I had recently taken a positive psychology class and I had to do an exercise/study by Harry Browne called Who are you? This exercise was about how you can find and keep happiness in your life by thinking about the Joyful time in your life and being able to have your dream life with no obstacles in your path.
When doing this exercise, it brought me back to the times when I was the most happy with my life and myself. I noticed that some of the happiness that I felt at those times was still present in my life now. I also noticed that some of the people I surrounded myself with in the past, are no longer in my life, maybe because they changed or maybe I changed but I realized that the dream life that I wished for everyday has nothing to do with those same people, as it is me who makes my dream life a reality, because without me putting my happiness first, my dream life wouldn’t come true.
In doing this exercise I learned that age and life experiences contribute to when we experience feelings of happiness. After looking at the joyful events I chose for this exercise, I realized the most happiness I felt, was in my younger years, when I was full with no worries, just starting out on the road of life. The world was at my fingertips and I had a drive to make my dream life a reality.
My very first joyful event was when I was 7 years old and I learned to ride my bike, I was bruised so much from falling off my bike but I didn’t give up, I tried all day, until I could ride that giant bike and I did it! It was such a feeling of happiness and accomplishment. When I rode that bike, I was free of the world; it was just me and happiness.
I didn’t get those feeling again till I was 23 years old, I just married, finally independent, had a good job, my first apartment and the love of my life to share it with.
As time went on my dream life was working and finally falling in to place. At 25 I had my dream life, my husband, a beautiful house and my daughter and happiness was there till I was 28 years old and my dream life was shattered; I was a divorced single mom with stresses, like you wouldn’t believe, just as I feel now, 35 year old, still a single mom, been through lots of heartache but still have some happiness, this is my beautiful 10 year old daughter, who I believe is my rock.
So when Harry Browne asks us to create a dream life and yes it is hard, as I kept thinking I want the same dream life I had before but what is in the dream that is missing right now? and that is someone to be there for me, when there are tough times and I realized it doesn’t have to be a man to make that dream life a reality but it has to be me surrounding myself with people who care about me and want to see me happy. I have my daughter who has been with me through it all but I also want that independent feeling back, that feeling of happiness, accomplishment that only I can achieve.
Too many of us women expect our prince charming to rescue us because ever since we were little girls we have had those stories embedded in us that a knight in shining armor will come rescue us but the truth is that Prince or Knight will maybe come into our lives and gives us some happiness but the only person to truly rescue us and make us happy is ourselves.
This feeling of happiness with ourselves is a great experience but believe me it doesn’t happen overnight it takes time but in the end it is worth it. In order to keep this happiness in your life you have to work on it to keep it so Harry Browne tells us to commit to something new and try new things to find what makes us happy and I have started to do that, by attending college this year, taking Zumba classes to lose weight and just going out and surrounding myself with old friends and hopefully make some new ones, along the way.
I have to say after doing this assignment and writing this paper, I am really starting to like the new me and I am definitely going to continue to ride my bike down this new path to happiness and I hope you will too.