When we’re young and have hardly any life experiences, we make many decisions that don’t work out. Later on, when we reflect on what went wrong, we realize that the decision we made never had a chance of succeeding; we call this a lose-lose situation.
When we grow a little older, we make decisions that have different outcomes. Usually we start out by making some decisions that put us in a lose-break-even situation. This means we still don’t win but if we’re lucky we break even.
Mixed in with these decisions, sometimes we put ourselves in a win-lose situation. An example of this would be running a red light, if you get lucky you make it and win, if you’re not lucky, you don’t make it and end up in a very bad situation.
Win-win situations very rarely happen, even when everything looks great from every angle, something can still go wrong.
As we gain experience, some of us realize that the best situation you can be in is a win-break-even. When you have to make an important decision, try to think it out to the point where you realize that even if it doesn’t work out, the worst you can do is break-even. If you can get to the point where you can achieve this, it would be very hard not to be successful.
I knew what the major problem was when I started, but it took me 20 years to achieve happiness. I had lots of therapy, I meditate and say my mantra every day, I got rid of all my toxic relationships in business and my personal life, and I learned how to laugh at myself and not take myself so seriously.
After 20 years, it seemed like I wasn’t getting anywhere. One Saturday morning I was eating breakfast and talking to my wife and after a few bites I pushed the plate away. My wife asked me if I was sick, I said “I feel great.” Then, after about five minutes, she asked if I had to go to the emergency room and I said “what are you talking about, I told you I feel great.” She said “in all the years we’ve been together, not only do you finish all the food on your plate, but if you know the people we’re eating with, you even finish their food; what’s wrong.” I simply said “I’m not hungry.” It was at that point that I knew that I was OK. My goal had been achieved from the time I went to bed the night before. Everything was OK.
The explanation is simple, almost everyone has people living in their heads that they try to please, but they never seem to leave. They include your parents and anybody else who you do things for, to gain their acceptance.
On that Saturday morning everyone in my head moved out; I was the only one left and my 20 year journey was over.
So far I’ve talked about therapy, meditation, my mantra and personal relationships. All of these were so important, but nothing worked better for me on my road to happiness than my relationship with dogs.
When I was a crazed worker, I could come home from a 4 hour drive and as soon as I walked through the door, I would look at my messages and return phone calls before I even went to the bathroom.
When I realized that I needed down time, I started paying more attention to my dog. I quickly noticed that the more attention I paid to him, the more attention he paid to me. It got to the point that when I came home, I couldn’t work even if I wanted to because if I didn’t play with the dog first he would make it impossible for me not to pay attention to him. When I gave him his 15 minutes of play time then he would lay at my feet and let me work. This is true of the last 5 dogs I’ve owned.
I sometimes believe dogs were put on earth so humans would observe them and then realize how they should act. A dog doesn’t care if you’re good looking or bad looking, fat or skinny, or many more examples I could give. In fact they don’t even care if you treat them good or bad. All they do is give you love and no matter what’s happening in your life all you’re going to get from them is happiness.