There are three major choices that, more than anything, will define how you live your life: whether in peace or anxiety, happiness or dissatisfaction. Unfortunately, these are choices that most of us are never even aware of making. Nevertheless, they are choices we have the power to make, and to change. Today, we’re going to talk about what they are.
Number One: Are your goals getting in the way of your goals?
For the last thirty years we’ve heard incessantly about the power of goal-setting. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been made selling books, electronic apps, seminars, and workshops talking about how to change your life through goal-setting. Virtually all of them are selling the future, pushing external circumstances as goals. So if this is such a great solution, how come there’s a 97 percent failure rate among people who do it? Well, new research by Dr. Dan Gilbert of Harvard University has given us the answer. Any goal based on future expectations always spikes your stress, takes away your ability to choose freely, and ultimately takes away what’s most important, frequently taking your goals along with it.
Number Two: When you say “I love you,” do you really mean, “as long as I’m getting what I want”?
The Harvard Grant study is the most exhaustive study of the human condition in the history of the world, taking place over 75 years, with a budget of over 20 million dollars and thousands of participants. The conclusion was five words: happiness equals love, full stop.
Full stop means that’s the end of the discussion, it’s all you need to know. The great majority of polls in the last hundred years have found that what people want most is happiness. Ironically, most people try to achieve happiness by seeking pleasure and avoiding pain, rather than committing to the principles of living in love in the present moment as best you can. This leads directly back to that 97 percent failure rate I mentioned above. We’re literally trying to get something by doing the thing that takes it away!
Number Three: Are you living under the law of externals or the law of internals?
There are two different systems of “right and wrong,” that you can live by, and it’s entirely your choice. The problem is that you can’t live by both at the same time, and the law of externals (which causes that 97 percent failure rate) has become our default! Based on evidence, about 99 percent of people choose the law of externals. It has several other names: Newton’s laws of motion, the law of attraction, reap what you sow, stimulus response. It’s the way everything in nature works! The law of internals goes directly against this. It’s about experiencing love, joy, and peace internally, often in spite of externals. This is the only way to live in true, consistent happiness. Ironically, if you’re willing to do that, you’ll often get the externals thrown in along with it. On the other hand, if you commit to the law of externals, you’ll typically lose your happiness, and frequently the externals will crumble along with it.
Have a blessed, wonderful day!