Happy Haddy http://www.happyhaddy.com happiness, self-esteem, communication skills Sun, 26 Jun 2016 23:33:03 +0000 en-CA hourly 1 87390849 Denial – How it Affects Your Happiness http://www.happyhaddy.com/2016/06/26/denial-how-it-affects-your-happiness/ Sun, 26 Jun 2016 23:33:03 +0000 http://www.happyhaddy.com/?p=2205 Denial is More Than Just a River in Africa What comes to mind when you think of denial? Perhaps it has to do with setting […]

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Denial is More Than Just a River in Africa

What comes to mind when you think of denial?

Perhaps it has to do with setting limitations on what you know is bad for you. For instance, you might choose a thin slice of cake rather than a large one with ice cream. You might deny yourself other pleasures except for special moments or on certain days.

The problem with this kind of denial is that it requires discipline. Self-imposed limitations are easy to change.

Other forms of denial have to do with dishonesty. They can be denials of the truth or of responsibility. (Oh, the lies I told myself and the responsibilities I once shirked!) Most people deny painful areas of dysfunction in their lives.

Denial of Abilities and Gifts

Where denial hurts us the most is when we fail to honour ourselves, to accept our unique path in life. I lived with low self-esteem and poor communication skills for many years, always keeping my head down and avoiding recognition. All I accomplished through these tactics was to demonstrate my unworthiness and my inabilities. At every step I limited my potential and hindered my relationship with life itself.

That was certainly not the way to find happiness.

Think about your limiting thoughts that deny or impede your self-realization. In what ways do you deny yourself the right to be happy, to express yourself freely, and to become the person you would really like to be?

Your viewpoints of life are the lenses through which you perceive reality. For many people, they are shaped and distorted by painful memories, frustrated dreams and expectations of never achieving much. I used to live that way. No, I shouldn’t even call it living. It was just getting by, spinning my wheels and trying to avoid more disappointments.

Life is an incredibly rewarding experience if we allow it to happen. Most never do. Instead, they get caught up in the drama of our modern world. This is when the focus is on self-gratification rather than on discovering who they really are and their opportunities to truly develop.

Limiting thoughts deny our self-expression of who we truly are. They are based on fears created by our pain-filled past. This form of denial is never about what is happening right now.

Digest that for a moment. Fears are not what is happening now, they are what you surmise is going to happen based on your past manner of thinking. It follows then to avoid living a life based on fear, you must change your manner of thinking.

When you stop denying what a wonderful person you are and the importance of your role in life, you open yourself up to a love-based world. This is the only place where you can truly be happy.

Tips for Dealing with Denial

Choosing to be a happy, purpose-filled person doesn’t happen overnight but there are steps you can take right now to set you on that path:

  1. Monitor the ways in which your self-denial limits your potential. Write them down. You have created them, fed them and allowed them to hurt you. It is time to let them go.
  2. Wear an elastic band on your wrist and give yourself a little snap whenever you use negative self-talk.
  3. Practice frequently how it feels to be happy. Give yourself a few moments to feel happiness in your face, your hands, your body, your arms and legs.
  4. Regularly bathe yourself in the feelings of happy moments from your past.

It took me many years for me to learn how to be a “Happy” Haddy but learn it I did. It is my desire to help you achieve the same.

“I protect myself by refusing to know myself.”
Floriano Martins

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Fathers and Their Influence http://www.happyhaddy.com/2016/06/19/fathers-and-their-influence/ Sun, 19 Jun 2016 21:20:16 +0000 http://www.happyhaddy.com/?p=2191 Fathers of Different Times Fathers are being honoured today in restaurants, golf courses and in many other venues, particularly at home. Along with my wife […]

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Fathers of Different Times

Fathers are being honoured today in restaurants, golf courses and in many other venues, particularly at home. Along with my wife Heidi, I spent yesterday with my oldest son and his oldest son in celebrating the first birthday of our first great granddaughter. It was three generations of fathers celebrating the joy of having a little girl in our lives. I couldn’t help but thinking of how much my dad would have enjoyed the occasion.

I have witnessed the loving guidance my son and his wife used in bring up their sons and how that is being repeated in the new generation. I am pleased.

