He was SHOCKED How 3 Hours Could Change His Life … Significantly.

This is a fascinating story written by a friend that I feel absolutely compelled to share. He asked that his name be left out, but otherwise I have not edited his words at all…

. . . . .

-1 Hour (Before)

Here’s a shortlist that describes me — for the most part — up until this point… Depressed, Suicidal, Alcoholic, Often Nervous/Shy, Lacking Focus, Hopeless, No Vision, Struggling To Feel Inspired, Constantly Drained of Energy (and getting worse by the day), A Terrible Procrastinator, Unable to Maintain Healthy Habits, Constantly Bombarded by Mental Noise … not even capable of booking a dentist’s appointment or drinking a litre of water in a day — despite desperately needing to do both.

I had flown interstate for some business and was staying with some friends. Besides the fact that I had recently separated from my wife of 10 years, it had also been an intense week re-developing their healthcare brand and I was finding it difficult to hide how much I was struggling with life at this point.

I’m a branding consultant so, deeply concerned about seeing my plummeting emotional and physiological energy levels, they had suggested I do a “Brand Me” exercise — where I re-focus on a vision for my life — who I am, what I want, what I stand for and how I imagine the best version of me. This is what I was doing in the first hour — trying to re-connect with the best version of me…

The First Hour

As part of this exercise, I was intending to gather “evidence” of how I deserved to live my best life. This included 2 columns — [1] evidence as to why I should enjoy better cash-flow and [2] evidence that I am loved and wanted.

The first column (cash-flow) was quickly filled. The second column… empty.

It didn’t make any sense. 

I knew, intellectually, that I was loved and wanted — I had evidence on SOME level that this was true for me — but there was some bizarre block that would NOT allow me to look at it, to really accept it, to even consider it as valid.

Now, the reason I even added “loved and wanted” as a column in the first place was something that happened in this first hour — an email to a friend in New York about how much I was struggling with life and some decisions I had to make after my recent marriage break-up:

…I keep asking myself “what do I really want?” — but I’m struggling with the answers because I’m so conflicted about being a good parent and yet following my inspiration in business and other areas of my life. I wonder if what I really want moves me further from my kids, then how will that play out in their experience? I know it’s just fear, but I never want them to feel unloved or unwanted…
And that’s when it hit me like a nuclear-fricking-bomb.

I slumped in my chair and stared blindly at the ceiling. That’s ME, I realised. That’s ME. On some deep sub-conscious or historic level, I feel unloved and unwanted. So then I continued to write:
…There’s a big, deep part of ME that feels unloved and unwanted, and that’s incredibly hard to dig up and let go of because it’s from experiences in my early childhood that were obviously so impactful in my personal development…
Which is why I added the 2nd column to my “Brand Me” document — I thought I could just rationalise it into nothingness. But I was frozen, unable to write ANYTHING.

The Second Hour

I have read a lot of different self-development/self-help books and done a fair bit of “work” on myself in the past. So, despite my block with the evidence list, I figured I would just hit it from another angle.

I walked upstairs, into a bathroom and stared deeply into my own eyes in the mirror as I affirmed “I AM loved and wanted, I AM loved and wanted, you ARE loved and wanted you ARE loved and wanted”…

Normally this is a strangely empowering experience, but this time it was very different.

I suddenly felt myself fall into a light trance-like state, watching my life from this day rewind quickly in my mind — I was looking for something. I knew WHAT the problem was, but not WHEN. I guess, on some level, I figured that if I knew when it all started, then I could do something about it.

My mind stopped at sometime around 10 years old. I pictured myself standing in the backyard of our family home in New Zealand staring up at the sky, feeling utterly alone.

But that wasn’t it. I could just feel it. So, back in rewind mode, I zoomed past all the years before until I pictured myself as a baby.

At this point, I almost passed out.

The overwhelm of being at this unknown place in my memory felt like it was going to swallow me up, like a giant black wave coming to drag me to the depths of the ocean and drown me there. It was so intensely raw I couldn’t get near it. I immediately had to step away from it — out of this state, out of the bathroom and out of the house to get some fresh air.

The Third Hour

One of my friends returned to her house and I mentioned about what I had discovered. I also suggested that I might see someone who was skilled enough to help me release this (in a gentle way, hopefully).

I knew the perfect practitioner, close to where I was staying, who I was sure could help, but I was about to fly out the next day, it was already mid-afternoon and I knew she’d be booked out. Still, my friend said she’d call to check…. Amazingly, she had JUST had a cancellation, and when synchronicity is at play like that, you know you just have to go with it.

So I jumped in the car, drove down, and 10 minutes later I was in session with this wonderful healer.

As a highly skilled practitioner, she was able to gently walk me in and out of the feeling and imagery that came up — using what I think is called “paradoxical therapy” and other techniques to simply allow me to become present to what actually happened and I guess to get a sense of the misinterpretation of the event…

The details are not actually that important. But I saw I had experienced deep fear, confusion and finally resignation of a life of aloneness (or as much of that as baby could process anyway).

…I finally understood what had driven so much of my behaviour for my WHOLE life.

After it was done, I felt a wonderfully deep sense of peace and presence.

Here’s what I’ve noticed has changed (instantly)…

  • Energy levels have risen dramatically (but not like the manic elation I used to get before a big crash into depression).
  • My body feels literally warmer (perhaps better blood-flow?).
  • No “heavy wet blanket” of depression.
  • No “noise” in my head (this is one of the greatest changes for me personally).
  • Presence — I’m just here and now (not distracted by past regrets and future fears).
  • Focus — I don’t procrastinate or have to push myself to complete a task.
  • The obsession around alcohol has disappeared (I even tested it by having a few beers, and the physical experience is different now).
  • My whole experience of life has changed (everything just feels easier, clearer, simpler).
  • I made the dentist’s appointment without any hesitation or difficulty (after more than 10 years of procrastination).
  • I bought a water filter and immediately drank a litre without needing to go to the toilet every 5 minutes (this is a dramatic change for me).
  • The drama around my failed marriage has gone.
  • The hope of a better future seems strong.
  • My self-belief has risen.
  • It feels like all the mental resistance and friction has dissolved.
  • My pro-activity in heading towards the new “Brand Me” is in full force.

It was like there were a myriad of things — emotional, mental and physiological — that were programmed to confirm my sub-conscious belief that I was unloved and unwanted.

Now it’s like someone has pushed a giant emotional, and even physiological, RESET BUTTON. 

I’m feel like I’m free to choose my own experience.

. . . . .

Amazing. Imagine what our world be like if we could ALL find and release these deep blockages in our emotional lives?

Overcoming Depression by Curing Man’s “Morning Sickness”

First up, I’m NOT talking about pregnancy here. I’m talking about the most important part of the day — morning — and how we often ignore it to our own detriment…

It’s totally overwhelming to think thoughts like “I just need to improve my life to feel happy” (or any similar all-encompassing line of thought). So, as discussed in my previous post, you need to isolate the problem.

The depression/anxiety domino-effect

Actually, it’s usually a cascade of several problems — of varying levels of importance, accumulating as the day goes on — that bring us down. There are many things that can trigger depression (see this post about overcoming depression triggers), but it’s important to remember that “the first triggers are the keys to unravel the rest”. Or, put another way, the way we start something often ends up becoming the way we experience the rest of it.

