Your NOT To-Do List

In today’s busy world, many of us have to-do lists (myself included) – but what about a NOT to-do list?

On the top of my NOT to-do list:
Do NOT complain. The average person complains SEVENTY times a day!
Do NOT blame.
Do NOT shame self
Do NOT shame others
Do NOT guilt self
Do NOT guilt others

This, of course, stems from the four basic rules we use in Happiness 101: No blame, no shame, no guilt and no complaining. We call these rascals Happiness Robbers, a phrase coined by Marci Shimoff in her book Happy For No Reason. They are called Happiness Robbers because they rob us of the opportunity to take full responsibility for our own Happiness, leaving us stuck in the Hood of Victim (a.k.a. victimhood). Yes, we know that bad things happen. Yes, we know that we cannot control everything that happens in the world. The difference is that Happy people focus on what they DO have control over, rather than what they do not.
What might be on your NOT to-do list?
Professor Srikumar Rao purports that Happiness is our natural state; that we actively work to make ourselves UNhappy. If this is true, there is much to NOT do. In his book, The Art of Happiness, the Dalai Lama said: You figure out what makes you happy and you do more of that. You figure out what makes you unhappy and you do less of that. That is the way to Happiness. Yes, as you may have guessed, I am paraphrasing here. The Dalai Lama said with more World Spiritual Leader flair.
This week I invite you to give attention to ways in which you actively contribute to your unhappiness and do less of that. You may find with all your extra time, you can find time to put things on your to-DO list that make you Happy.

Frank Clayton
Licensed Professional Counselor

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