This past week I heard people on the radio station sharing the inspiration and lessons they received from their fathers. I struggled, at first, to remember anything like that from mine.

I do not recall him ever hugging us or even offering words of encouragement but I still idolized him. In his day, men rarely showed affection. I grew up with that influence and accepted it as the norm.

Fortunately, I outgrew those attitudes.

My first wife and I had four children and then started taking in foster children – twelve of them, as I recall.

Getting on the floor roughhousing with children, tossing squealing boys above my head, brushing little girl’s hair, and inventing preposterous bedtime stories brought profound changes in my life. Considering losing my mother at an early age and my military training, it brought out a gentleness in me I never would have expected.

Children do not come with instruction manuals and young people often spurn advice. Somehow, however, we manage. The opportunity to be a dad to all those kids, and three more later, offered me lessons in how to love, share and be responsible that I would not have learned elsewhere.

Fathers Influence

Without the influence of children, I might have wound up like many of the fathers I have counselled over the years. These were men who repeated the mistakes they swore they would make in doing what their fathers had done to them. They were sometimes angry, indifferent, uncaring or violent. It was the world they had known while growing up. I knew that world well at one time.

Repeating mistakes is normal unless we are confronted with some reason to change. Blaming others for our upbringing may seem like a good excuse, but it does nothing to bring about happiness and fulfillment. For your life to change, you must change.

My dad was born in 1900 and passed away in 1974. During his last years, the greatest joy in his life  was his grandchildren. He treated them in a much different way than he ever offered us. They called him “Grambad,” a name he very much enjoyed.

While he was not a man to express emotion, he was someone who exhibited great strength. He brought my brother, sister and me up unassisted revealing his great courage and determination. It was his lessons in facing struggles and getting on with things that has left the greatest impression on me.

Regardless of the upbringing you may have had, I believe it is important to respect your parents. We all make mistakes and some of them can be quite damaging. It is still my contention that based on our experiences, knowledge, and whatever pressures we are under, we are always doing the best we can.

If you have grievances against your father, forgive him. It does not serve you to hang on to bad memories.

Small boys become big men through the influence of big men who care about small boys.

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Subconscious Success http://www.happyhaddy.com/2016/06/13/subconscious-success/ Mon, 13 Jun 2016 16:30:51 +0000 http://www.happyhaddy.com/?p=2180 The Role of Your Subconscious Your subconscious may sound like a boring topic but it is one that determines how you live your life. It […]

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The Role of Your Subconscious

Your subconscious may sound like a boring topic but it is one that determines how you live your life. It is well worth getting to know about it and how you can improve it.

When people set goals for themselves, they are usually about having or doing. For example, you might want to have more money or do something special on your vacation. There is nothing wrong with that. I hope you succeed. Of course, they might not happen for a number of reasons beyond your control.

They might also not happen for reasons within your control.

Having and doing are both products of your conscious brain, but for them to succeed, they must be endorsed by your subconscious. Yes, that is the part of you that might be imprinted with low self-esteem, frustration and feelings of being a loser.

Great ideas might come to you, ones you know would work out and your life would improve. You are determined to follow through, and then . . . you fail again. Why is that?

It is the role of the subconscious to filter the plans and ideas you are about to implement. You would not survive without it. It protects you from repeatedly doing really stupid things (most of the time) and helps you to bring to fruition the ones that will help you to succeed. It cannot, however, come up with the plans on its own. That is the function of the conscious mind.

The subconscious mind can be our safeguard but it cannot reason. If a person has always dealt with stress by reacting with anger, becoming depressed or by using drugs, the subconscious mind will offer those solutions as the only ones which have worked in the past. They are the only ones it knows. When you have dumb ideas, supported by a resource bank of poor solutions, failure is inevitable.

I lived that way for many years and grew to hate everything about it.

Reprogramming the Subconscious

The solution lies in re-programming the subconscious with new positive, productive solutions while by-passing the old ones that never worked. To implement new goals and directions, the conscious mind has to first follow the S.M.A.R.T. goals formula. That stand for specific, measurable, achievable or attainable, realistic or relevant, and timely.

