The Post-College Guide to Happiness for The Happiness Blog Tour. I'm giving away free digital review copies of the book and doing a giveaway for paperback copies, audio copies and even a Kindle Fire! Read on and check out the info below the post.
"We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same."
- Carlos Castañeda
How Hard Is Happiness?
A lot of us think that happiness is really hard to achieve. We think that it's like the Olympics of emotion. To become happy we need to have been gifted with some amazing brain that could handle everything the world might throw at us or to have a personal work ethic in the top one percent of humanity. In reality, we work so hard on making ourselves feel like crap, we don't even realize that we could redirect that energy toward happiness.
How often do you beat yourself up about stuff? Really think about this, because we all like to think that we're perfect when someone asks us a question like this. We look behind us on either side before realizing that we are the one being pointed at. Hell, I've written a book about happiness and I'm still way too hard on myself. I get frustrated for starting things late and I get on my own case about not finishing everything on my to-do list. I'm in the midst of a diet and exercise plan currently and I'm unkind with myself when I don't reach my weight or running goals. I'm admitting these issues so that you can hopefully begin to admit them to yourselves.
Now, try to add up all of the time you spent kicking your own butt in a given day or week (or at least the number of thoughts). Realize that in all of that cumulative time, you expended a whole bunch of energy to make yourself feel bad. You may say that you can't help it, but that's kind of a cop out response. When you were a little kid and you had a negative habit, your parents likely guided you to the proper behavior until you stopped doing it. The only thing you have to do in this instance is to change those negative responses to positive ones. You need to replace the time that you spend energy on making yourself miserable with time spend on a more healthy and positive pursuit.
In my case, instead of looking and what I haven't accomplished on my to-do list, I could praise myself for what I've finished that day or in my entire lifetime. To replace my unhappiness with the digits on the scale, I can look at photos of myself before my diet to smile at how much my appearance has improved. No matter how you're stomping on your own self-esteem, there is a counter method for building it back up. Replace the negative habits with the positive ones (with no extra work on your part) and see how quickly things can change for the better.
Bryan Cohen is a writer, actor and comedian from Dresher, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005 with degrees in English and Dramatic Art and a minor in Creative Writing. He has written nine books including 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts: Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More, 500 Writing Prompts for Kids: First Grade through Fifth Grade, Writer on the Side: How to Write Your Book Around Your 9 to 5 Job and his new book, 1,000 Character Writing Prompts: Villains, Heroes and Hams for Scripts, Stories and More. His website Build Creative Writing Ideas helps over 25,000 visitors a month to push past writer's block and stay motivated.
Feel free to follow along with the tour at The Happiness Blog Tour Hub Page or on the book's Facebook Page.