Changing the Rules of the Game

game_of_life2From the Woman’s Side of Things… Have you ever played a game with a young child? Did they change the rules constantly to make sure they were always winning? If you could, would you change the rules for your life so that you win all the time? Guess what, you can.

If you every spend time in Fiji you’ll see that it is true what people say about them being the happiest people. They have so little and yet they are so happy.

I’ve heard a story contrasting a wealthy business man who made four million dollars a year, had two homes and a happy family but who was unhappy because he didn’t consider himself successful as he wanted to make five million a year and have three homes. Yet another man who had nothing was happy and when asked why he said simply, “I woke up this morning and found myself above ground.”

I think that’s how the Fijian people live their lives. They are the happiest, friendliest people I’ve ever seen, yet they have so few material goods and work for next to nothing. Many still live in villages where they share everything. Any income made is brought to the village and distributed by the chief as he sees fit; to support the kindergarten (preschool) or to build a new home for the newlyweds. (Mind you new home is a tin shack with a thatch roof in some cases.) They greet visitors with the biggest smiles and a big BULA! (Hello!).

Perhaps it’s because they live in such a beautiful place that they can’t help but to be happy. But I think it’s more likely they are like the man who woke up above ground. They are happy because being happy is a good way to be. It’s a matter of perspective. It’s a matter of expectations. It’s a matter of beliefs or rules about what it takes to make you happy.

In one Tony Robbins event I attended, he has you do an exercise where you assess your values. You write down values you like to move toward, ie. love, happiness, success. Then you write down values you would like to move away from, ie. fear, anger, sadness. You put them all in order of how important they are to you. So for instance my top five toward values are: love, joy/fun, gratitude, faith, growth. (Hmmm, I may have to re-evaluate and do an update.)

It doesn’t sound all that revealing. But when you go through the assessment process to determine what are really your top values it can be some what surprising. For instance, a really work driven person may discover success is not as high on their list as they thought that they really say health is higher.

What I thought was really the life changing part of the exercise was to then sit down and look at your rules for how you fulfill those values. Then you change those rules to make them so super easy to fulfill it’s nearly impossible not to. You want an example right?

Well without my notes let’s see if I can remember some of my crazy ways to fulfill the value of love: my husband had to make me feel significant and make me his top priority and my husband had to spend lots of quality time with me. Well, it’s hard for me to control what my husband does so that could be hard to fulfill.

Then I changed the way I fulfill my value of love to: Anytime I am loving or remember love in my heart or notice love in others. Wow, now that’s easy, I can fulfill that and feel my value of love any second of any minute of any hour of any day.

Let me give you my example of my new rules for fulfilling my value of joy. Anytime I smile or laugh or remember love in my heart or for no particular reason. Now that is super easy. Seriously how hard is it to decide to smile? Or to just feel joy for no particular reason? Ya, I can do that. I can feel joy ALL the time!

So what does that mean? With easier rules comes more fulfilled values. That means every day above ground is a fantastic day.
What kind of rules would you choose if you had the choice, hard to fulfill or easy as pie? (By the way, it IS your choice.)

The Woman’s Side of Things posts are written by Amie Durocher.

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