A Simple Guide to Happiness part 1

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Not Seeing the Glass

Zelig Pliskin, a wise and joyful counselor, author of 19 books on wisdom and self-growth, including the classic, Gateway to Happiness, taught me about “reframing.”

To reframe is to remove the frame of a picture and put on a new one. Life presents itself to us with a “frame” already attached. By mentally replacing the frame around an event in our life, or anything, we cause it to present itself to us the way we want it.

This essay deals with different strategies to help you reframe life in your favor.

What Is Not Seeing the Glass?

Upon being shown a glass of water filled halfway, and asked if the glass is half empty or half full, you most probably will decide between the two options. Either you will say “Half empty.” or “Half full.”

The unspoken reality you have accepted, without realizing it, is that the glass determines the proper amount of water. i.e. the water you have is ½ the preferred amount. A positive thinker will say, “I look on the bright side. My glass is half full!”

But who says the glass should determine the measure of your water? If an eight ounce glass has four ounces of water and you want four ounces of water, then the glass is full. You have exactly what you want. Don’t look at the glass, look at the water. Not seeing the glass is giving yourself control of your emotions by defining your reality, and not letting your life be defined by an outside force.


Imagine the Glass is Not There

What if there was no glass? Would the amount of water be what you want or need? Maybe you don’t know. Maybe you won’t know until you drink. After all, thirst quenching is not an exact science, you know. Sometimes you’re thirsty and really don’t know the amount of water you’ll need to stop being thirsty.

Or maybe you don’t want any water at all and the water is completely irrelevant to you. But you can only decide how much water you need or want when you can ignore the glass and think for yourself.

If I give two of my children each one lollipop, they are both happy. A lollipop is sweet and good. Each child has an extra, not required or needed, thing to enjoy. However, if one lollipop is slightly bigger (by a fraction of an inch) the child with the smaller one is immediately unhappy and upset. The definition of his/her treat is defined quite significantly by what the other child has.

We all act like children sometimes. Without the glass, you can be more appreciative of every single thirst quenching drop of water. Ignore the glass, and the water can all be a gift.

Society’s Glass

Society, or your view of society, will be the glass that holds many of our possessions. If you allow an outside force to determine what is standard, you may be sabotaging your own peace and well being.

Here’s a list of things of yours that society may be putting in its glass:

· your income

· your mode of transportation

· your spouse

· your children

· your house/apartment

Will Smith said, “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.”

The inability to focus on the enjoyment you get out of your possessions is an outcome of your spiritual blemishes. Enjoy what you have, forget what others think.

The average menial labor income in the U.S. would make someone considered quite wealthy amongst 2/3 of population of the world. But in the U.S. this person may consider himself poor and downtrodden. Why? Because he is comparing himself to others with more.

The secret of happiness is to be appreciative of what you have.