Unhappiness/Happiness Reality Repair
Bill Cottringer

“There is only one cause of unhappiness: The false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.” ~Anthony de Mello.

Your reality repair results—decreasing unhappiness sources and increasing happy ones—is largely dependent on realizing, accepting and dealing with the following ten realities:

1. You come to know happiness better by experiencing its opposite—unhappiness; the degree of happiness you have now is driven by the degree of unhappiness you experience and learn to tolerate, accept, and deal with in a positive, productive way.

2. You cannot have your cake and it too—to be happy and not be unhappy—at least until you don’t have to; but this is not something someone else can tell you until you experience it firsthand with enough discomfort with frustration and failure to see why this paradox is both untrue and yet true at the same time.

3. The cumulative sensations of happiness and unhappiness you think about and feel, are aggravated by the general tendency to equate pleasure with happiness and pain with unhappiness, whereas they are two separate things that really don’t belong in the same sentence.

4. There is never a truly objective way to measure how happy or unhappy you are; that would take listing all your life experiences, thoughts and feelings and dividing them into verifiable happy vs. unhappy categories and that is impossible.

5. There is really no innate happy or unhappy flavor to the events and things in life that happen to us all; the happy or unhappy flavor we interpret, judge and react with is a human invention distanced many times over from the initial incoming, vague, and good-bad intuitive feelings we get.

6. The connection between the events in life and how they make you feel—happy or unhappy—is not what is most important. But what is important, is the extra, unnecessary unhappiness you inadvertently add by becoming unhappy about thinking about the unhappiness you feel and then think you will not be able to get rid of it, which first came about from the events and experiences you reacted to with an articial interpretation and judgment of unhappiness (vicious circle of unhappiness).

7. Negative, unhappy feelings can get aggravated and become impervious to deletion when you mentally wrap them up in the three “P’s”—thinking these unhappiness sources and feelings are directed at you personally, will pervasively spill over to everything else going on in your life, and will hang around more or less permanently.

8. Seeking to increase your happiness sources and avoid the unhappy ones is actually much easier done than said; what it takes is gradually becoming more open to seeing and experiencing the positive and beneficial purpose of negative things, before the automatic negative mental judgment takes hold.

9. You can waste a lot of valuable time trying to invent new rules to the pursuit of happiness, but an undeniable reality is that these rules have already been pre-established; It is the re-discovery and remembering of these rules that get you on the single-minded happiness path.

10. The opportunity for the transition from unhappiness to happiness is always now—slowing down to notice the connection that happens with: (a) the things that are currently happening (b) what they lead us to think and feel (c) the choices we make as to how to react (d) the expectations we have for outcomes (e) the actual results we get, and (f) how all these things affect the process the next time around.

Behind the scenes the roller coaster of life is taking us back and forth between happiness and unhappiness, to lead us to greater true happiness. This is a natural process that we delay and make ourselves more unhappy about, with needless interventions that don’t work. One very huge ineffective intervention to unravel is the human invention of what is or isn’t fair. The more fairness you see, the more happy you be.

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is President of Puget Sound Security in Bellevue, WA and also a business and personal success coach, sport psychologist, photographer and writer living in the mountains of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, The Prosperity Zone, Getting More By Doing Less, You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too, The Bow-Wow Secrets, Do What Matters Most, “P” Point Management, Reality Repair, and Reality Repair Rx coming shortly. He can be contacted with comments or questions at 425 454-5011 or bcottringer@pssp.net