“What kind of world would this world be,
If everyone in it… were just like me?”
I’d like to start this chapter with a story I heard many years ago. I don’t know where it originated from so I apologize for not being able to give credit to the author.
Once upon a time there was a Father left at home responsible for watching his 6 year old son. However, the Father was working very diligently at his kitchen table trying to figure out his income taxes. His 6 year old son meanwhile became increasingly bored. And since there was no one else at home, he began to harass his Dad to play with him.
In an effort to give himself more time with his tax work, the Dad spotted a newspaper with a large picture of the World. Thinking he had a great idea, the Father cut the page out… and then cut the page into numerous pieces. Then he mixed the pieces up and spread them out all over the floor.
Next, he gave his son a roll of scotch tape and explained to him that this was a “game” to see if he could put the pieces back together and re-create the picture of the world.
Certain that this little “game” would keep his son busy for quite a while, the Father returned to his tax preparation.
About 6 or 7 minutes later the boy climbed up on a kitchen chair beside his Dad and very proudly announced “Here it is Dad”. The father looked up AMAZED to find that this small, 6 year old boy had put the page back together… in under 10 minutes!
Astonished that the page had been put back together so quickly, the Father said “SON… HOW DID YOU DO THAT SO FAST???”
The little boy answered honestly. “It was easy Dad.” The boy flipped the page over to show the Father and explained… “on this side there’s a picture of a man… I knew if I would get the man right… the world would be right!”
I like that story because there’s a lot of truth in it. Whenever things are right on the inside of a man, the world he lives in is a much better place.
We’ve all heard expressions such as “welcome to my world” or “he lives in his own little world,” but have you ever thought about how each of us do live in a world of our own?
One Choice – Two Options
When I was young boy growing up I use to wake up early on Saturday mornings and watch cartoons for hours. I’m absolutely sure that I knew the entire line up from about 7 am to 12 noon and which channels my favorites were on. Of course, many years have gone by since then and I don’t remember very much about the particular shows, but I do recall a theme that seemed to present itself more than once that stuck with me. Although I don’t recall the particular characters or shows, I believe I can still make this point clear.
Whoever the character was in the cartoon doesn’t matter, but the theme centered around a conflict he or she was having. There was an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. The devil would tell the character to do the wrong thing and sell all the benefits he or she would get by doing so, while the angel would tell the character to do the right thing simply because it was the right thing to do.
In retrospect, I find that fascinating. Isn’t that just like what happens to us? Of course, we don’t see any angel or devil on our shoulders, but none the less, when we are conflicted in our minds, there seems to be two voices that we hear as we weigh things out before we make a decision.
As you can see from the example above, the cartoon character had two options, which is usually the case with all important life decisions.
Many years ago I read an incredible trilogy of books called “A Course in Miracles”. If I had to make a list of the top 10 books that I have read in my lifetime that have made the most impact on me, they would certainly be near the top of the list. Inside that trilogy it explains that there are two voices going on inside of us. One is the voice of the Holy Spirit. The other is the voice of our ego. Can you guess which one we should follow? Nice guess.
As most of you will know, the Holy Spirit is the voice for God and to use the verbiage directly as explained in the Course… “The ego is a wrong-minded attempt to perceive yourself as you wish to be, rather than as you are.”
Can you see the similarity with the cartoon example? I’m sure you can.
Some of the People in Your World
Every day of your life includes a finite number of people that you will cross paths with. Many of these people will be the same tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that and so on, but some will be different. Some of these people will interact with you and some will not, but they’re all in your world as you are in theirs.
You will love some of these people with all your heart, while others you won’t know anything about at all. Some of these people will disappoint you at times and some will make you very proud. Many times they will be the same people. In any case, you will have a chance to serve some of these people in some way, and they you. It may be something small such as letting another motorist get over who is stuck in the lane beside you or it may be something large, like paying for college tuition. I’m sure you get the point.
Some of these people will be very demanding of you. In fact, they’ll expect things from you and you will have to decide whether or not to comply with their demands. Sometimes you will be very demanding of them. In fact, you’ll expect things from other people and you’ll do things to pressure them to make decisions regarding your demands.
Of course, each situation in life has its own uniqueness and makes us feel that the outcome we’re after is the best one for all concerned, but so does the other party. Sometimes the other party does not have the same moral values as we do and they don’t hesitate to make decisions that offend us.
Here’s what I do and I recommend for your peace of mind and happiness. Always remember that you can’t control the behavior of other people.