Case-in-point; your entire life to-date… Many of us live out our whole lives based on the belief systems our parents and early peers instilled in us. Our first 7 years are very formative, and if we’re not conscious of those inner “programs” we were given during that time, we can keep experiencing the same type of life that our parents and peers experienced.  This totally sucks if your parents or peers gave you a set of beliefs that were limiting or depressing!

But there is hope. As soon as we are aware of the idea of “inner programs”, we can start to become aware of exactly what they are, and then we can set about changing them! There are lots of simple ideas for personal transformation in my book if you’re interested in discovering more.

“How do you eat an elephant? … One bite at a time”

The realisation

So, working backwards from the end of many long and unhappy days, I gradually saw one thing in common. And likewise, working backwards from the end of many fun and fruitful days, I could see the opposite commonality. Almost ALL of the miserable days started badly, and almost ALL of the great days started well.

Go frame yourself!

overcoming depression framingThere’s something magic about a picture frame isn’t there? … You can put a crazy pencil scribble in an expensive black frame with a wide white border and it looks like modern art on your wall… Hell, they’ve probably got some similar stuff at MoMA! … But you can stick it on your fridge without a frame, and it looks just like a crazy pencil scribble — nothing more.

“The frame creates the perception,
and the perception creates the experience.”

Life’s just like that too. It’s one of the key reasons why some people have good self-esteem and others don’t — they’ve framed themselves (or been framed by their parents/peers) in a way that creates either a good, neutral or poor self-perception… And this in turn creates the experience of life for those people.

A very simple start to re-framing your world

There are some areas of life that take a fair bit of work to re-frame. There are some deep, emotional reasons why people suffer anxiety and depression… and then there are other reasons that are dead-easy to fix. And what I’ve found is that, often just fixing the easy bits first stops the hard bits from even being a serious issue anymore — because they just don’t show up in your mind when you’ve started that day with a positive frame.

“…what I’ve found is that, often just fixing the easy bits first stops the hard bits from even being a serious issue anymore…”

Simply put; your life is the sum of your days. So, it makes sense that the start of each day is the most important bit to change — because it can “frame” the rest of your day… and then, accumulatively, it can change the remainder of your whole life.

Here are some quick scenarios I’ve personally experienced to help you clearly see what I’m getting at here….

  • DAY 1: I slept in, was late for work (again), risked losing my job (again) and framed my day in a stressful way that re-affirmed the depressing idea that I’m unreliable. That day sucked.
  • DAY 2: I had a crap breakfast (some cheap cereal with zero nutrition and LOTS of sugar), I had a brief sugar high, then hit with a major sugar low, had a strong coffee (high, then back to low again), then couldn’t concentrate all day, felt physically sluggish (which often transmutes to “depressed” in my mind because it’s hard to tell the difference). That day sucked.
  • DAY 3: I woke up early, had a relaxed morning before work and everything felt pretty normal. That day was neutral.
  • DAY 4: I started the day with a nutritious breakfast of organic grains, nuts and fruit. I had good focus and energy all day. Work went well. That day felt good.
  • DAY 5: I woke early, had a healthy breakfast, meditated, and the rest of the day felt close-to-perfect — even when things went wrong at work. I sailed through. That day was calm and happy.

Start well, end well.

Curing our “morning sickness” — the habits that hinder our happy days — is obviously just one piece of the puzzle… But it’s a very important one. So get to it! 😉

Dear Bono, I Think I HAVE Found What I’m Looking For

Striving, striving, striving… But what are we striving for? What are we really looking for?

We work ourselves into the ground, we party hard, we study hard, we’re always moving, yearning, striving, pushing, pulling, trying, seeking…. But most of us don’t even know why.

And yet it’s really very simple.

We’re looking for a feeling. Not just ANY feeling though…. We’re looking for the original feeling. We want to come “home” inside ourselves to the place of peace and contentment. Home is that place where we feel complete, whole and simply happy (regardless of what is going on around us).

This feeling is not the ecstacy and euphoria of drugs, love-making, high-danger sports or all-night dance raves. It’s not the achievement of global fame, incredible goals or millions of dollars. It’s not MOST of the things we seek and esteem highly in this western culture.

We can “have” everything, but feel nothing.

As I discussed in my last post, many people have material success, but a poverty of genuine fulfillment… Sadly, most think they just need MORE of what they’ve been striving for. But there’s never enough “stuff” in this world to truly satisfy anyone.

The hard part is letting go… Eastern culture calls this “detachment”. Christian culture says to be “in the world, but not of it” — in other words, find your substance outside the world we live in. Ironically, the substance that’s not of this world is found within.

To get out, you must go in.

To get out of the striving, pushing and “needing” world we live in, we have to go inside ourselves. Underneath the many layers of culture and society and parental instruction and teacher’s “wisdom”, we have our original self. This is the part of us that is connected to the eternal… This is where we find the “feeling” we’re really looking for. Once you get a conscious glimpse of it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

The reason I say “conscious” glimpse, is because some people find a little of it (e.g. in religion or other spiritual practices, or even on the golf course if they’re lucky) but don’t consciously realise that this is what they’re seeking in every area of life. They get a taste once a week, then go back to striving and stressing about the rest of their life.

I’m not saying that you should stop doing what you’re doing. I’m just saying that we all should stop seeing our jobs, lovers, drugs, money (etc) as the thing we’re searching for. The feeling we’re seeking is not found in any of those things — it’s found within.

We already have it.

We can uncover it by asking better questions (see my last post) such as “what does my original self FEEL like?”, “what does real fulfillment FEEL like?” and so on. Remember to ask with curiosity, like you’re asking your mother what ice-cream tastes like, knowing she can’t resist giving you some to see that incredible look of joy on your face as you experience it for the first time.

. . .

This week I’ve been watching “The Legend of The Seeker”. And it reminded me that we are ALL seekers of truth. We came into this world to experience the completeness and contrast of life, but ultimately to return to the truth within. 

I truly hope you feel a glimpse of it today.

10 Killer Questions That End Depression, Anxiety & Stress

Now, before I get into the questions, I need to explain how this works. Actually, it’s VERY exciting, and hopefully you’ll see why very soon.

The only premise you’ll need is trust here. You’ll need to trust me that what I’m saying is true and it works, because I’m talking from direct personal experience here (remember: I’m that ex-suicidal, ex-manic-depressive, ex-drunk that is now enjoying a blissfully happy life). So, that out of the way, lets get on with it!

Have you ever been simply curious about something? Maybe think back to school days when you were learning things for the first time. Can you recall a favourite teacher? Imagine or recall a time where you asked that teacher a question about something new and interesting. Maybe it was asking your science teacher how Hydrogen and Oxygen can merge together and make water…

Perhaps something simpler and more relevant would be better, like “What does *insert-interesting-word-here* mean?”. When you ask that sort of question to a teacher, you naturally expect a good answer… And if they’re a half-decent teacher, you would naturally expect to understand the answer too. You’re asking for a transfer of knowledge, and that’s exactly what you get. It’s very simple.

So, what if I told you that life is just like that too?

What if you could get a transfer of knowledge about how to feel great, despite everything that’s going on for you right now?

Well, you can.

In fact, I’ve discovered that it’s actually MUCH better than that. Because I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few years asking questions (like “how do I overcome depression?”) and getting these sorts of knowledge transfers in many forms. Often it’s something simple like picking up the right book at the library, or someone crossing my path for long enough to share a new thought or approach to life.

