by Alex Allman
Here’s THREE POWERFUL WAYS to be happier, more effective, more attractive to others, get much more respect from others, and have far more successful intimate relationships. Guaranteed.
Let’s begin with this truth:
Sometimes you wake up in the morning and you feel a sense of vague (or not so vague) anxiety. Something is definitely wrong and you have no idea how you are going to fix it.
I don’t know what your particular circumstance is, but the pile of problems, the things that need doing, the number of things that could go wrong for you (or for someone you love) are just too scary to really cope with.
It is also true that at other times… just the day before or maybe just an hour later… EVERYTHING seems so perfect, so good, so clear.
And yet NOTHING HAS CHANGED. Your circumstances are the same. Yet sometimes life seems overwhelming and dreadful, and sometimes it seems full of possibility and excitement.
A simple (and kind of shitty) fact about human psychology is that we tend to cling tightly to the things that we dislike most in our lives and about our selves. We get tremendous amounts of identity validation through that which we have to suffer through.
We are unduly proud of the bad stuff we have to endure in our lives, and often feel embarrassment for those things that are given to us easily by life.
Here’s another fact about human psychology:
Our circumstances DO NOT dictate our happiness. If they did then lottery winners would all be happy and paraplegics would all be unhappy… and that is not at all the case.
You may think to yourself that this is not true for you… that winning the lottery would indeed make you happy and losing your legs would make you unhappy, but you’d be wrong.
You can check out Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert talking about his research proving this out right here.
The secret of happiness is deciding to be happy.
A powerful tool for doing this is the Thanksgiving Exercise, and today is a good day to add it to your life.
Set a timer for 10 minutes and sit down with any text editor or a pad and paper. Put a date on top and just start writing about everything you are grateful for.
Just let it flow…
You parents, your children, your education, your job, your unemployment check, clean air, food on your table, your computer, your favorite tv show, the arrival of the Victoria’s Secret catalog (or even the existence of beautiful humans for you to behold), your body, your dreams, your best friend, your 2nd grade teacher who made you feel important, the person who taught you to catch a ball, your favorite food, freedom, your relationship to god or your relationship to logic or your relationship to truth or the sweet spot where they join together for you.
This simple exercise will bring into focus why you should be having a good day and not a bad day and will result in a lot more good days.
The circumstances in your life about which you have anxiety, sadness, shame, loss… these will not vanish, but they do not require as much attention as your ego gives them.
Do the Thanksgiving exercise for 10 minutes a day (Come on! Ten minutes!), and it will change your life in the most profound way possible:
It will make you a happier person.
You will probably nod and think this is pretty good advice and then not do it anyway.
I challenge you to take a moment and put this right into your calendar for the next week… to actually DO IT.
Here’s Tip #2…
Share your list with someone you love, preferably your lover, your best friend, or someone in your family.
Share it by reading it out loud with humility and reverence and fearlessness. Do not edit, and do not let yourself be defeated by shame about anything on that list that is true for you… even something that feels base like, “money,” or “masturbation,” or “the mall”.
Your ability to be authentic about weird stuff that makes you happy is a way to be both known and accepted. And people admire those who are willing to risk embarrassment to be authentically known because it gives them permission to be more free themselves.
Oh, and don’t forget that one of the things you are thankful for is THEM.
Telling it out loud will not only make it more real, but it will put leverage on you to live in that gratitude in front of them.
If they feel compelled to share some of the things they are grateful for, listen to them with all of your attention and do not coach them or offer any opinion on what they reveal (even if they did not afford you the same dignity). And then thank them for sharing a part of themselves with you.
Tip #3 is more advanced. If you do the two above you are going to have one of hell of great Thanksgiving…
You don’t have to take this one on, but give it some consideration as it has the capacity to launch your life into a more fully realized state:
Consider the possibility of appreciating ALL OF IT.
It’s easy to appreciate and be grateful for accomplishment, pleasure, and gain…
But given that we all must die… given that our time here is so short… can you find a way to appreciate all human experience at the level of experiencing everything that life has to offer?
Can you appreciate defeat, pain, and loss at their own level? …take them as experience itself, the opportunity to feel the full palette of being a complete human?
Just as bitter foods are not appreciated by children… they are “an acquired taste,” so is appreciation of the bitterness in life.
Acquiring a taste for bitter experience and feeling into it with the possibility of gratitude is something that requires great maturity and strong intention.
Whether or not you are celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S….
May you and those you love be blessed with pleasure, passion, mutual understanding, and deep connection – today and always.
From Sarah: I know this article has nothing to do with sex (Alex’s specialty and the subject of all his other articles and special newsletters on the Hot Romance list) – how sex works for us women, and how it works for men in relationships – but we loved this and wanted you to have it. To find out more from Alex about sex – especially the steps for getting your man more confident about his sexuality in his “Revolutionary Sex” videos and programs – check him out here and get new help for your love life!