment and those things that we feel good about afterwards.
Here's the distinction in a nutshell:
Pleasures give the body pleasant sensations; satisfactions gratify the soul. 

When seeking out worthy challenge in your own life, bear in mind that optimal experience tends to live at the balancing point at the outer edge of your abilities - when you're fully engaged but not overwhelmed by the chal­lenge. 
Here is today's key lesson:
Happiness is not a result - it's a state of mind and body.

Congratulations, you're almost done! In the conclud­ing chapter, I'll share with you some ideas on how to maintain and develop the changes that have been occur­ ring over the last seven days.
Until then,
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