However, the problem is that I often still have to spend a lot of time making those new approaches work for me, and make them a habitual part of my life. It takes work, and sometimes it takes a LOT of time (years in some cases).

The key is in the TYPE of questions you ask.

There’s a few parts to this, so I’ll try and make it as clear as I can…

Firstly, you MUST focus on the positive, not the problem. For example, don’t ask “how do I overcome depression, anxiety and stress?” — instead ask “how do I find happiness?” (or similar type of question). Always put your mind in motion to zone in on what you DO want, rather than have it still thinking about the problem at hand. It’s just how our brains work, like sniffer dogs — if you give your brain a question about the problem, it goes seeking more of that problem along with ways to understand it. If you give your brain a question about the solution, then it brings that into your experience instead. Cool huh?

Secondly, the BIGGEST problem as far as I’m concerned is that people mentally and emotionally separate themselves from the solution. In the past I often found myself trying to head towards something good but all the time sabotaging it with my own thoughts, because I felt it was somehow beyond me — out of reach, unobtainable, or impossible even. We can easily find excuses why something good should NOT just fall in our laps. Unfortunately, society often teaches us to be “realistic” about things. Now that’s fine if you’re thinking of buying an expensive new car, but only earn a few dollars each week. But when it comes to the workings of The Universe, it’s incredibly debilitating to have that mindset.

Thirdly, our questions can sometimes bring more confusion than anything else, because some questions have an endless number of answers. Asking “how can I find happiness”, you might end up with a million treasure maps, all leading you in slightly different directions. So which one will work for you? Which path should you take? How long will it take to get there…. Woah!! I’m getting exhausted just thinking about it!

So what’s the solution? The solution is to ask a certain type of question that bypasses the opportunity to self-sabotage. The solution is to ask questions that have only one possible response. The solution is to find a question that is full of curiosity and wonder — just like when you were a small child, learning things for the first time. The solution is actually very simple…

You just need to ask how something feels.

The reason that this is the most important aspect of life-changing questions is that our life is ALL about how we feel.

There are millionaires who are depressed as hell, and there are people almost starving to death who are happy.  There are people with hundreds of friends who feel completely isolated and lonely, and there are people with no friends who feel completely loved and supported. So what is of utmost importance is how we FEEL about our life, not the actual events, circumstances and situations we find ourselves in. It’s all about perspective really (which I cover in detail in my book).

Incidentally, just in case you’re wondering… These are not really questions to ask anyone else (although that can definitely help too). What I’m really talking about here is questions you ask internally (out loud is fine too — I actually find that it helps me to ask it out loud like I’m pondering something very interesting). You’re really asking The Universe, the Greater Good, or God if you prefer.

The key is to make it playful. Keep it light. Don’t get serious about it. Don’t put a time-frame on it. Be specific but keep it simple. Just be curious and trust that there is an answer out there — or, more specifically, a new FEELING — waiting to be transferred into your experience.

Imagine these two scenarios:

A. You ask “how do I find happiness in life?”  and get given a copy of the Dalai Lama’s “Art of Happiness”. You then have to read it and put his advice into action. (This might take a while).

B. You ask “what does happiness feel like?” and wake up the next day feeling happy. (Not everything happens immediately, but it really is this simple).

The latter is something I’ve been experimenting with lately (and proving to be true), because I realised that even when life sucks, you can still FEEL great with the right perspective. Even if you’re poor, you can still feel rich. Even if your lover leaves you, you can still feel loved. Even if everybody is screaming at you, you can still feel still and quiet inside.

And that’s so VERY important, because sometimes it takes a long time to get where we want to go, but you can feel good about the destination while you’re still travelling. In fact, you can feel good about it even if you never get there. I’m not kidding. This is exactly what has been happening to me lately in some areas of life…. But perhaps you won’t believe me until you experience it yourself, so lets move on to the list!

This could be an infinite list…

Okay, so I have to admit that the number 10 is arbitrary. It could be any number of questions, and I’m sure you’ll think of many, many, MANY more once you get started. But here are 10 that will definitely rock your world if you trust in the process and stay in a playful, open, curious state of mind…

  1. What does it feel like to experience happiness everyday?
  2. What does it feel like to have friends that love and encourage me?
  3. What does it feel like to wake up each morning feeling inspired?
  4. What does it feel like to have plenty of energy every day?
  5. What does it feel like to be able to think clearly all the time?
  6. What does real abundance feel like?
  7. What does true, natural bliss feel like?
  8. What does inner silence feel like?
  9. What does gratitude for life feel like?
  10. What does joyful laughter feel like?

Try it yourself!

You can see that it’s very easily to come up with your own questions here — just remember to initially focus on a good feeling, not so much a particular outcome. However, it’s definitely worth considering  outcome-based questions too once you’ve proved to yourself that it works (and you will!).

For example, it’s the same principal to manifest money as it is to manifest the feeling of abundance (you could try “how does it feel to have $10,000 in my bank account” or something like that), but please remember that the feeling is far more important because it might take a while for the money to manifest (and you might feel miserable while you wait!!). You’ll probably find that the money will come to you automatically BECAUSE you’re focussed on the feeling of abundance anyway, which is the real beauty and power of the process.

You’ve got nothing to lose here. In fact, the only thing you can lose here is your depression, anxiety or stress… So give it a go!

Life is Geared to Help You

“Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, ‘Grow, grow’.” —The Talmud

The idea that life is geared to help us is one of the fundamental beliefs that changed my world. But unfortunately, I had a very distorted perspective on this earlier in my life, because I misunderstood why “bad things happen to good people” — I thought that the bad things happened because the good people had either messed up, or because they didn’t have enough faith to keep the “bad stuff” away. Basically I thought there was a devil trying to kill us and a god trying to save us (but only when we had faith in that god) — and I was stuck in the middle, spending my life feeling punished for my inability to get it right.

(Phew! What a nightmare… I’m glad that’s over.)

But then I started to notice something…

Like flowers growing out of the cracks in concrete pathways, the areas of my life where I had “found a way” through the challenges, hardships and roadblocks of life were blooming. In fact, when I stopped fighting those situations and, instead, used them as opportunities to learn something or find a new way to do something, then those situations ALWAYS ended up benefitting me in some way. Most of the time I found that I never had to face that same problem again, and even if I did, I could use my previous positive experience as a type of PROOF that I can find a way through, no matter how bad it looks.

I discovered that those problems were here to help us, not hinder us.

Well, actually both really.

The problematic people we meet, the financial “mess” we find ourselves in, the anger we feel, the heartbreaking anguish, the times we “lose our way”, the tools we break, the computer that fails us at seemingly crucial moments…. the many, many challenges we face ….all of these things are here to arrest our attention—to hinder our mind for long enough for us to WAKE UP to a better way of living.

You see, most of the time we just run like clockwork—automatic responses based on previous subconscious “programs” and beliefs. And our minds are even hard-wired to “protect” the status quo—to protect our existing way of seeing and ‘doing’ life—so most of us would never wake up to a better way of living UNLESS we had some sort of pattern-interrupt occur.

So I started to see problems as circuit-breakers instead…

But much more than that, I could see that the problems not only held the ability to stop us in our wayward tracks, to notify us that there was a better way of doing that aspect life, but they also acted as a roadsign to redirect us to that better way.

