Controlling Yourself to Happiness…


UnknownThe paradox of all paradoxes occurs when something that appears contraindicated leads to exactly what you are looking for in life. Happiness, often maligned and dismissed or over-exalted and worshipped, is found in control, not in letting loose; in reigning in, not in unbridling; in checks and balances, not in removing the boundaries. The good life demands you take charge of yourself. Control yourself to happiness…

I submit that the part of life you have failed to control, for whatever reason, is the primary contributing cause of your difficulties and your struggles. Corruption and deterioration have to find a way in and exist only when allowed or invited. Decay follows that which is not maintained and control is that maintenance. The let loose life (and believe me I’ve spent too much time there) let’s loose both fun and pain. But, the pain always exceeds the fun in unfulfilled life and pervasive unhappiness. Sure, there is always a balance with religion being the polar opposite of ungoverned anarchy. Religion adds in checks where there are no checks and limitations imposed not for future bliss but for the intended misery of the occupant. Too much control strips life of its variety and blessings ever pointing the one controlled to his own lack and deficiencies. Religion is not control but rather a fear induced and fear motivated attempt at escaping something thus far imagined or experienced, yet not producing a remedy but instead more fear! The control that leads to happiness is never found there.

Thought allowed to run rampant whithersoever it leads is the bane of man’s existence. It repudiates order and stands in active defiance to the system God designed for man. It results in a misery then blamed on God, though encouraged and endorsed by the individual. No wonder as the message of the world is ever “all is to be welcomed” and all may be experienced. While all things are lawful for me, all things are not expedient. Though God has made free to do as I please, rotten and painful results help shape my future decisions. Thus control is not engendered as a response to fear but rather as a humble attempt at locating what is best. Just as joy encourages perseverance towards the goal, control promises liberty and happiness days with no end.

The question is not what is wrong with you but rather what category or categories of your life have you let go? What do you love so much that you over indulge in it? What vices  have long since replaced problem solving or have promised peace by soothing and numbing? What thing pops up over and over and over as a lesson unengaged? If you are unhappy there is such a thing, promising you liberty yet putting chains on your soul. Controlling yourself isn’t arduous, refusing to is. Control is nothing more than the discipline required to compete successfully. Once disqualified you’re no longer eligible for the prize. Get the prize!

I have proven to myself as the ultimate fun lover and pleasure seeker that the more I loose the restraints the more restrained I have become. Yet the simple application of a diet or commitment to exercise or a sustained abstinence from some thing, the happier I have become in increased proportion to my efforts. Yet my happiness hasn’t followed some grand morality or complete change of being, but following instead some small discipline I’m quite capable of achieving. Thus the lesson is clear, check and balance that which you can check and balance and enjoy the unchecked blessings that accompany.

The starting point for you in your quest is to locate an area, decided by you and never by another, that you can apply some discipline to, such as “no more of this thing on the weekdays” or “no sugar for three weeks” or “3 times per week at the gym no matter what!” Do so and you will find that not only do you immediately begin to feel better following your decision, but that the small decision starts to transcend into other categories of your life. It’s as if God cannot get you to step 7 until you have at least begun with step 1 and persisted through steps 4, 5, and 6.

The happy fellow or happy gal you have been observing with eyes askant will, almost as sure as the sun coming up tomorrow, already be engaged in this process applying limits as required and learned. It’s a mark of human maturity and seems hard to learn without having lived on the other side. Just as a child flitters from place to place with unbridled happiness, will also eat the whole bag of M&M’s to their stomach’s demise. It takes years lived to finally see, if you ever see, that control is not only expected but required.

Take the reigns of your own life and leave no aspect of yourself in the hands of another! Let no good thing be relegated to chance and circumstance. Instead of railing and screeching at the conditions of your life, control yourself and those things applicable directly to you. If it is yours, address it. If you own it, care for it. If you’re responsible to steward it, guard it and keep it and watch over it! Your body like your car can run a long time with little maintenance but when it dies it is really dead! But, a little care applied here and there and most issues are simply resolved. Discipline is a choice and a lack of discipline is also a choice. Choose wisely!

