Bill Cottringer

“There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.” ~Anthony de Mello.

More and more people are becoming part of this article’s title by doing two things:

1. Realizing that a very legitimate goal in life is to be happy—having a genuine, near 24/7 sense of success, contentment and peace.
2. Accepting that this is probably a life-long quest with no shortcuts, but well worth it.

What do we know about the lucky few people who actually live life in this blissful state of being? Here are the four cornerstones, these people demonstrate for others to emulate:

• Truly happy people have a clear, correct and complete view of reality beyond all the tempting and distracting illusions, biases, half-truths and personalized preferences.
• These people have resolved themselves to be open-minded perpetual learners and to embrace today’s reality of constant change and impermanence of things.
• They grow their intelligence to achieve success in carrying out their unique purpose in life, which is helping others gain more success, happiness and peace.
• They spend more time accepting, including and understanding events and people positively, than judging, excluding, and dismissing these things negatively.

Probably the main obstacle in getting here is all the time we waste erroneously thinking that we have to get everything in our external worlds ‘right,’ before we can feel the way we want to feel inside. But, like many things in life, we approach success, happiness and peace in the reverse order we need to, in order to get there.

Maybe this is strangely purposeful. After all, we usually come to know something by experiencing its contrary opposite first. Without first experiencing cold, night and dry, we wouldn’t have a clue as to what hot, day or wet are. Strange process, but it seems to work out fine in the long run.
What can you do to speed up this process of decreasing unhappiness to increase happiness? Only one thing: Re-think your obsolete conception of time. If you stay stuck in the conventional concept of time as being a mechanical, sequential and linear process of movement from past to present to future, then you will probably not exchange your present failures, discontentment or turmoil for the desired success, happiness and peace. This truth follows all know applications of the indisputable Laws of Karma and Attraction. It is part of the overall ‘Tit for Tat’ game of life.

This major transformation from unhappiness to happiness has to occur in time and you need a lot of it to commit to a perpetual effort of building the four cornerstones above. So, you must have more time to do this. The only way to expand time is to get rid of a lot of false and silly ideas that you are convinced are true (which are only taking up needed space in your mind and thinking), and be fully present in the now moment, in regards to seeing how to be happy. The reason being, is to make room for some critical thinking and higher intelligence to see why you should want to engage in these four cornerstones of building a happy house—from inside-out rather than outside-in.

Now if this all seems to be easier said than done, it is because it is really easier done than said. We have always insisted upon making success, happiness and peace much more complicated and difficult than it needs to be. What takes time and is difficult, is seeing this simple formula for decreasing unhappiness to increase happiness, clearly. Once you see it, along with the necessity of changing time zones, the doing becomes a piece of cake. And, maybe this is because we seem to appreciate something more when we work harder to get it? And, maybe there is more time to do this than we think?

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is President of Puget Sound Security in Bellevue, WA and also a business and personal success coach, sport psychologist, photographer and writer living in the mountains of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, The Prosperity Zone, Getting More By Doing Less, You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too, The Bow-Wow Secrets, Do What Matters Most, “P” Point Management, and Reality Repair Rx coming shortly. He can be contacted with comments or questions at 425 454-5011 or