The world we create for ourselves is largely due to the decisions we make. Sometimes these decisions are no brainers and would come with no hesitation, but others can be very difficult. Whenever you are confronted with a decision that is not so easy to make, I have found this question from Brian Tracy enormously helpful:
What kind of world would this world be,
If everyone in it… were just like me?
Love And Happiness
I’m sure you’ll agree that Love and Happiness are inextricably connected. Do you consider yourself a “loving” person? Hopefully you said yes. Have you ever thought about how your level of love at any given time relates to your level of happiness?
On a scale of 1 to 10, how loving are you?
Perhaps you can recall this question I asked you in the introduction:
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not happy at all and 10 being very, very happy, how happy would you say you are right now, BEFORE reading any of my posts?
I suspect the answers to both of those questions are either identical or very, very close. Are you beginning to see my point? If we can raise your level of love, we will invariably raise your level of happiness.
How Can We Raise
Your Level of Love?
First I think we need to define what Love is, though I’ll admit, that is a term that is as indefinable as any term could possibly be. Why? Because it is almost all encompassing.
Let’s take a look at how Saint Paul described love in Corinthians 13.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails…
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I know there are a lot of Star War fans out there (perhaps you’re one) and although I’ve seen very little of those movies myself, I am aware that there is a famous line that was used frequently. Perhaps you’ve heard it too.
The line is: “May the force be with you.”
I have no idea whether “the force” in the Star War movies is Love or not, but…
Love is a force
It is the most powerful force in the universe. It cannot be defeated. It is either working for you or against you, but as long as it is working against you, you cannot be victorious.
Recently I’ve heard (or read) somewhere that “evil” is NOT the opposite force of love as many believe. Evil is simply the absence (or lack) of love.
Just as darkness is NOT the opposite of light. Darkness is the absence (or lack) of light. Where there is Love, evil cannot exist, just as where there is light, darkness can not exist.
I Love… the analogy Rhonda Byrne uses in her book “The Power”.
“Think of Love as if it is water in a glass, and the glass is your body. When a glass has only a little water in it, it is empty of water. You can’t change the water level in the glass by waging war on the emptiness and trying to rip out the emptiness. The emptiness goes by filling the glass with water. When you have bad feelings, you are empty of love, and so when you put love into yourself, the bad feelings are gone.”
What Do You Love?
Here’s how we’re going to raise your level of Love (and Happiness). The human mind can only hold one thought at a time. Now here’s the thought I want you to use. Ask yourself this question. “What do I Love?”
Can you answer that question quickly? Can you remember that question? Good! Throughout the day, whenever possible, begin to ask yourself that question. “What do I Love?” and then proceed to answer that question with as many things (or people) that you can think of.
Your answers may be tangible or intangible. Get in the habit of saying to yourself throughout the day “I Love… and follow it with something!
Just for example purposes you might say:
I love sunshine
I love music
I love being able to drive to work
I love these cookies
I love John and Mary
I love having warm running water
I love having electricity for my television, for my lights, for my ______
I could go on and on and on and I know some of you may think it sounds silly to love cookies and many other things I could mention, but just by acknowledging the good things in your life you will become more grateful, more loving and happier.
A long time ago I heard that whatever you put your attention on grows. What better way to increase happiness than to “grow” the things you love? Thinking about what you love will produce feelings of joy and happiness, and feelings are the magnets that attract what comes into your life.
Your feelings are where the real power lies, but its time you realized that YOU have the power to control what you’re feeling. You’re driving your life, your mind, your thoughts and emotions.
Have you ever heard this?
Your thoughts create your feelings,
Your feelings create your actions,
Your actions create your habits,
Your habits determine your character,
Your character determines your destiny.
As you can see, it all starts with our thinking. Let’s start by thinking about what it is we love, which will lead us to “feelings” of happiness.
We all have problems that demand our attention, but if what you put your attention on grows, how much attention do you want to give your problems? I personally want to give my problems as little attention as possible. Of course we can’t forget about our problems completely. Doing so might create bigger problems. But keep in mind, we are all problem solvers. Of course, I don’t know your age but did you ever think about the many years of problems that you’ve already solved? Perhaps we should love our problems. I once heard someone say “the only people that don’t have problems are six feet under.”
Since I spend so much time on my computer, I created a specific document for my To-Do list. At the top of that document I have 5 lines that I like to read to remind me of a few things. Again, I don’t recall where I found them so I cannot give credit to the source.
The happier we are, the faster we will attract the life we want.
The happier I am, the faster I will attract the life I want.
Any problem that money can solve is NOT a problem at all.
Whatever it is… it’s OKAY
This too shall pass
Another Benefit of LOVE
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13: 34-35
May the force be with you.