In short my friends, “Be the boss of your own butt” and see if you don’t have the best ‘glutes’ in town!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

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What Came First, Your Thoughts or Your Results?


maxresdefaultRecently, I found myself embroiled in a Twitter battle with someone I don’t know and many others I don’t know over the topic of depression. A guy posted a little ditty about being depressed along the lines of, “if you’re depressed and you know it, clap your hands.” So I replied, tongue in cheek, with a similar ditty about changing your thoughts. Some recognized the levity, but quite a few others insisted on teaching me about depression and how it wasn’t that simple and show me some evidence that changing your thoughts can change brain chemistry and so on. Essentially the group argument consisted of well-intentioned people defending the chemical nature of depression and apparently the fact that your thoughts have nothing to do with it and even more incredulously, that there’s nothing you can do about it. So depression or any other mental malady, what came first, your thoughts or your results?

First let’s clarify one important reality. Yes depression, particularly clinical depression can be tracked to chemical changes in your brain. But, and hear me out on this one, to conclude that the depression you are experiencing has nothing to do with what you are thinking, is categorically nuts! If that was the case all of us would be potential victims to any mental malady that came our way and would be powerless against it. You’re living your life happy and blessed then boom, you spiral down into depression or anxiety or anything else that chooses you! Life does not work that way. However, if you are paying attention, you will recognize that the world will always have an excuse for you to stay trapped in your personal conundrum.  It will always have you draw some conclusion where you basically agree there is nothing you can do about what you are experiencing. The result? You end up actually defending your problem’s right to have power over you and have lots of science or other man-made intelligence supporting your beliefs. Your thoughts came first!

Depression begins with depressed thoughts. Anxiety begins with anxious thoughts. All known phobias began with fearful thoughts about something. Now stop right there. If what I just said pissed you off in some capacity, you have to ask yourself what it is you are defending. To think that your thoughts didn’t precede you present reality takes away your responsibility for your life and hands it over to someone or something else. The world is chock full of victims with well-rehearsed stories about how they don’t have a choice when actually they always have a choice. The choice with mental maladies, and by the way I’ve been there, is to control your thinking in the here and now. Is it really that simple? No, it’s not simple at all, especially if you have gotten yourself into some deeply grooved ruts! But, it is the only way out! You have to decide to think something else or stop thinking certain things, before you can even begin to see the way out. Wallowing in the chemical nature of your problem is simply resignation to defeat. Your thoughts came first!

In contrast to mental maladies and anything that pains or hinders our lives, let’s consider happy people or people who remain positive and hopeful about their lives. What do they do that maybe you don’t do? Are they really predetermined for success? Are they just the result of good fortune heaped on them randomly with no discernible reason why? The same world that spends considerable time with increasing evidence to convince you there is nothing you can do about your problems, also maligns and disparages being positive and reduces it to foolishness by implying positive people simply spout positive bullshit in contrast to their worsening issues. Really? Is that all that positive people do? In reality, positive, happy people experience the same garbage and conflict in life that you experience. The difference is that they fight back with their thoughts and refuse to surrender to science or anything else that chips away at their well-being. They can acknowledge that today was a freaking horrible day, but don’t expect tomorrow to be the same. When someone lays a rap on them that implies there is nothing they can do about something, they beg to differ over and over and over again. Your thoughts came first.

Part of controlling your thinking, and for the love of God it is something you can do or God wouldn’t ask you to do it, is to be cautious about what you take ownership of… Is it a disease or is it your disease? Is it depression or is it your depression? Just because a doctor gave it to you doesn’t mean you have to own it. I know, there I go again with my Pollyanna bullshit! I mean, the perfectly reasonable, logical thing to do is to accept your fate and get in line with the rest of the sheep following and cascading over the cliff to their own demise! Being realistic depends wholly on what you consider to be real. Science isn’t in opposition to God it’s of God (you smarties…). The opposition shows up when science, so-called, refutes what God says and makes it appeal to the ego of man who always knows more than he actually knows! If you and your scientific realities know the answer, then fix your issue and let’s get back to living. Alas, your thoughts came first!

One thing you can and should own is your own life! You certainly don’t need to own the negative assaults upon you day by day, but you can and should own your results. Own it! Accept where you are. Accept responsibility for the things that haven’t worked out. Taking ownership is always the starting point for any life revisions you may need. As you  put your hands firmly back on the wheel, you will discover that God has given you control if you are willing to take it! Say what you may my friends, your thoughts came first!

Just some good thoughts…