Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I'm reading The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler.  I'm afraid you will have to bear with me while I quote him often in that he has so much wisdom to share that I agree with.  In his book, he talks about change.  He says the first step to change is learning, the 2nd is developing conviction, the 3rd is transforming conviction into action and the final is effort.  You can not change without going through the process of each step. 

I have never been afraid of change.  Part of my value system is loving new experiences and that means a lot of change.  I have packing up and relocated on my own to new unknown city and never experienced fear from doing so.  I found it exciting and new.  However; I have also fought change even knowing something was bad for me and hurting me, like bad relationships or smoking.  In the end, I did change though and now looking at the Dalai Lama's steps realize I did go through each and everyone of them to change.  The hard ones take much more effort and time.

In the case of smoking, my son came home and told me he had a guest speaker who had lost his voice box to throat cancer.  My son said to me and I will never forget it, "If you really love me, you will stop smoking".  I was so mad at that speaker and then realized I needed to do this for my son and myself.  I went through a learning process and finally decided I had to stop.  I also did it at a very stressful time in my life.  I had just changed employers but I decided not to make excuses and do it.  It helped that I got the flu and was so sick that I did not smoke for a couple of days which helped me to get started.  They say the first 3 days of going without a cigarette is the hardest.  I put down my cigarettes and went could turkey and have never smoked since.  It was very, very hard.  For years after, every time I ate I wanted a cigarette.  Every time I spoke on the phone, I wanted to reach for a cigarette and light up.  I had become a victim of habit.  I used candy suckers to suck on to have something in my mouth to help concur the habit.  

In looking at the change, I see each step now and realize that these steps have been there when ever I have let something hurtful go in my life or needed and/or wanted to change.  It has added to my happiness even though I may not have been very happy going through the process.  In my old age, I am finding that change is getting harder for me. I tend to get stuck on the learning process longer before I move on.  I have also replaced my loving new experiences value with a new value called security.  I guess that comes with age.  Another short essay can be dedicated to that in the future.  Security often makes you not want to change so I  have to work even harder at it.
"The purpose of our lives is to be happy." – Dalai Lama.  Do what you have to do to be happy. Make good changes in your life.

Be happy and God bless you.

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