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Once the conscious goal is set, it is important to remember that the having and doing aspects need the subconscious to see it through to completion. This is where being and feeling come in.

In my last post I wrote about Mohammad Ali stating, “I am the greatest.” He was not seeking, aspiring or having dreams about being the greatest. He was being the greatest and feeling the greatest.

That is what I do when I state that I am “Happy” Haddy. I am being and feeling happy regardless of what is happening around me and whatever anyone is saying or doing. Yes, there are occasional disturbing things happen in my life but I calmly respond and move on rather than react with anger the way I used to years ago.

Remember how powerful your subconscious is and how it determines how your life will turn out. Without the ability to reason, it will believe whatever you plant there. If you plant worry weeds, anger weeds, resentment weeds or other negative varieties, they will take root and choke out whatever goodness life may be trying to give you.

You are capable of making your life a wonderful experience. It is never too late to set higher standards for yourself, to plant your beans and corn and roses. Yes, it takes some effort but with your goal set properly, you will come to love it. See the beauty of your life as it grows and blossoms, tend to the weeds so they don’t come back, and prune away the unnecessary details that distract you.

“The subconscious mind is the guiding force for your entire life.”
Kevin Michel, Moving Through Parallel Worlds To Achieve Your Dreams

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Greatest Life You Can Live http://www.happyhaddy.com/2016/06/05/greatest-life-can-live/ Mon, 06 Jun 2016 00:05:44 +0000 http://www.happyhaddy.com/?p=2159 “I am the Greatest!” Those were the words of three time world champion heavyweight boxer, Muhammad Ali, who just passed away. I recall the reaction […]

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“I am the Greatest!”

Those were the words of three time world champion heavyweight boxer, Muhammad Ali, who just passed away. I recall the reaction when he first claimed to be the greatest. Many thought of him as a braggart, someone who was full of himself; others guessed it was a marketing ploy. I will not judge his motives but I do believe his sincerity and how he lived by his words.

Is it wrong to declare yourself the greatest at anything? Does it mean that others are not as good as you, that you are better than them? Does it make you an egomaniac? Perhaps, but it depends on your motives.

Motives for Being the Greatest

Many people shun any claims of being the greatest. The best reason for not doing so would be that they don’t believe it, they feel unworthy. Those who have difficulty accepting criticism also feel discomfort with praise.

I lived with low self-esteem for many years. Keeping my head down and avoiding recognition was part of my protective shell. In reality, it was like a child holding their hand in front of their face and saying, “I can’t see you so you can’t see me.”

People are afraid of being judged and the feelings of seeming less than. How can you be the greatest when you feel and act like a victim? You can’t! When you come to accept that reality, a new course of action presents itself.

BE the Greatest

To repeat myself, you cannot be the greatest at anything if you feel and act like a victim.

Here are some of my former beliefs. They are only a few of the excuses that held me back in life.

  • I am unlucky.
  • I am not like everyone else.
  • I have faced obstacles that others haven’t.
  • I never had the support and encouragement others have.
  • I lack the boldness of others who like to stand out and be recognized.

Do you identify with any of those? As the old saying goes, “If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it is a duck.” If you feel and act like a victim, you are a victim. That is a term most would deny

How do you turn that around? You do it by moving from a fear-based life to a love-based one. In other words, avoiding all the negativity that weakens you such as anger, guilt, remorse, resentments, and worries about the future and replacing them with acceptance, gratitude, forgiveness, and understanding.

Yes, that sounds like a tall order. It was for me and it didn’t all happen overnight.

Begin with accepting yourself for who you are. You are the one and only. You can’t be anyone else as they are already taken. Regardless of how tough your life has been and the challenges you have faced, what have you learned because of it? What strengths have you developed and how are you now a better person through your ordeals? Your life journey is unique as are the choices you make.

Make the choice to understand your greatness. What is it about you that makes you the incredible creation you are?

Yes, you are and don’t allow anyone to tell you differently. I suffered many putdowns, insults and attacks when I was young but have let them all go. Realizing those people were acting out of the pain they lived with, they were reacting in the only way they knew how.

Count your blessings frequently. Feel good about who you are. I don’t suggest you tell anyone you are the greatest but definitely affirm it in your heart. Tell yourself that often.

