Tuesday, July 03, 2012

12 Ways to Die Unhappy (and 12 counter steps)

Ask any parent, and one of their wishes for their children will be, "I just want them to be happy." My question to them is: "Are you happy?" Unhappiness are evident everywhere we go. On the roads, we see impatient motorists. At schools, we often see students being stressed over schoolwork and tests. At the workplace, as the economy gets tougher, the struggle to make ends meet becomes a vicious cycle of unhappiness. Employers expect workers to work more for less. Workers more often than not criticize their bosses. With pressure comes more pressure.

The list below are examples of the steps that lead to unhappiness.

Here is a list of things on how to die unhappy.
  1. Separated from yourself
  2. Separated from others
  3. Separated from the ground of your being
  4. Having never experienced any real community
  5. Trying to have it all
  6. Keeping it all to Yourself
  7. Marching to the beat of the wrong drummer
  8. Dancing to the wrong tune
  9. Fighting the wrong enemy
  10. Spending your life in a meaningless job
  11. Living your life as a series of accidents
  12. Denying your own mortality.
(Thomas Naylor, William Willimon, Magdalena Naylor, The Search for Meaning, Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1994, 215)

Here is my list on how to counter the 12 steps that lead to unhappiness.

  1. Be self-aware.
  2. Be connected with others.
  3. Be connected deeply with one's spiritual self.
  4. Have experienced a real community.
  5. Learning to say enough.
  6. Learning to give to others.
  7. Learning to beat to the right drummer.
  8. Dancing to the right tune.
  9. Fighting the right enemy.
  10. Finding meaning in our jobs.
  11. Living intentionally.
  12. Acknowledging our own mortality, and planning for it.


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