HOW CAN I BE HAPPIER EVERY DAY IF MY LIFE SUCKS? PART II
The Platinum Rule
The author of The Happiness Equation says that we can easily start a virtuous cycle by focusing on actions before thoughts. Neil Pasricha’s simple formula to conquer our biggest fears looks like this:
DO IT → CAN DO IT → WANT TO DO IT
What does that mean? Well, it summarizes how we can actively change our perception to uplevel our way of doing, being, and thinking by taking ACTION first and thinking SECOND. Get out of your head and start BEING the best version of you, stop thinking about it and get to work!
THE PLATINUM RULE
If you interact with, work with, or live with other humans on a daily basis you have the opportunity to practice patience and gratitude ALL DAY, how exciting!
An easy way to practice this is by imagining and treating everyone as if they ARE YOU. One of my mentors and modern philosopher, Aubrey Marcus, calls it the PLATINUM RULE: Everyone else IS you, they are just living life from their unique vantage point and physical experience.
Just like you, I didn’t get to choose my gender, ethnicity, birthplace, who my parents were, and I didn’t choose to be born into a wealthy/poor family. Therefore, I’ve DECIDED that my life’s objective is to make the very best of this experience and be fully present every single day. At my funeral, I want people to remember that I made them feel seen, worthy, happy, and loved. Tomorrow is never promised.
SITUATION: If you live in a busy city, practice thinking positive thoughts when a pedestrian is crossing the street slowly in front of your car when you’re running late to something…
ACTIONS: Imagine that the person is you, perhaps they just got some bad news, perhaps they have a disability we can’t see, perhaps they have been working all day/night and finally going home…
ADVANCED ACTION: Send them love and take SIX deep breaths
SITUATION: When the line at the grocery store is moving slowly, practice feeling patience and empathy.
ACTIONS: When you notice yourself getting irritated and judging the cashier, the person in front of you, the person bagging the groceries, or the person standing way too close to you PAUSE to notice the inner critic starting to cuss them out in your head. Acknowledge the feelings/thoughts with a “hmmm that’s interesting” or “hmmm that took (negative) turn really fast” without judging yourself.
ADVANCED ACTION: If at all possible laugh at the angry thoughts to change your state. Then, quickly find the inner strength to practice patience, positivity, and gratitude for your life.
SITUATION: When you’re in traffic on the 405, or public transport is running late and is causing you to become irritated, mad at yourself for not planning better, or for being forgetful…
ACTION: Notice the feelings and thoughts. Choose to practice patience, positivity, and gratitude that you have a car, places to be, people to see, and the health to go out there and live life!
Speed of implementation is key, so start today! Start small and build on your practice every single day. Just like training the body, this will be rigorous and take lots of work behind the scenes before the results are noticeable to yourself and then, ultimately, others. The good news is that there is no deadline to achieve these results, you’ve got your whole life to practice!
REPEAT AFTER ME: I CAN DO THIS! I GOT THIS! I BELIEVE IN MYSELF! I LOVE MYSELF! I CAN DO THIS!