Muhammad Ali was just a few months older than I am. His greatness did not just happen in the brutal sport of boxing. He was a man of principles who stood up for what he believed and truly cared about others.

Each of us, in our own way, is capable of greatness. Make it your decision to embrace yours.

“If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.”
 – Muhammad Ali
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Self-Inflicted Wounds http://www.happyhaddy.com/2016/04/17/self-inflicted-wounds/ Sun, 17 Apr 2016 22:11:14 +0000 http://www.happyhaddy.com/?p=2138 Self-Inflicted? When people think about self-inflicted wounds, we usually conjure images of slash marks on people’s arms on those who are deeply disturbed. I suggest […]

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Self-Inflicted?

When people think about self-inflicted wounds, we usually conjure images of slash marks on people’s arms on those who are deeply disturbed. I suggest the field is much broader than that.

In the summer of 1960, I was stationed at an army base in Kingston, Ontario. One weekend, with a belly full of beer, we went for a swim in the Saint Lawrence River. I swam out to a raft and promptly fell asleep. I awoke with a severe sunburn on both sides. In the army way of thinking, it was a self-inflicted wound and I would have charges laid against me if I reported it.

Although I had not done it deliberately, I was still at fault for what had happened. I tossed and turned at night and felt uncomfortable wearing a shirt but there was nothing for me to do but suffer through it.

Like my sunburn from many years ago, there are many unintentional ways of doing damage to ourselves. They may not be as obvious as scars on someone’s arms but, subconsciously, they still reflect our self-esteem and the issues we are dealing with.

My sunburn came about through my youthful cockiness, my defiance of common sense. Let us examine some of the other ways that we do harm to ourselves.

Self-Inflicted Miseries

There are, of course, all the things we do to conform to the social norm. Young people feel invincible and give little thought to the long term effects of drug use, over-indulgence and poor dietary choices. Important as they are, I will put them aside for now as well and focus on deeper issues.

I refer to such things as dishonesty, disrespect, inconsideration of others, being judgmental, frequently complaining and reacting impulsively.

Do these cause self-inflicted wounds? You bet they do and they are far worse than an occasional sunburn or a sprained ankle when you weren’t watching your step.

For people who live their lives as victims, there are always things to whine and complain about as well as people and situations to blame. Their unhappiness, they feel, is not their fault.

I lived as a victim for far too long and I have had lots of company. People tend to associate with those with similar views. They gather to spread gossip, voice their opinions and wallow in self-pity. Little do they realize the force of self-destruction they are setting loose.

Consequences of Self-Inflicted Wounds

Your mind processes about 60,000 thoughts a day with about 95% being the same ones being repeated endlessly. Only about 20% of those are of a positive nature with the rest putting up red flags in the many systems of your being. The way we are wired is to keep us wary of dangers and helping us take appropriate actions.

Without our minds being tuned this way, humanity would have died off eons ago. The problem is that our subconscious cannot determine between actual threats and perceived ones. Everything is energy so our negative bias responds to both in the same fashion.

Life was much simpler for our ancestors whose threats were very real. Now people create crises over what someone is wearing, how their favourite sports team is faring, immigration policies or who is doing who in Hollywood.

When people are unhappy they often look for a scapegoat. Those other people must be at fault. They have two good arms and legs, why can’t they get a job like everyone else? Why don’t they go back to where they came from? Why can’t things be the way it used to?

Those thoughts and remarks only solidify the negativity with which you have to deal with.

  1. With any challenge, your breathing becomes shallow which sends less oxygen to your brain which limits its ability to reason, relax or remember. That is definitely not the time you want that to happen.
  2. Your heart beats faster sending blood to your extremities to deal with the crisis. As the blood is drawn away from your body, your digestive and eliminative systems are impaired. Nutrients are no longer readily available to build and maintain the organs and systems of your body.
  3. Your liver pumps out more cholesterol to thicken your blood so you won’t bleed as much if you are injured. That is a good thing in a real emergency but definitely not something you want to keep doing.
  4. Your muscles tense. In chronic stress situations, this leads to all sorts of problems.