Take for example…

  1. The problematic people we meet… People press our buttons. I found that they highlight parts of ourselves that we don’t like and provide the mental energy required to change our own behaviour in a positive way (I’m writing a book about this called “Mirrors”).
  2. The financial mess we find ourselves in… Debt is a killer. It sucks. It’s stressful… BUT, it also provides us with some very clear roadsigns (and the energy to change direction), showing us that our own spending/saving habits are flawed, and in fact that the whole financial credit-based system is flawed. It also helps us (eventually) to understand that “always wanting more stuff you don’t need” is a disease created and fueled by clever marketing and popular belief. That’s the killer if you ask me.
  3. The computer that fails us… I had many instances of this (some which occurred at crucial times like the day of an urgent deadline) UNTIL I understood the idea of circuit-breakers. Now I generally only have problems with my computer when I’m working for too long on something that’s not in line with my personal goals for my work, or perhaps when there’s a much better/easier way of doing something that I just haven’t seen yet. So the computer crashes or slows down, or some other issue occurs for long enough to get me to stop and reconsider what I’m doing at that time—to find a better way, or to stop doing that altogether and simply take a break (if I’ve been working too long) or do something else that is more productive (or more in line with my personal goals).

The key is to loose focus

We often get very focussed on what we’re doing. We’re practically “inside” the task at hand. Particularly when there’s some sort of emotional involvement (like a relationship for example). We often can’t “see” anything else and we simple “see” more of the same thing (task, object, strategy, person, etc). Like when you want a certain car (or have just bought one) and all you notice on the road is that particular model of car. Our brains are simply wired that way.

So, if indeed there is a better way (or a better relationship!) available to us, we will only be able to notice it IF we first loose focus on what (or who!) we are doing. This isn’t easy. This isn’t even natural.

But life is here to help.

CRASH!!! It’s a three-car pile up on the freeway. Your car is one of them. One car gets of with just a scratch. It had better handling. It had a stronger frame…. It WASN’T your car. Which car do you want now? 

It’s best to learn to love the challenges of life

There is always something to learn. There are always ‘higher’ roads to travel. There is always a smoother way of ‘doing’ life…. and unfortunately, that means that there will always be challenges.

The good news is that it gets easier. THEY get easier as you notice them earlier and earlier each time. You get braver and mentally stronger as you build up a list of times you’ve used challenges to move on to something better. You know these are your opportunities to evolve. And everytime you evolve a little more, your life gets a little better. One day you’ll wake up (like I did) and see that everything is perfect (even when the computer crashes…. AGAIN!).

Happy travels!
—Matt McCovann

The Holy Grail of Finding Happiness

Sometimes, when things just aren’t working for us, we need to start fresh. It’s like old an old PC that simply needs it’s whole operating system upgraded — we need to upgrade our whole personal modus operandi…

When I started my journey I tried temporary resets, such as moving to another state — and that helped for a little while, but then eventually I found myself with the same set of issues and deep unhappiness. I also removed recreational drugs and alcohol from my lifestyle because I knew those things were taking me on an emotional and chemical rollercoaster that was making it very difficult to attain happiness. However, this still didn’t solve the problem (although it did enable me to think clearly enough to continue my journey).

So I realised that it wasn’t really anything external that needed modifying. Rather, it was my internal approach to life (which is determined by my personal beliefs) that was the most important factor in this game of life.

The New Goal

The new goal is to learn to feel the bliss and ‘Magic’ in our personal experience of life… in other words, to overcome depression, anxiety and stress and simply find happiness, serenity and fulfillment.

Please note an important distinction here — I’m not talking about seeking one-off amazing events that create extreme euphoria and then leave us with an emotional hangover the following day, month or year. I’m talking about instigating real change in our perception and experience of everyday life.

The Old Problem

We often get so lost in our sense of self — projecting our beliefs and ideas about life as an intrinsic part of who we are, rather than just seeing them as programs given to us by others that we can edit, update or irradicate completely if they fail us. Then we lose sight of our bliss — justifying our depressing existence with those same beliefs and subconsciously seeking out “proof” that our life experience is limited to those beliefs.

The Simple Solution

I have discovered that there are often just 2 thoughts separating those who are uninspired (disatisfied, depressed, addicted and even suicidal — I was all of these) and those who are inspired (happy, successful, content, evolving)… These 2 key mental directives create a seemingly “magical” pathway that can lead even the worst-case individual to an experience of daily bliss (which is where I find myself these days). Sure, you’ll still have some rough days (especially when you’re starting out), but I promise you that it gets better … and better … and BETTER as time goes on.

The 2 Key Mental Directives

Please don’t mistake the simplicity of this for a lack of depth or importance — this is the holy grail of overcoming any level of depression and finding happiness as far as my life is concerned, and I believe it can have the same effect in your life if you’ll put it into practice.

These are the two thoughts, or mental directives that we need to install (like a computer program) to ‘upgrade’ our minds…

  1. I am learning life’s lessons — seeing ‘bad experiences’ as good teachers and ‘good experiences’ as signposts — and will seek out a new approach to life if my current approach isn’t working or bringing me the feeling of natural bliss.
  2. I am proactive — taking as many small steps as I can easily manage — and will seek out all the actionable commonalities of success which bring me the feeling of natural bliss, not singular interpretations or unsupported views which offer me little or no sense of bliss.

How to ‘Upgrade’ Your Mind

The easiest way is to use these 2 directives as DAILY affirmations (I actually recommend twice daily — as soon as you wake up and just before you go to sleep) which you say out loud (with conviction and determination!) and/or perhaps write it out each day until you know it almost word-for-word and feel like it’s fully ‘installed’ (I often hear a new program ‘playing’ in my head without actively thinking about it, which is when I know that I’ve ‘upgraded’ that belief).

Also, I suggest copying them into a document, making the text size as large as you can whilst still fitting them on one page, print it out and stick it on your wall where you’ll see it clearly every day. If you don’t want to put it up in your office, then perhaps print it with smaller text onto some card that you can cut out and stick in your wallet (and look at several times a day). Whatever you do, it’s important to keep focussed on it, because it won’t come naturally to your mind at first.

I can’t give you a specific timeframe to place your expectation on, because for some people this ‘upgrade’ happens very quickly and for others it takes a little longer. However, although it’s definitely not an overnight process, it definitely is worth sticking at it because once your view on life has been ‘upgraded’ your whole life experience will be totally transformed into something infinitely more blissful than you have experienced before. And, no matter how long it takes, you will notice incremental improvements along the way too.

A Very Important Tip

Don’t fight your old ‘programs’ and beliefs. The basic construct of your mind is set up to protect itself, so if you try to fight an established belief, it will actually ‘fortify’ itself more strongly and be far more difficult to upgrade. Instead, when you find your old beliefs resurfacing, just gently acknowledge them by thinking (or saying) something like “Yes, okay, I acknowledge that’s how I thought in the past, but now times have changed and I’m opening my mind to upgrade to thoughts and beliefs that ‘serve’ me better” … or perhaps simplify it to T. Harv Eker’s favourite “Okay, thanks for sharing!” and then simply allow the thought to mentally pass you by like leaves in a stream.

First, you have to disassociate yourself from the thoughts and beliefs (your mind is just a tool that you use, not your actual self), then all this becomes very easy.

I guess some people might call this process enlightenment — but that word seems to lack emotional impact in my mind, so I just call it feeling the ‘The Magic’.

Happy travels!

. . .

P.S. Please click here for more information about this process of overcoming depression and finding happiness in your own life experience.


