People want to be happy but they are not sure where happiness comes from. People buy things, get into relationships, have careers, go through further education … but Dan looks around and sees that people are still miserable.
So why are some people happy and some not?
Is happiness simply a side affects of something else? Dan sees happiness as a side affect of giving your life to something else …perhaps giving life to your country, your spouse, your children or an organisation. Your happiness increases based on the size or your “gift”. If I have more abilities to “give myself” through discipline, our happiness increases.
All good things come from maintaining discipline. Happiness is not the ability to say “yes” to everything, but the ability to say “no”, so that you can say “yes” to something deeper, something that you want more.
It takes discipline to have a good career, a good relationship or stick to a diet. There is no easy fix or pill that you can take to create discipline. It is sometimes painful. Saying “yes” to everything is not happiness, but an addiction…or even slavery. You are only free in your ability to say “no” to things, so that you have control.
Discipline is saying “no” to yourself so that you can say “yes” to something higher.
Many people find food pleasurable, its something we all need to do. I want to be healthy as I have family, at night I may have the urge to go out and get some fast food. My body wants that pleasurable experience. I have to say “no” to that temporary pleasure so that I can say “yes” to the deeper thing that is my health. You have to have that something that you want even more.
A lot of people do not know what they want to say “yes” to. You need to know why you are doing what you are doing. If you don’t know why, it doesn’t make sense.
Dan has worked with people with hardcore addiction and people that were very depressed. Both sets of people struggled with saying “no” to things, so a feeling or drug takes hold. They have to learn to start saying “no” to small things like a cookie for example, to start to cultivate discipline. Start with the little things and build the skill and the confidence to understand that you can do it, then work up to the bigger things. If you take on too much and it doesn’t go well you get defeated. One cocaine addict also drank 2L of coca cola a day and his body craved for this. He gave this up on his own. If you create discipline in one area it can more easily transfer to another, so it made it easier for him to stop the cocaine cycle of addiction.
You actually develop more grit when you say “no” and learn to tolerate being uncomfortable. Every time you say “no” you are building a type of grit. The more you can tolerate being uncomfortable, the more successful you will be in business, relationships or when things get difficult.
Dan sees that discipline builds self-worth. People grow through loving who they are. The things we do and don’t do are all a reflections of how much we love who we are.
We have to be patient. The sprint attitude to life is not good and puts us under a lot of pressure. We have to see life as a marathon…. where you train, live differently and be patient. You may not see change on day one but in time you will be very different than you are today. You can’t unlearn a bad habit so you have to learn a new routine. Part of saying “no” is a new routine for some people.
Listen to Dan Lawson’s full podcast in our Resilience Unravelled series
contact him at www.catholictherapysolution.com
or listen on Utube “the hope weapon” where he talks about a multitude of interesting topics.