Have no doubt that the tension you feel in life is of your own making. It reflects how you are dealing with who you are. It is not someone else’s fault for how you feel. Your self-inflicted wounds are preventing your happiness, your ability to grow and become the person you always wanted to be, and to accept just how fantastic you really are.

“All pressure is self-inflicted. It’s what you make of it or how you let it rub off on you.”
          – Sebastian Coe

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Frustration Wearing You Down? http://www.happyhaddy.com/2016/04/10/frustration-wearing-you-down/ Sun, 10 Apr 2016 18:59:18 +0000 http://www.happyhaddy.com/?p=2115 Understanding Frustration How often is frustration a problem for you? What brings it on? How well do you handle it? Frustration is triggered by an […]

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Understanding Frustration

How often is frustration a problem for you? What brings it on? How well do you handle it?

Frustration is triggered by an inability to understand something, to be able to achieve some goal, or to deal with certain challenges. The more importance one places on being unable to do so, the greater the challenge becomes. Sometimes the frustration is in not being able to do what others are doing, and at other times, it is in being incapable of accomplishing what use to be quite routine.

Not being able to achieve what one wants is merely annoying for some people, for others it triggers anger and even rage. It can become a time to react to everyone and everything with swear words, angry outbursts or to physically react in some manner. The latter is standard operating procedure for many.

How do you handle it?

The Real Reason for Frustration

  1. No, it is not because you are surrounded by incompetent idiots. You well might be but that is not the cause of your current frustration.
  2. No, there is not a grand conspiracy to highlight what an idiot you are. That is just your low self-esteem talking and it only talks to you. Everyone else is focused on their own problems (of why they are idiots).
  3. No, it is not because you are just unlucky. Luck, or the lack thereof, has nothing to do with it. You create your own luck. Energies and influences vary from day to day but it is still up to you how you respond to them.
  4. Yes, it has to do with the manner of how you have reacted to challenges in the past. You routinely respond in the manner you are accustomed to.
  5. Yes, it has to do with your perspective of the situation. Where your attention goes, energy flows. We are all faced with challenges in life. It is through them that we learn. If you view your challenges as impenetrable obstacles, you will definitely be frustrated in your attempts to deal with them.

Suggestions for Dealing with Frustration

I recall a day many years ago when I was working on a home handyman project. I had both the right tools and experience to handle the task. In spite of that, things just did not work out. Twice I measured carefully and re-checked my measurement but when I cut the board, I cut it short. Nails bent when I hit them and other things went wrong. Finally, I got the message that God or whatever was poking fun at me.

I put all my tools and building materials away and went for a ride on my bicycle. I managed to get a block away from home when a dog ran out and bit my ankle. Accepting that it would continue to be one of those days, I limped home pushing my bike and spent the rest of the day safely engrossed in a book.

There are always lessons to learn from life experiences even if they don’t seem readily apparent. Here are a few to ponder:

  • Take a break from what is frustrating you and take a few deep breaths. This sends more oxygen to your brain which helps you to relax, think more clearly and to remember things better.
  • Consider, as I related from my experience, that this just might not be the right day to tackle your problem. When you come back to a situation, you often see things you missed previously.
  • Accept the fact that the only person you can change is yourself. We don’t really understand why others do all the things they do or whether they are having a bad day.
  • Swallow your pride and ask for help. Yes, I know it is hard to reach out to others but sometimes it is the best move. Perhaps the opportunity will come for you to help them back. People like to be needed.
  • Don’t make the situation worse than it is. You will get through this and, in time, it will be forgotten. Consider it an inconvenience or a nuisance. It is not worth obsessing over and making yourself unhappy.

“Transformation is my favorite game and in my experience, anger and frustration are the result of you not being authentic somewhere in your life or with someone in your life. Being fake about anything creates a block inside of you. Life can’t work for you if you don’t show up as you.”
Jason Mraz

For those of you who have missed my recent posts, I have experienced major computer problems which prompted this theme. I am back.