3 Steps to Rewiring Your Brain

Recently, scientific evidence confirmed the fact that our brains continue to develop beyond childhood. In fact, it has been my experience that we can rewire our brains at ANY time of life…

Sure, it probably seems like it would be more difficult the older you are, but I believe that this is only because we’ve lived with a set of beliefs for so long that we don’t want to open our minds to changing them. As you may have learned (in Feel The Magic in Your Mind), I spent over 10 years in a highly doctrinal church, filled with seemingly strong beliefs about how life worked, and yet life just wasn’t working for me. Yet, once I had made the decision to open my mind to other possibilities about how life worked, I was able to rewire my brain, the way I looked at life and the beliefs that inspired my future actions and changed the way I felt about almost everything (in a positive way).

Here are the 3 basic steps to take to do the same…

1. Realise that everything is possible

Most people think this is madness… and most of those people NEVER regain their true happiness in life. Think about Thomas Edison or the Wright brothers — inventors of amazing things that we now take for granted — they were considered “mad” I’m sure, because they believed that anything and everything is possible, if you set your mind to it. I’ve written a whole chapter on this in my book if you want to know more.

The reason this is the first step, is that often we can’t imagine that change is even possible. So you’ll never get to step#2 otherwise.

TIP: If you’re having trouble, try asking yourself a series of mind-opening questions each day such as: “Okay, but what if massive change and improvement WAS possible in my life? What would I shoot for if I could have the life of my dreams? What would my life look and feel like then?”. If you can freely engage your imagination (specifically the images and feelings of your new, improved life) like that each day for a while, you’ll make steps #2 and #3 VERY easy (in fact, they’ll almost happen automatically)…

2. Choose to change

Take responsibility for your life and actions, and make the choice to change. It needs to be your definite conscious choice so that your mind is engaged in the process. Part of this step is asking better questions (do this everyday for a while like I did with Gautama’s quote) such as “what areas of my life and thinking are holding me back and creating problems?” and “what easy steps can I take to make my life a little better?”.

If you seem to be having trouble getting any worthwhile answers, then I recommend you take a look through my book for a bunch of ideas that worked wonders for my life.

Make sure you write down any ideas you get, then go to step#3…

3. Make a new habit

More specifically, make a series of small (easy-to-accomplish) new habits. You will obviously use the ideas you came up with in step#2. I recommend doing the EASIEST ones first — so that you build the new habit of building new habits! In doing it this way, it’ll give you the enthusiasm you need to tackle some of the more difficult new habits.

There’s a great free bonus called the “Ideal Average Day List” that comes with my book Feel The Magic in Your Mind, which is basically a list of the things you’d love to have happen every ‘average’ day of your life, that would make your life better, happier, healthier, more fulfilling etc. I recommend making this sort of list that you check off every day (as many on the list as you can!), and make sure that any of your important new habits are on there.

By putting your focus on these new easy-to-achieve habits, you’ll gradually begin to “rewire” your brain and, in fact, your whole life experience.


It’s a big topic squeezed into a few lines, so I’m sure you’ve got one or two specific questions? Please comment below and I’ll answer as quickly as I can!

The Top 5 Feel-Good Foods

Many people can remove recreational drugs and other obvious ‘magic-blockers’ from the picture and still be prone to suffering from depression, mood swings and constant fatigue. If you’re in that category (like I was), it’s important to note that there are treatment options for overcoming depression without swallowing pills…

(Note: This post is a free excerpt from my book Feel The Magic in Your Mind).

It was my personal experience that doctors seemed to be prescribing anti-depression pills based on guesswork, and often they simply don’t work effectively (they certainly didn’t for me). Not suprisingly, many of the symptoms of depression can be directly linked to vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the standard westerner’s diet, and not some mystical imbalance of serotonin (as I was led to believe).

Depression, mood swings and fatigue often have a common cause: poor nutrition. Getting back to feeling the magnificence and magic of life is sometimes as easy as changing your diet and boosting your consumption of key foods that deliver brain-boosting nutrients and help regulate brain chemistry.

Top 5 Foods for Overcoming Depression & Fatigue

The bottom line is that, to encourage the magic in our minds, we need to put the good stuff in our bodies. That ‘good stuff’ primarily includes omega-3s, B and C vitamins, and folic and amino acids. Whenever possible, I believe it’s best to get them in their natural form rather than using supplements, so here’s a short-list of what to look out for in the supermarket…

1. Walnuts, Flaxseed and Oily Fish like salmon or tuna (Omega-3s):
Participants in a study took just a gram of fish oil each day and noticed a 50% decrease in symptoms such as anxiety, sleep disorders, unexplained feelings of sadness, suicidal thoughts, and decreased sex drive.

2. Brown Rice (B1, B3, Folic Acid):
Besides the vitamins and folic acid, brown rice also releases glucose into the bloodstream gradually, preventing sugar lows and mood swings. Instant varieties of rice do not offer these benefits, so if you see “instant” on the label, avoid it.

3. Brewer’s Yeast (B1, B2, B3, Amino Acids, Minerals):
Brewer’s yeast should be avoided if you do not tolerate yeast well, but if you do, mix a teaspoonfull into a smoothie each day. This superfood includes 16 amino acids, which are vital for the nervous system, so brewer’s yeast is fantastic for feeling the magic!

4. Whole-Grain Oats (Folic Acid, B6, B1):
Oats help lower cholesterol, are soothing to the digestive tract and help avoid the blood sugar crash-and-burn that can lead to mood swings. Other whole grains such as kamut, spelt and quinoa are also excellent choices for delivering brain-boosting nutrients and avoiding the pitfalls of refined grains such as white flour.

5. Cabbage (C, Folic Acid):
Cabbage can help protect against stress, infection and heart disease, as well as many types of cancers. There are lots of ways to get cabbage into your diet; toss it in a salad instead of lettuce, use cabbage in place of lettuce wraps, stir fry it in your favorite Asian dish, make some classic cabbage soup or juice it. (By the way, to avoid gas after eating cabbage, add a few fennel, caraway or cumin seeds before cooking). Cabbage is also a good source of blood-sugar-stabilizing fiber, and the raw juice of cabbage is a known cure for stomach ulcers.

Well, I’m feeling the magic just writing about this stuff. I might jump into the kitchen and go fix myself a big bowl of happiness right now… It’s a shame all of these Top 5 don’t go together terribly well, otherwise we could package it up and call it Super-Mega-Happy-Magic-Food or something!


Four recommendations that didn’t quite make the Top 5 are avocado, chromium, selenium and iron.

  • Avocado is one of those super-foods that’s great for many reasons (including feeling the magic!).
  • Chromium—which isn’t so much a food as a supplement—has been proven to make a significant difference to many suffering depression, and I can highly recommend including it in your diet (you may need to ask for it at your local health food store).
  • Selenium is apparently really important as it helps thryoid function, and if basically your thyroid is stuffed then youíre in big trouble! (Note: I’m not medically trained—as you can probably tell—so please forgive my non-technical terms!)
  • Iron is one for the ladies! I’ve been told that, along with omega-3s, iron depletion is a major factor linked with depression in women (particularly because of the metabolic needs of pregnancy). You can get iron in meat, organic green vegetables and dark fruits, but to make sure you’re getting a decent “fix”, specific iron supplements with B vitamins are best.

