Archive for December, 2011

How would you live your life if you knew you were already happy?

Robert Holden wants people to recognize that happiness resides in us on page 242 of “Be Happy”.

This quote helps us imagine possibilities. Once we imagine them, we can find ways to act on them, and then the taking of action can actually lead to happiness. For instance, if you were already happy what would your life be like? Would you be rich, in love, in better shape? Would you have a great job, more freedom, more parties? These characteristics of a possibly happier life can all be acted upon in many ways. Then, once you are on the road to your imagined life, you’ll start feeling happier. As well, if you were already happy, then you would be able to give away all the happiness you wanted to others. That too, is another sure-fire recipe to bring happiness.

So, start imagining and start doing.


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How would you enjoy this one extra day of your life?

This quote from page 226 of “Be Happy” is Robert Holden getting people to take advantage of time by imagining winning a day in a contest. The contest is a draw, and you have just won one extra day in your life to do anything you want, but you must take your day within the next eight weeks.

I love this idea because it is asking you to step out of your routine and really concentrate on what things you enjoy for one whole day.

Take a minute and imagine how you would spend your extra day. Would you take a day trip? Would you go to the beach? Would you throw a party? Would you just take some quiet time by yourself?

Whatever you would decide would certainly be fun and enjoyable, and perhaps it could lead to some happier habits.


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Notice the complaint, and be the solution.

This Robert Holden quote from page 200 of “Be Happy” tells people to do something about complaints.

Complaining seems to be our default setting sometimes. It is hard to hear conversations that are free of complaints. We complain about work, school, friends, marriage, children, the government, ourselves, and on and on. What good does it do us?

The above quote wants us to try a different approach. Unpleasant feelings are useful messages to let us know that something is wrong. If we can no longer ignore or deal with the complaint, then it is time to take action.

Do not just gripe about it to whoever will listen. Actually, analyze the problem and try to come up with some actionable steps which can lead to a solution.

If complaining makes you feel good by letting off steam, just imagine how good you will feel if you solve the problem completely.

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Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.

Robert Holden believes that the universe is friendly and helpful and thus he wrote this on page 212 in “Be Happy”.

“Oh, why does everything seem to happen to me?” and “Why do bad things happen to good people? ” are questions asked by unfortunate people everywhere. When something unlucky happens to us, we often question why, as if it shouldn’t be this way because we are such good people and we don’t deserve such treatment from the universe.

A better way to look at life, as the quote says, is that it happens for you. All of the ups and downs are part of the curriculum of life that can teach us to be happier and more loving. So, the next time something good happens, perhaps the lesson is that you are doing what you are supposed to do. As well, the next time something bad happens, treat it like a lesson that is trying to teach you something and put you back on the right path.

Be grateful for the messages that are sent for you.

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Everyone has something in their past they need to let go of if they are to be truly happy.

This quote of Robert Holden’s from page 195 of “Be Happy” talks about how important forgiveness is in order to be happy.

If you think back in your past, from one day to many years, it is probably not too hard to recall a situation where someone wronged you. It could be something simple such as someone cut you off in traffic, or someone ate the last donut at work. Or it could be something bigger like they stole your car, or they cheated on your with your best friend.

Regardless of what it is, if you are still resentful, then your negative feelings are only hurting yourself. Every time you remember the situation you can feel your blood start to boil. You need to forgive the person, stop playing the victim, and start learning how to be truly happy.

It comes down to the old question, “Would you rather be right, or owuld you rather be happy?”


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One of the most important lessons to learn about relationships is that it is not another person’s job to make you happy.

This Robert Holden quote comes from page 181 of his book, “Be Happy”.

We all want to be happy, but sometimes we put too much responsibility on our friends and loved ones to make us happy. On Monday mornings when I ask my students how their weekends were, I occasionally get the answer “It was boring”. I believe they say this because they did nothing special. Often they will say, “There is nothing to do”, but in reality it is closer to the truth to say, “There were plenty of things to do, but they didn’t do anything”.

We shouldn’t sit around waiting for party invitations to come, or interesting people to call us, or good-looking people to fall in love with us. We should take responsibility for our own happiness, get out in the world, follow our curiosity and interests, and make our own great lives happen.


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The question “What do you want?” must be answered. You are answering it every minute and every second. And each moment of decision is a judgement that is anything but ineffectual. Its effects will follow automatically until the decision is changed.

This quote actually comes from A Course In Miracles, but Robert Holden uses it on page 147 in “Be Happy”.

When we “want” only material pleasures, then the result is we will only receive shallow and temporary pleasure. Once the newness and novelty of the new computer game or new blouse wears off, then we will be no better off than we were before.

This cycle will continue forever until we make the important decision to change our decisions about what we want. We must decide that we don’t want to drink too much alcohol, or that we don’t want to eat that third piece of pie. Changing our decisions will automatically change the results.

Now, this quote never says it will be easy, but once it’s done then the effects will also change.


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