How to be Happy - We Create It

We all need to develop a philsophy of life we can live with.

"As a man thinketh in his heart so is he."

Welcome to How to be happy - we create it.

For some reason it generally takes about a century for the majority of we humans to accept tenets of a psychological or spiritual nature. This is not the case with technology and innovation, where we’re liable to change to the new far more rapidly. But when it comes to changing our views of the world, our philosophy of life, we’re far more reticent.

Dr. Maxwell Maltz and his best seller, Psycho-Cybernetics.

It was as long ago as 1960 that Dr. Maxwell Maltz declared in his masterpiece: ‘Psycho-Cybernetics, that the most important thing to be discovered in the 20th Century was the “self image.” Despite more than half a century having past, most people do not appreciate that they have a real self, and an image self. Most of us still identify with the latter.

Dr. Maltz goes on to say that a healthy interpretation of our self-image becomes the golden key to living a better life. Dr.Maltz says that this is true because of two important discoveries (still largely unrecognized by most today) that firstly: All our actions, feeling, behavior – even our abilities – are always consistent with our self image. And secondly: Our self image can be changed.

It's better to see yourself this way

See yourself as a lion and not a pussy cat and pretty soon you'll take the steps to make yourself into that lion.
See yourself as a lion and not a pussy cat and pretty soon you'll take the steps to make yourself into that lion.

The way we see ourselves often bears little resemblance to reality.

Now I want you to understand that the self-image is not us. It is how we see ourselves. It is how we feel about ourselves. As often as not it bears little relationship to reality. Moreover, most people have a lot of hang-ups, a lot of negativity regarding their self image. Ninety percent of people regard themselves in an inferior way. It might be their interpretation of their physicality: too short, too tall, too fat, too skinny, feet to big, the list is all but endless. It might be our interpretation of our mental capacities or skills: “I’m useless at math.” “I can’t spell, never have been able to.” Or “I’m not mechanically gifted,” et cetera. And finally it might be a morale interpretation kept to ourselves out of shame. “I know I’m weak.” “I steal things –can’t help myself.” “I know I’m a drug addict.” “I know I can’t be faithful to one woman.” And most of these morale interpretations are generally kept, as are many of the others, to ourselves. We have parts of ourselves we don’t wish to share with the world. We might even despair over parts of our self-image.

We cannot operate outside of the confines of our self image.

Dr. Maxwell Maltz found, as many other plastic and cosmetic surgeons had also found, that if we change the face of someone who regards themselves as ugly to someone who regards themselves as handsome or beautiful, it generally changes the whole way they look at life. I say generally, because it is not always the case; mostly, but not always. Sometimes people can be made more handsome or beautiful yet the patient swears that no change has been made at all. This is where it became apparent to Dr. Maltz that it is not how we appear to others but how we appear to ourselves which determines the characteristics of our self image. After all, our self image is OUR self image. It is personal.

Than this way.

As long as you keep reinforcing such negative thoughts the sadder you'll become.  WATCH the mind-talk.
As long as you keep reinforcing such negative thoughts the sadder you'll become. WATCH the mind-talk.

How to be happy. Our abilities are always consistent with how we see ourselves.

But to get back to the first part of the key to a happier life as far as the self image is concerned. All our actions, feelings, behaviors – even our abilities – are consistent with our self image. We never wander outside its parameters. Indeed, we cannot.

So what are we to do?

The answer: If we are unhappy with our lot, no matter in what way, we need to change our self image. And we now know that it can be changed. In fact that we can change it has been known for well over half-a-century. All sorts of scientific tests have been done to prove it.

But most imporant - we CAN change our self image.

“How is our self-image created in the first place?” you might ask. We created it. We created it initially by accepting what had been put to us by figures we regarded as authorities and all knowing people: generally our parents, siblings, and teachers in infancy. Then we added to all of this with our self-talk, our interpretation of our so-called failures and successes. Not only others feedback but our own feedback. Nearly all of this – perhaps all of it – was done unconsciously. We didn’t know we were doing it to ourselves. We did it with our own minds, or a part of our minds’ Maltz calls our Creative Mechanism.

Worse still, this way.

Do you perpetually suffer the 'slings and arrows of misfortune'?   Then set to to change your self image and you'll cease to be a target.
Do you perpetually suffer the 'slings and arrows of misfortune'? Then set to to change your self image and you'll cease to be a target.

Our goal-seeking mechanism is impersonal.

But here is another important thing to know. The Creative Mechanism within us is impersonal. It does not care whether it is making us happier or unhappier. It is a bit like throwing down seeds upon a fertile garden bed. Whatever is planted will grow. It will grow even quicker if watered in with lots of emotion. It is a case of our habitual thinking, our habitual reactions to events. If we think in negative ways, if we get cranky and irritable about our shortcomings much of the time, then we sow seeds of discontent which will grow within us, thus fortifying and enhancing a self-image which will bring to us things we don’t want. And I’m not just talking about bad thoughts here. It will bring us tangible circumstances, events, situations, and even material things we do not want.

See yourself as young, fit and healthy and chances are you will be.

We really do act and and become what we see ourselves as.  It doesn't matter so much how others see you, as how you see yourself.
We really do act and and become what we see ourselves as. It doesn't matter so much how others see you, as how you see yourself.

Happiness is not dependent on what happens outside of us.

On the other hand, if we plant seeds which are positive, we reap the benefits of that positivity in the form of a self-image with which we are much happier. Happiness is not dependent upon what happens outside of us. These outside events only trigger what we have within. It really is a case of happiness being an inside job.

Our day-to-day self-talk and imaginings determine our lives.

So how do we establish within ourselves a negative or positive self image? We do it with our imaginings. The goals our ‘Creative Mechanism’ seeks to achieve are the mental pictures, the images we create by the use of our imagination. Imagination is paramount here. So, as I’ve said so many times before: be aware, monitor your thoughts. Bring your rambling self-talk and imaginings under the control of your real self. Do this, and you will lead a much happier life.

I hope you've got something worthwhile from reading How to be happy - we create it. And I wish you all the happiness you can create for yourself.

1 comment

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Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

Excellent sermon on self-image and a lot of information we could all really use. I don't know how many times I've told women friends, "You're NOT fat!", and they just don't believe me, even though they really are NOT fat!

I've got some issues, too, that I'm working on. It seems a life-long project.

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    Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

    PS The quote is from Shakespeare's Hamlet, the famous soliliquy which begins:

    To be or not to be, that is the question:

    Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer

    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

    ...

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