So, once you’ve taken a little time to rustle up some new recipes (go you good thing!), perhaps take time to recognise other inputs that may be robbing you of your mental clarity and subsequently your access to the magic of life. Happy eating!

P.S. If you’d like more information about overcoming depression, please take a look at my book, Feel The Magic in Your Mind.

Overcoming Depression Triggers

One thing I discovered along the path is that the things that trigger depression, anger and anxiety are often NOT what we think…

By the way, I go into this process in a little more detail in my podcast called “Little Steps, Big Change”, so you might wish to check that out too.

Step #1: Find the real triggers

We’re often fixated on the most obvious or the LAST step in the chain of events that lead us to deep depression, anger or anxiety, so it’s important to track back and find the FIRST trigger. Because it’s the first trigger that is the key to unlocking the rest!

It does take time, but it’s well worth the effort and patience to get to the place where you notice what it was that first set you off feeling ‘low’. Because then you can do something about it!

Step #2: Decide on a healthy circuit-breaker

Find the best way to take the edge off your reaction to those triggers. For me, the easiest way is just to get outside, go for a walk, get some fresh air and exercise. Particularly getting into nature — away from the noise and grey colours of the city, or at the beach listening to the waves — something like that.

It’s important to only try and find something that makes you feel a LITTLE bit better. If you’re trying to ‘jump’ from an extremely low feeling to an extreme high feeling, then you’ll often be disappointed (or as was the case for an ex-manic-depressive like me, you’ll feel like a crazy giant yo-yo) and that will send you back down the spiral even faster. It’s much easier (and more important) to try and train your mind to take small steps towards something that feels just a little bit better. Then go from there to something that feels just a little better than that … and so on until you’re back “feeling the magic” of life again.

However, if you’re particularly ‘stuck’, you could try something a little crazy (like a weird kind of dance in your lounge room or something) that really shakes it up for long enough for you to get active again (then go for a walk or do something else that feels good in a healthy way).

Spend as much time as you can finding things that make you feel good. 

I’m not talking about recreational drugs, pharmies or alcohol though. I’m talking about things that are natural, healthy, and don’t leave you feeling like crap afterwards — that’s just counter-productive. Many drugs (especially alcohol) leave you feeling more depressed afterwards, so try to fill your time with something else if you have the urge to get wasted (like I used to do).

Step #3: Rework your values so you can reduce the triggers

I do work through a few examples of this here and in my podcast, but really, you’re best to check out the master — Dr John Demartini — from whom I first got this idea.

The basis of this idea is that our highest values (what we value the most) drive us in a certain direction to create our own future based on those values. And so, part of that includes the triggers that make us unhappy. It’s not that we’re doing it on purpose necessarily, it’s just that the subconscious ‘programs’ (our value systems) are dictating our actions to a certain extent. So, if we’re aware of what sets us off, then we can change our values to reduce the likelihood of those triggers.

It’s relatively easy to discover some of your highest values by simply taking a look at what you like to do most, and what you happily spend your money on (especially when you don’t have much!). For me, one of my highest values is learning things that help me and others — and I can tell that because I’d be happy to buy a book about something of interest even if it was my last $20… even if that meant I might miss out on dinner that night! Prior to that I just spent all my money on getting wasted — one of my highest values was to simply escape reality as often as I could.

So for me, one way of changing my value system was to start to notice all the good things  in my reality (there are always some if you discipline yourself to look with an open mind, trust me!)— my values then began to change because I was acknowledging the good ‘stuff’ and realised it was worth sticking around to see and experience it.

“A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules.”

That idea (that there is good in my reality if I look for it) became like a virus that slowly changed my values and rewrote the rules of my experience — changing my behaviour and driving me away from the triggers and towards a much better state of mind. It took me to this place where —  I follow my bliss.

overcoming depression triggersRemember: the first triggers are the keys to unravel the rest

It wasn’t hard, but it did take time. However, if I’d known back then what I know now (all the stuff I put in my book), then I’m very sure it would have happened MUCH quicker.

So go! Get Started! Use your circuit-breakers to give you some space to create new values which move you away from those first triggers and watch the rest start to unravel!

– – – – –

As mentioned, I go into this process in a little more detail in my podcast called “Little Steps, Big Change”, so you might wish to check that out too.

You Choose: Expert Misery or Beginner’s Mastery?

Is life working out brilliantly in all areas for you? Yes? Great! You don’t need to read this post in that case. But otherwise, please read on…

It’s a curse to think we know it all (or even that we fully understand anything). If we go through life that way — saying “oh yes, yes, seen it, read it, know all about it, got my masters degree in that, am absolutely sure there’s no other explanation for that” — we miss out on the joy of discovery, the bliss of creativity, the magnificence of ‘expansion’ and the peace of humility.

“In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities”
—Shunryu Suzuki

Endless possibilities… or only one option?

In the “beginner’s mind”, as Suzuki puts it, there are indeed many possibilities — endless imagination and possibilities in fact. And with that, comes the possibility of newer and better solutions and experiences. By contrast, in the “expert’s mind” there are often only finite definitions and singular possibilities for the issues at hand.

This is, as I see it, one of the key problems with the traditional medical system (no offence to GPs out there!) — that some of the approaches simple aren’t working (in fact, sometimes they’re killing people — accidentally of course!). However, due to the limitations of over a hundred years following one path of thought (e.g. “how do we treat the symptoms we’re seeing?”), that’s what happens. And it’s not just the medical system that is treating the symptoms rather than opening their mind to other root-cause solutions and a more holistic “beginner’s mind” approach — it happens in almost every industry.

Take marketing for example… Often people are becoming experts at the sales and marketing process, but their businesses are still failing — simply because their product SUCKS (as an example). The symptoms are that they’re not making great sales, so the “logical” (expert) approach is to keep “tweaking” the sales process. However, the beginner’s mind considers everything, including the root-cause (product sucks). The beginner’s mind is open to lateral thinking and new solutions, whereas, the expert mind is fixed on something like: “sales are low because our sales process needs improving — sales will improve when we hit the market with the right sales approach”.

And then…

And then, in 5 or 10 years, after spending an immense amount of money and energy on that “expert” path, you wonder why either your health or your business hasn’t soared into the great heights of wellbeing and prosperity you expected (and were so damn convinced about all along). All you’re left with is misery… The misery of knowing that [a] you may have wasted your time, money and energy, and [b] knowing that you’ll just have to keep trying and hoping for something better (knowing, from experience, that it probably won’t get any better). Misery, misery, misery.

And the “expert mind” isn’t limited to your job either, it’s evident in many parts of our life, such as our religions. Now, before I continue, I just need to give my standard “disclaimer” that if you’re involved in some sort of religious group or organisation and you’re totally happy there, then that’s awesome and you don’t need to consider this…. BUT… the issue I see is that people in many religions shut out guidance in any other form except that which is acceptable to their own religion.

When I was going to a christian church, I would never have considered paying attention to something written/spoken by the Dalai Lama, and yet, in the end, it was his words (in the book “The Art of Happiness”) that made a massive difference to my life and my level of happiness. I don’t know why I couldn’t find happiness in the church, but I just didn’t. So it was the process of allowing the beginner’s mind to form — “I need to consider all avenues to happiness, not just those acceptable to my church” — that eventually opened my mind to something that worked for me. (I go into this in detail in my book, so enough about it for now!).