 

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Introspection – Owl Talk http://www.happyhaddy.com/2016/03/23/introspection-owl-talk/ Wed, 23 Mar 2016 12:27:36 +0000 http://www.happyhaddy.com/?p=2101 A Good Time for Introspection An owl, sitting in a tree outside my bedroom, window awoke me this morning. The clock told me that it […]

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A Good Time for Introspection

An owl, sitting in a tree outside my bedroom, window awoke me this morning. The clock told me that it was 4:23 which is a perfectly good time for owl talk and close enough to when I normally get up. The owl had asked me the age old question of, “Who?” I find the early morning a good time for introspection.

Who we are is the riddle we are all faced with in life.

I have taught meditation for years and have instructed my students how to first still their minds and then turn to the focus. The focus should be something simple. Your mind will tend to wander but you learn to recognize the object of the wanderings as a distraction, push it aside, and then return to your focus. Doing this time and again helps to train your mind and still the squirrel cage most people live with. With a chattering mind, it is difficult to accomplish much.

Back to the question of, “Who am I?”

Often people will respond to that query by identifying with their profession. At different times in my life I would have answered by saying that I was a soldier, a salesman, a correctional officer, a health care practitioner, a chef, an instructor, an artist, a writer, a public speaker, a counsellor and a number of other things. Counselling and writing have been my main professions but I had many hoops to jump through first.

In reality, those are things I did, the “whats” of my life; they are not “who” I am. How I made a living changed many times, who am I never has. The only thing that has changed in that regard is my understanding of it.

Making Sense through Introspection

I live on the edge of a forest and have heard the owls repeat the “Who” question on countless occasions. In my head, I have turned to it many times more. When we come to understand the answer to this question, we also grasp the “why” of life.

I know I am getting pretty deep here but it is a question we all face. We can choose to ignore it but it will emerge again when the next owl comes into your life.

The answer usually comes in a series of revelations – some minor and some major. Near death experiences bring them on but don’t get anxious looking for that solution. I have had quite a number of those, mostly through my foolishness. Understanding will happen when it is supposed to, usually in a number of “aha” moments.

Improving your internal communication skills will help you to discover who you are. My daily focus is on peace of mind, purpose and direction in my life. Everything else is a distraction. To achieve peace of mind, I had to let go of thoughts of anger, resentments and judgment. Once the mind is calm, the answers to all your questions will be much easily be understood.

Negative self-talk, criticism, anger, and all other fear-related actions cloud our vision preventing us from finding our true path in life. They made my life miserable for many years, but no longer. Making a lot of noise trying to impress others can drown out your inner voice, the one which will guide you to your destiny.

Don’t be in a rush. You don’t need to “find yourself” by the end of the week. Just watch and listen to what feels true. You are a remarkable person with a lot to offer. Let it happen!

 “Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
C.G. Jung

This is an updated post from September 20, 2014

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Self-Esteem One Day at a Time http://www.happyhaddy.com/2016/03/20/self-esteem-one-day-time/ Sun, 20 Mar 2016 16:16:24 +0000 http://www.happyhaddy.com/?p=2086 Struggling With Low Self-Esteem One Day at a Time The term One Day at a Time is often used by those struggling with some form […]

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Struggling With Low Self-Esteem One Day at a Time

The term One Day at a Time is often used by those struggling with some form of addiction, by those with low self-esteem. Regardless whether the compulsion is for cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, gambling, obsessive texting, or chocolate, the focus is on making it through one more day without giving in to the established behaviour.

When first addressing one’s addiction, this is often a Herculean task. Trying to get your head around going without for an entire day seems impossible. The focus may then be on a much shorter time span. During the depression I went through after my son’s suicide, drinking was at the top of my agenda day and night. It seemed impossible to stop.

What about after the major challenge has been dealt with and some sense of normalcy has been accomplished? Should the person continue to focus on One Day at a Time to keep the problem at bay?

I suggest not. My suggestions may seem contrary to those in twelve step programmes but hear me out.

Where your mind goes, energy flows. If you continue to focus on your struggle, your struggle will continue. You might no longer be using whatever you thought the answer to life was while in active addiction, but the victim thinking will continue regardless. It will always be that way until you address your problems of low self-esteem.

Yes, you must remember what the addiction did to you and, yes, you are not impervious to it happening again but, no, you do not have to keep the perceived problem front and centre in your mind.

