Find Happiness 61: Don’t Depend on Others’ Courtesy


Do these sound familiar?:

  • “He didn’t ask how my cold  was. He’s brazenly insensitive and I’m really upset.”
  • “She didn’t ask after my mother. She’s so selfish, I’m really upset.”
  • “He didn’t ask about my new job. He doesn’t give a damn about me, I’m really upset.”
  • “She didn’t come to meet me at the airport. She has no manners, I’m really upset.”
  • “He didn’t condole my uncle’s death. He’s absolutely callous, I’m really upset.”
  • “She never even asked about our new baby. She has no social graces, I’m really upset.”
  • “He never thanked me for all I’ve done for  him. He’s an ungrateful wretch, I’m really upset.”

Now think about this: if it didn’t matter to you whether

  1. people thanked you or
  2. people made inquiries of you,

… wouldn’t you have much less cause for agitation ?

Your reactions to those things are really from learned behaviour… learned from your parents, other family, peers or the media. You were not born with those reactions. Nothing will go wrong if you lose them!

  • Try not reacting in the above circumstances and see if you like where it gets you.
  • Start today.
  • The next time somebody does not thank you or make polite inquiries, do not say anything.
  • Inhale slowly to the count of ten.
  • Then pay attention to some other matter, one that is not disturbing.
  • Repeat the above procedure whenever your mind goes back to the initial reaction.


Try it out for two weeks. If you like the difference it makes, make it a habit. You’ll be delighted at how much more enjoyable your life is!





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Find Happiness 60: Don’t Worry About Your Mind



  • Feel you’re going crazy?
  • Worried about your mind’s quirks?
  • Think you’re not as smart as your peers?

All these are  attitudes which probably everyone has at one time or another. First and foremost:

You are not alone and there is nothing wrong with you.

I went through some of the above mindsets myself; I came to the point where I decided I had to straighten my head out else waste the rest of my life feeling mixed-up and inferior.

I studied myriad books, underwent self-help courses and spoke with people who clearly understood the human mind. I successfully found a solution, and now offer it to you, thus enabling you to leap over the searching stage in a single bound.

What you need to do (and what I did) is:

1. Realize that the worries mentioned above are thoughts, that they come from your brain and that you are the quiet presence that is aware of them.

   Just watch them without interfering with them. That means making no effort to engage with them.

  It’s like being on the pavement of an empty street, watching  a car  pass by.

   Or it’s like looking at an empty sky waiting for a bird to fly past

   Or like waiting in the silence of the night, waiting for the sound of the wind.

2. When the worry is over, be still and wait for the next one.

3. The general idea is that you, the observer, continue to be there as worries come and go. And it doesn’t matter to you when they come, when they go, whether they come or not or what they are about. You are always there regardless, quietly watching.


So when worries about your state of mind hit, just let them do their thing. They will stick around for a while, then dissolve. But you, the silent spectator, will still be there.

Nothing will go wrong if you let those worries blow by. They are just opinions and not necessarily true. There is no need for any action on your part as a result of those thoughts.



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Find Happiness 59: Breaking Free from Seductive Thoughts

No, I am not talking about thoughts related to seducing someone. My definition of a seductive thought is a thought that suggests doing something that you:

  • Like a lot
  • Can do without difficulty in your present circumstances


Let me give you some examples of seductive thoughts from my own life.

I am a web techie and love learning about the latest Internet technologies and tinkering with websites. I am constantly hit by thoughts such as:

“I want to do a Google search for that subject now.”

“I want to study that User Manual now.”

“I want to try out that web application now.”

All of the above are actions that I find enjoyable, exciting and deeply satisfying. Other not so pleasant examples, not drawn from me, are:

“I want to snort some cocaine now.”

“I need to smoke a cigarette now.”


The Problem with Seductive Thoughts

The problem is that most people cannot resist them, and this causes undesirable side-effects.

If you keep yielding to them, they can make your life develop unevenly: you succeed in one sphere, but fail in the others (for instance, there are many well-known examples of people who are professionally brilliant but abject failures in their family lives).

What you need to do is break the hold these thoughts have on you, so that you can make an educated decision on whether to accept their suggestions or not.

How to Break the Hold

First of all, resolve to be on the lookout for a seductive thought ambush (it’s not as difficult as you may think).

When a seductive thought hits you:

  1. Don’t unthinkingly go along with it.
  2. Pause for a moment and remind yourself about how it was only a thought, how you are the one who was aware of it and how you are under no compulsion to do as it says.
  3. Ask yourself if now is the best time to perform what it suggests (are there better things you could be doing instead?)
  4. If you decide that there is a higher-priority action that you should be doing, go with the higher-priority action.
  5. If there really and truly is nothing more important to do, then go ahead with what the seductive thought says.
  6. Rinse and repeat until you feel your life is in perfect balance (a sign you have broken the hold).


Be alert, be your mind’s boss and more power to you!

Your friend,

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