It’s a hard choice

It’s a hard choice because we WANT to know for sure. It can be very uncomfortable to open yourself to new possibilities when so many of us have “agreed” on a certain construct of the world and how it works. Some of us have said “yes, that’s how it is” and the rest of us have blindly accepted it as being a solid reality.

But nothing is solid reality. Life is in flux. Growth is always in motion.

Do you think technology and science would ever advance if yesterday’s experts were in charge? No, it would just strengthen a certain way of life that may not suit us anymore. We’re evolving. Life is evolving. Our understanding of everything is expanding… so we can’t assume that what worked for us yesterday will work for us tomorrow.

Moving on…

So moving on by taking on the beginner’s mind is the only real way forward as far as I’m concerned. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t become an expert at anything!! No, no, no! But what I AM saying is that, whilst becoming an expert in your chosen field or faith, you should also consider as many other related ideas as you can, and (most importantly) open your mind to completely NEW ideas to flow into your awareness (without judging them, or questioning where they came from, or wondering if your peers will agree or accept them). Then share those new ideas with as many people as you can so we can ALL evolve a little more.

Hmm… sounds a little weird perhaps? I agree, but it works. Try it for yourself (yes, I dare you!).

Bitter Brains Bite Back!

Today I was asked: “is bitterness bad for our health?”. So here are a few quick thoughts about it…

Our brains work as a filter which shuts out most of the ‘information’ and just hones in on ‘similar’ information to that which we spend the most time consciously focussing on, so bitterness infects our mind and programs it to look for more bitterness!

That’s a pretty unhappy cycle of experience to be perpetuating! Personally I’d want to take a baseball bat to that bitterness and say “adios!”.

The more we focus on negativity of any form, the more we will see in our own life and the lives of those around us.

There’s a constant spectrum of “good” and “bad” and everything inbetween happening around us, but our brains can only process a little at a time (comparitively), so it’s up to us to direct our focus and improve our “experience” of life.

It’s not only our mental/emotional health that is affected…

Our physical health is inextricably linked to our mental/emotional state, so when we’re not at ease (or in a negative mental/emotional state), we’re creating some form of dis-ease … disease. Basically we’re lowering our immune system’s capability to fight illness. Also, part of the problem is that we tend to form poor nutritional habits (eating or drinking substances that feed a temporary chemical “high”) when we’re feeling bitter. And this further harms our future mental, emotional and physical health.

So chin up! Time to forget about the past and start to look on the bright side of life!

Why You Should Stop Reaching For Bliss

Some days it feels like there’s a million things we’re reaching for in life — more money, more love, more acceptance, more bliss

…And along with all of that comes stress and heartache that we’re not getting those things we’re seeking. It’s like they’re somehow just out of reach. It’s frustrating. It’s depressing. Sometimes it’s absolutely infuriating!

Bliss is one of those things that most of us (at some point or other) have felt we would like a lot more of. Actually, most of us think that the only times we can experience bliss is during sex, on drugs, after a few too many beers or maybe after that third or fourth chocolate-cream-donut! But that’s not the bliss I’m talking about here… and it’s not the bliss you’re really yearning for when you do use all those other “temporary” things as substitutes.

What IS real bliss?

Personally, I think Joseph Campbell summed it up perfectly when he made the following two statements…

“Bliss is that deep sense of being present, of doing what you absolutely must do to be yourself” … “If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are — if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.”

For me, Bliss is beyond happiness. It feels like a very calm sense of happiness… Perhaps like a nice warm bath, rather than a hot shower… It feels absolute, in contrast to the slipping-through-my-fingers feeling of event-based happiness. But the main aspect of Bliss comes usually because you’re doing what you absolutely love doing, with the knowledge that you are supposed to be doing that exact thing — and that everything else will fall into place because you are following your bliss.

So why should we stop trying to find bliss??

Simply because you can’t find it… It was never missing in the first place. It doesn’t exist outside of you and it isn’t separate from you in any way. You can’t attain bliss. It’s always there, within. It’s a state of being that occurs when you’re living according to your purpose/dharma and not trying to fight with life anymore. It’s like a giant green light in your mind that signifies “Yes! That’s it! Just keep doing that!” whenever you’ve allowed yourself to push aside the ego-driven identity (the “projected you”) and slip back into the path of destiny (the “real you”).

By ‘reaching’ for it in some way you’re creating the illusion of separation and distance in your mind, and so you’re actually pushing it further away.

You just have to wake up to it

Firstly, you’ve got to trust that life is on your side (and it is!). And secondly, you have to trust that you’re supposed to be living a life you love. Okay, it’s not necessarily a simple thing to do, and I suggest you just try to move towards it incrementally. There’s a lot of approaches in my book to get you there, so for now I’ll just give you an overview and point you in the right direction.

“Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind [do you find an] adequate perception of the world.” —Hans Margolius

To ‘wake up’ and get an undistorted view on things you have to get really quiet (you could meditate, or maybe just swing your arms and legs and head around in a really weird random way until your mind is so confused it simply shuts the hell up!). Once you’re there in that wonderful place of ‘no-mind’ ask yourself the question (yes, right now!): “What do I really, truly  (perhaps secretly) love to do, and what would my life look like and feel like if I was just doing that?” … I bet you’ll get a glimpse of the bliss even just thinking about it in this way.

For me, I’ve always loved writing. I wrote poetry and short stories as a child. I’ve always edited and re-written other people’s work (when they let me!) and I’ve written hundreds of blog posts for various businesses and purposes. I have always enjoyed those moments, even when writing on a topic I don’t feel particularly passionate about.

I got a real taste of consciously following my bliss when I started writing my first full-length book (a fiction novel that is yet to be finished). It was during one of the darkest times of my life, but I knew that I had to write to stay sane. The book seemed to have no real purpose, except I still felt totally ‘on purpose’ when I was writing. It was a total fantasy and yet, oddly enough, it felt like the only connection to sanity I had in those dangerously dismal days. How do you explain that? I couldn’t at the time. All I knew is that it felt good … actually, it felt BLISSFULLY amazing.

But don’t be like me

Do you know the sad part? …. It took me 10 years after that blissful writing experience to realise that I should figure out a way to just do what I loved doing and nothing else. So don’t be like me. Don’t waste the best years of your life at a dead-end job that you hate. Don’t even spend too long in a job that you like, but one that you don’t really LOVE. Focus your entire being on discovering what you truly love — what takes you into your bliss — and figure out a way to live your life doing just that.

Getting back to wonderful old “Joe”, I’ll leave you with another of his quotes to consider…

“I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” —Joseph Campbell

So go! Bliss yourself to life… don’t work yourself to death.

3 Ways to Live — Only 1 Leads to Happiness

I have noticed that there are 3 distinct ways in which people (including myself) generally live…

Sometimes it is a mixture of all 3 – but not in a conscious, balanced way – often it just works out that way and people don’t realise fully why they’re happy in some moments and feeling displaced, off-balance or basically unhappy in most other moments. Usually, certainly in western culture, we attribute it to a specific person or event being the “source” of that happiness.

(Incidentally, there’s a whole lot more about this in my book “Feel The Magic in Your Mind” if you’re interested in delving a little deeper into it, take a look here).

Oddly, as time goes on, we can experience the same person or event in an unhappy way. So what has changed?

Happiness is not intrinsically in an event or person, it’s in our perception of that event or person. It is in the way we see it. It’s about how we “do” life.