Your subconscious mind does not understand “DON’T.” If you keep focused on DON’T DRINK, DON’T USE DRUGS, DON’T GAMBLE, DON’T CHEAT, DON’T LIE, DON’T SPEND COUNTLESS HOURS TEXTING, or DON’T EAT CHOCOLATE, your subconscious mind will keep hearing DRINK, USE DRUGS, GAMBLE, CHEAT, LIE, SPEND COUNTLESS HOURS TEXTING, and EAT CHOCOLATE. Your struggle will remain a daily process when it has no need to.

Raising Self-Esteem One Day at a Time

I have counselled countless people with all sorts of problems centering around addictions. Many point to the drug, the drink, or the whatever as their problem. They think that if they could only give that up they could be happy. Most doctors and many treatment centers seem to think that as well. Some think they can teach them to use their drug responsibly so they can fit in with normal society. Until the person can gain enough confidence to improve their self-esteem, that is unlikely to happen.

The drink, the drug or whatever was never the problem; they were simply tools to take the pain of living away. The real issues lie much deeper in the insecurities experienced by the victim. Twelve step programmes and other modalities can be of help there.

One Day at a Time, for me, is continually focusing on being a better person than I have ever been and on making the world around me a little brighter.
• Challenges for me are opportunities to be learned from.
• Accepting challenges in this light, rather than hiding from them, helps to build self-esteem.

The world opens up all around you when you learn to communicate in a more positive fashion – with others, with yourself and with the God of your understanding. The quality of your life will be determined by it.

Your past will always be there. You can’t change it but you can learn from it. You can’t live in your future either so set aside your fears and anxieties. You can only live now. You are always living now. Set positive, progressive goals for your future and apply yourself today in whatever way you can to bring them into fruition.

Only you can make this happen. One Day at a Time, you can build a better life.

“Everything that happens to you is a reflection of what you believe about yourself. We cannot outperform our level of self-esteem. We cannot draw to ourselves more than we think we are worth.”
Iyanla Vanzant

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Grateful For a New Life http://www.happyhaddy.com/2016/03/16/grateful-new-life/ Wed, 16 Mar 2016 12:29:27 +0000 http://www.happyhaddy.com/?p=2077   Should we Feel Grateful When Our World is in Chaos? With all the mishaps, misfortunes and really stupid things I have done in my […]

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 baby Ciara

Should we Feel Grateful When Our World is in Chaos?

With all the mishaps, misfortunes and really stupid things I have done in my life, I very grateful to have lived long enough to have seen my children grow up. Now, with the immanent birth of our first great grandchild, I am well past that mark. One of our grandsons and his wife will be having a baby girl likely tonight. Oh, what a life faces her.

Many people look pessimistically to our future. They see challenges with global warming, rising crime rates, troubles in the Middle East and all sorts of problems. Is it a wise thing to bring a child into such a world?

You bet it is!

My paternal great grandfather was born in England in 1815 and made the great journey to this new land. Just as the desperate people currently leaving North Africa for an uncertain future in Europe, it takes a great deal of courage to make such a commitment but that has been going on for thousands of years.

I never met either of my grandmothers.

My mother’s mother died in 1914, the year The Great War started in Europe. Death and destruction were everywhere followed by the great flu pandemic in 1918 which killed millions more. Old empires crumbled but from the ruins, mankind put the pieces back together in a new and better way.

My paternal grandmother, who thought the greatest invention of her lifetime was the safety pin, died in 1942, the same year I was born. That was during the darkest days of the Second World War when Hitler seemed unstoppable. It took time, determination and the cooperation of a lot of people but that seemingly hopeless struggle was also dealt with and created a very different world.

Each of us, in our own microcosmic way, is faced with the same situation.

Grateful For New Beginnings

Yes, I am grateful and fortunate to be alive. There were many dark days in my past when death would have been most welcome. Just like what has happened with the outer world, our inner world can also be laced with challenges and turmoil.

Coming into this uncertain world as a baby is hopefully done with lots of loving care. Beginning your life over again, as I have had to do, is also a great challenge. As grown up babies, we are not so soft and cuddly. Rather than having nothing more than our birthday suit, we come with baggage – lots of it. Headstrong ways, resentments, addictions, anxieties, and a long string of complaints and problems are among them.

