How I Became a Happy Person (You Can, Too)

9 Aug

4 years ago I was very unhappy – and then I did something that really turned my life around. You can do it, too – that’s why I want to share it with you. This post is a bit long, but you know what? Read it, it’s worth it.

I was in a dead-end marriage, with a husband who was feeding me lots of bullshit, doing everything possible to prevent us from having kids (not that we had much chance, as it turned out later). I was sad, unhappy. My job was stressful and demanding, and I was farely new in Toronto and didn’t have real close friends to share these feelings with, to ask advice. I was lonely and lost.

That’s when I read, in one of the blogs I follow, about a 100-day-dreaming exercise (or so I called it).

The idea is simple: for 100 days, every day, twice a day, you spend at least 5 minutes writing down your dreams. Now, when I say “writing down”, I don’t mean creating a shopping list of goals. I mean writing down what passes through your head. How you see those dreams. In details, with lots of adjectives and adverbs. That blogger promised that the universe will hear you and help you.

So I figured: what the heck? Why not? And decided to do it.

When I started, my first entries held lots and lots of dreams, small and big, poorly described. They did look more like shopping lists. As the days went by though, some of my dreams captivated my imagination – my heart. I started exploring them, spelling out what “being loved” actually means to me – how I want to be held, looked at, communicated with, etc. How I wanted to be appreciated at work, encouraged, celebrated even. And so on.

The other dreams from those early entries, at the same time, started taking second, third, fourth place… and disappearing from my daily entries altogether. They obviously weren’t all that important as I discovered.

Now, I didn’t do this for 100 days – only for about 25. I felt like I had nothing more to add – so well, so thoroughly did I describe everything I really wanted. But I was very diligent about doing it twice a day – and I typically spent more than 5 minutes per session (my daily commute to work came in handy there).

So I finished those writings and put them in a drawer. And almost forgot about them – until I came across them about a year later.

Imagine, how shocked I was, when I realized that about 90% of those dreams came true!!! Maybe not exactly the way I expected them to, but they did!

My ex didn’t fall back in love with me (surprise, surprise). But we finally split up and I met a new guy who embodied ALL of the things I was dreaming of. I felt so loved, so important, so cared for – it took my breath away – and exactly the way I wanted it to be. So dream came to live a bit differently than I expected, but the main thing happened: I became loved.

I gained 2 real close friends.

I lost weight and was extremely happy with the way I looked and felt.

Funny thing: I almost cursed myself when I read me work-related dreams: I actually said there that I didn’t care about promotions and salary raises – but I really wanted to be appreciated, celebrated and recognized – and that was exactly what happened. Everyone was singing odes to me, but my raise was abysmal 🙂 (I fixed that with another round of 100-day-dreaming the following year and got promoted and salary raised).

Now, I don’t really believe in magic. Or – in pure magic. I think what really happened here, was that instead of mopping around, I really focused on what is it that I want, and how I want it. I visualized it. I also prioritized my dreams and goals. And because of that they became sort of “top level awareness” for me. As I went about my life, I subconsciously made decisions that brought me closer to my goals – because my subconscious was properly briefed on what I want, so to speak.

It’s important to be honest with yourself when you write these. Example. If, as you write about really wanting a promotion, you feel a fear that you might not be ready for it and scared of getting promoted only to get fired – write about it. Explore this fear. And find what you really want.

PS In the middle of that first year, there was an excruciatingly unhappy period. I won’t go into details, but it was really black. And then – life changed. And kept getting better with every passing year.

And I keep returning to this exercise about once a year 🙂 It’s not always as successful as that first year (when 90% came to life) – but that’s because my dreams are now longer-term. They simply cannot happen in one year. But I definitely am moving in the right direction.

Be happy, all!

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2 Responses to “How I Became a Happy Person (You Can, Too)”

  1. ifserenitynow August 10, 2011 at 1:02 PM #

    That soudns like a great exercise and I’m gald it came true for you. Very cool!

    • zygotta August 10, 2011 at 10:53 PM #

      I look at it as… well, life planning, really 🙂
      You set objectives, you prioritize them…

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