There are 3 Ways to Live

  1. The Way of Past/Future
    Always mentally re-living the Past and/or mentally rehearsing for the Future
  2. The Way of Now Negativity
    Being focussed on the present moment but feeling some form of negativity towards it
  3. The Way of Now Neutrality/Positivity
    Being in the present moment and feeling open to the possibility of good within it

Only 1 Leads to Happiness

#3 is clearly the answer here, but the exact reasons why may require a little more consideration. True happiness exists in the present moment, not in the far-off, distant dreamscape of non-reality. It also depends entirely on our perception of life, not on what is “going on” at the time.

Do you think that life is on your side, or do you think you have to “fight” or “work” for happiness and reward?

I have experienced happiness (or some sort of similar feeling) in the midst of complete mayhem, and I have experienced extreme unhappiness in the midst of wonderful occasions with great people. So I know for certain that happiness does not depend on the circumstances, but on how we see those specific circumstances AND (more importantly) how we view life generally.

And I hear many say that “life was better in the past when…”, or “life will be better in the future when…”. But tell me honestly, how long does that feeling of pseudo past/future happiness last? Does it uplift your energy and carry you through the week like genuine happiness does? No. I would say not. Also, if you’re able to really step back an analyze how you feel, ask yourself “what other emotions and thoughts am I experiencing right now?”. If you’re anything like me (e.g. human!), you’ll also feel an equal amount of sadness at the “loss” of the source of that happy memory, or an equal amount of disatisfaction (unhappiness) at not yet “having” that future thing/person/event.

So that leaves us with the present moment

But it’s not as simple as just being “present” focussed. You could be living in the present moment, not paying too much attention to the past or future, but still experiencing life in an unhappy way. I must say though, it’s MUCH more difficult to be unhappy when you’re ignoring the past and future, because there’s simply less to be unhappy about. I would say (from personal experience) that most of our unhappiness comes from the first way of living — in past/future mode.

When you wish for things to be different, you’re creating misery for yourself. So, whether you’re living in the present, or past, or future mainly, as long as you wish your present moment was different, e.g. —

  • somewhere else
  • with someone else
  • doing something else
  • with more or less of something

— then you’re never going to be truly happy (certainly not for any length of time). It’s a mental program that will only lead you to more misery because eventually you’ll find yourself in exactly the same disillusionment about your present, wishing that something would change — falsely imagining that your happiness is depending on getting to some “destination” or attaining some “achievement” etc.

This is the most important key to unlock your happiness:

Happiness comes from the “doing” (present), not the “arriving” (future) or the achievement (past).

Just think about it. A big part of the intial happiness of a new relationship or job is the meeting, learning etc — we lose our “mind” in the process. It’s the process. It’s about expansion and seeing more of life, it’s about the journey moving forward — not forward to a specific goal, but forward in the sense of expansion of your “experience” of life — helping you ascertain what you want more of, and what you want less of, and leading you towards understanding what you’re true purpose in life is.

So it’s not just the “doing” in itself, but it’s “doing” with the conscious knowledge that it’s part of your journey forward that really makes it a life worth living.

A big part of it is trust

Of course, you have to trust that life is on your side (and it is) and that things will work out for the best somehow (and the ‘how’ is not very important!). You can’t experience genuine present moment happiness without some form of belief that you’re tapping in to a greater force of endless happiness. If you think it’s dependent on any finite source (e.g. a person or event or momentary achievement etc), then you won’t be able to experience ongoing happiness.

And that thought alone will bring that equal amount of unhappiness into the picture without you even realising. So trust that there’s an infinite pool of goodness just under the surface of life, and it’s ALWAYS there, and always available to you.

Just let go of your expections, let go of the past and let go of your need for the present or future to be anything other than what it is right now, and just enjoy the process of moving forward.

Trust that it will ALL work out in the end and that THIS present moment (whatever you are facing right now) is just a part of it — it’s a necessary part of your journey, and, as long as you see it as a journey moving forward, you’ll feel the happiness that comes from the Source, not the mixed bag that comes from circumstance or achievement.

So what about you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this (even if you disagree in some way!) — otherwise I’m just talking to myself, and that’s pretty pointless isn’t it?? Please do share your thoughts below…

How I Found That Life Is Perfect

Gautama Siddharta said “When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.” — and I found out that he was right… eventually.

It’s been at least 12 months since I first read that quote. At first I just laughed at the absurdity of the idea… but I just couldn’t put it out of my mind. The idyllic possibility that life is somehow perfect is just too enticing to ignore.

So, over the last 12 months I began to ask better questions and get better answers about how to view life from this perspective. And, over the last 6 months I have put my realisations in writing — culminating in my first book “Feel The Magic in Your Mind” — about how to live a life you love (right now, not when you’re dead!!).

I’m going to talk about this quote a lot more in future posts, but right now I’d just like to issue you a challenge — to ask yourself, without negativity, the following question everyday…

“How is everything perfect?”

For me, I began to see [a] that everything was in balance (an equal amount of good in every “bad” situation) and [b] that “bad” situations always had a “good” potential outcome.

I began to see that life was on our side.

What about you? When have you seen that “bad” situations bring about “good” outcomes? It’d be awesome if you could share your stories (comment box below) to encourage others on their journey!

Why We Are Losing Our Jobs

There’s a still fair bit of hoo-haa around at the moment about the GFC — and no, that’s not “Global Fried Chicken”, it’s the Global Financial Crisis … Although, I don’t believe it’s a crisis at all…

Actually, I think it’s a gift.

But there’s something rather shocking about being told that the way you’re viewing life is wrong. So I won’t do that. Mainly because “wrong” is subjective anyway (that means that it depends who you are and what your past experiences and beliefs are as to whether YOU think something is specifically “right” or “wrong”).

So, moving on… Just close your eyes for a moment (after reading this!) and see all your thoughts about money and your job and the GFC as images or objects on a big video screen in your mind. Then reach into your mind with a big remote control and imagine pressing a VERY BIG PAUSE BUTTON (or, better still, press the ‘stop’ button!). 

Now, hopefully you may be able to hear what I’m saying a little more clearly now. The world is undergoing a big shake-up. The GFC (or whatever you want to call it) is just one part and one perception of that shake-up.

As I’m a little short on time today, I’m going to cut to the chase and say this… That, what if there was a Divine Intelligence (yes, you can call it God if that helps) that knew your soul’s desires (which spring from your true purpose in this life) and was helping you to live those true desires? And, following on from that thought, what if part of that “help” meant that you were being hindered from doing things that are NOT aligned with your real purpose in life?

What if the road-blocks were really just “redirects”, pushing you towards something much greater?

So you have to ask yourself:

“If I didn’t have to worry about paying bills and working in the traditional sense of the word, what would I truly LOVE to do?”

And then, once you’ve got an answer or an idea that excites you (that feels like “The Magic” of life), you need to ask yourself two more questions:

1. “How can I do that and still pay my bills?”

2. “What’s the first step towards doing that?”

Then just trust that it’s going to work and take that first step — whatever it is. Of course, if your new plan is going to take some time before it earns you any cash, then don’t give up your day-job just yet!

Okay, so maybe I’ve over-simplified this whole idea and process (which is why I’ve written a whole book about it!), but hopefully this will inspire you to change your view on the “bad” stuff that may be happening in and around your life right now.

Hey, thanks for reading!

Please let me know if you have any thoughts, stories, comments or questions, or if there’s any way I can help you with this topic by commenting below…