Just as the problems of the world are healed, so our those we carry with us. We can put the pieces back together in a new and better way. It does take a great deal of courage to make such a commitment, as well as determination and the cooperation of a lot of people.

That, my friends, is exactly why I write this blog. It is never too late to start your life over again.

For now, though, it is time for me to turn my attention to my family and the little one who soon will join us. May her life be filled with love and blessings with just the right amount of challenges so she might grow strong and acquire wisdom.

“No, this is not the beginning of a new chapter in my life; this is the beginning of a new book! That first book is already closed, ended, and tossed into the seas; this new book is newly opened, has just begun! Look, it is the first page! And it is a beautiful one!”
― C. JoyBell C.

(This was first posted on June 18, 2015. Ciara was born that night.)

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Conforming or Daring to be Special? http://www.happyhaddy.com/2016/03/13/conforming-daring-special/ Sun, 13 Mar 2016 17:33:30 +0000 http://www.happyhaddy.com/?p=2070 Is Conforming the Right Fit for You? Conforming to the ways of society is difficult for many people. My wife and I went to see […]

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canstockphoto19133018

Is Conforming the Right Fit for You?

Conforming to the ways of society is difficult for many people.

My wife and I went to see the movie “Imitation Game” a while ago which tells the story of Alan Turing who invented the digital computer. Like many geniuses, he lived in a world of his own and had great difficulty communicating and relating with others. Because of his manner, he was generally disliked and disregarded by those he came in contact with. We thoroughly enjoyed the movie and took particular note of a comment directed at this unusual man stating something to the effect that the world was a better place because he was different.

  • Do you feel different than those around you?
  • Do you have difficulties in communicating and relating with others?
  • Do you have a need to conform to the ways of others to find acceptance?

People have a need to find acceptance. No one likes to be disliked and disregarded. When I was a boy, I used to get upset when the teacher wrote “satisfactory” on my report card. Is that all I was? That didn’t seem like very much.

I wore a uniform when I was in the army and they expected uniform responses to their commands. It was all about conforming, about submission. Individuality was definitely forbidden. Under those circumstances, their expectations were appropriate, but what about for life in general?

The Price of Conforming

For those with low self-esteem, conforming to the ways of others presents two choices – giving in or resisting. Either way restricts you to living in a very small world.

Continually giving in lowers your self-esteem even further. It weakens you. You build a repertoire of excuses, build long lists of resentments and wind up feeling depressed. Never having your voice heard or your needs met makes you a victim.

Continually resisting all the demands and restrictions placed upon you also has its challenges. Many people enjoy the notoriety of being labelled “a rebel” and may even find a following of others with low self-esteem who wish they had the courage to resist as well. This adds a burden to “The Rebel” as they now have to live up to their expectations. To maintain their position, they must give in to their followers while resisting the status quo of society. This is a very stressful way to live.

Continually falling into one camp or the other brings us back once more to conformity. High school and college students frequently conform to non-conformity.

Dare to be Special

There is a better way. When we can get over being like, being better than and all the other comparisons that shape our point of view, we are left with something truly marvellous – our selves. This is a scary prospect for many who have tried to hide it away somewhere where others can’t see it and judge it to be wanting, or for those who are satisfied with being “satisfactory.”

All of us have within us something unique, something that makes us special. Have a good look at yourself. We can’t have it all our way if we hope to live in a civilized manner. If we devote all our time and efforts to condemning the ways of others, we have no time to discover our own path. Where attention goes, energy flows.

  1. What is it you are really good at?
  2. What is it you would really like to do with your life?
  3. If you could do something really important for others, what would it be?

To find the answers, you must set aside all thoughts and excuses about why you cannot achieve these things. Even after you think you have the answers, affirm them and then keep asking the questions again. You will find that your understanding of them will continue to grow as well as the methods by which you can apply them.

I left being “satisfactory” behind me a long time ago and you can too. We owe it to ourselves to be special and leave our mark in some way.

“You are too important to the bigger picture to just fall off the canvas.”
Johnnie Dent Jr.

This was originally posted on Feb 1, 2015

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