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spike bullet November 2011 ~ The Pinball Effect: How to Create Happiness

How is it possible to create happiness? 
The Pinball Effect   
Sounds simple, doesn't it?
It really is as simple as that!
How do we shift our personality "levers"?
Resources (links, books, articles, the lighter side)
Printer-friendly version           

color bulletNovember 2011 ~ The Pinball Effect: How to Create Happiness

What does it take to be happy?  Money?  Love?  Career?  Fancy cars?  

No, not really.  We may think those will make us happy.  For most people, being happy means being with people they care about, having good health, have a safe place to live, being able to make their own choices, feeling like they are contributing something to the world and feeling like life is working out well for them. 

For most people, happiness comes in small doses mixed in with the day-to-day challenges of living life on this busy planet.  Happiness sometimes seems fleeting at best and seems to come out of nowhere, not something we can create.

The truth is, we CAN create happiness and we CAN create a happy life — if that is what we want.

How is it possible to create happiness?  

You may be thinking — "Of course, I want to be happy, but . . . ."

Well, the "buts" are part of what is keeping many people from having the happiness they so deeply think they want.  They imagine all sorts of external things that are keeping them from being happy, when happiness is really an inside job.  

No one can make us happy and nothing external can change our happiness when we have it.   Happiness is OUR own inside jobno one else's. 

The Pinball Effect

Some time ago, as I was learning more about personality styles and how they affect our life, one day I was watching my kids play pinball at a local arcade.  All of a sudden, it struck me — we can push our own personality "levers" up, have happiness and keep playing — or we can let them all fall down, give up and lose the game.

The various parts of our personality have positive aspects and negative aspects.  If any one of them flips down into the negative side, all of the other parts of our personality also flip down — just like the pinball machine.  If we let them flip down, then all of our bad aspects come to the forefront and take over.  We become angry, frustrated, sad, depressed, disappointed, unfulfilled, discouraged, etc.  At that point, we are definitely NOT happy.

Well, so what?

That’s the magic of the "Pinball Effect"!  If we don’t like being down in the dumps or being a jerk or feeling depressed, we can choose to push our personality "levers" back up.  If one goes up, they all go up!  And, then we become the really great person that is our true nature!

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

How do we know when we are in the "down" position?  We refer to our Personality Game for the Role archetypes (Artisan, Sage, Server, Priest, Warrior, King, Scholar) and the various personality "overleaves" to describe the positive and negative parts of our personality.  We’ll try to keep it simple for these examples.

When the negative parts of our personality are in control, our Personality Dragons come out in full force, taking over our personality.  The dragons come out more prominently when we are stressed and not paying attention to what we are doing.  While we are busy being stressed, the dragons take over, often without us even realizing what has happened.

When these things show up, it is a sure sign the dragons have taken over and our personality is running on the negative side:

  1. We become impatient with our self or others.  [Impatience dragon]
  2. We feel sorry for our self or feel trapped by circumstances.  [Martyrdom dragon]
  3. We blame others for our problems.  [Arrogance dragon]
  4. We feel we are not good enough.  [Self-Deprecation dragon]
  5. We feel that we can’t get enough of what we want.  [Greed dragon]
  6. We hurt our self or others.  [Self-Destruction dragon]
  7. We dig in our heels and refuse to budge.  [Stubbornness dragon]

So, if our personality "levers" are in the negative position with the dragons in control, it affects all the other parts of our personality as well.  When that happens, our primary personality archetype called our "Role" can show up as:

  1. An Artisan who is not creating something in a positive way.
  2. A Sage who is not communicating in a positive way or is not having fun.
  3. A Server who is not helping others or who feels over-burdened.
  4. A Priest who is not being compassionate or not inspiring others.
  5. A Warrior who is not protecting others in a positive way or not organizing our world for the better.
  6. A King who is not leading in a positive way or not mastering their area of expertise.
  7. A Scholar who is not learning or not studying in a positive way.

The other parts of our personality also go into the negative mode.  For example, the part of our personality called our Attitude will shift to their negative side:

  1. A Skeptic becomes overly suspicious.
  2. An Idealist becomes naïve.
  3. A Stoic becomes resigned to their fate.
  4. A Spiritualist becomes overly invested in their own beliefs.
  5. A Cynic becomes caustic and denigrating of everyone and everything.
  6. A Realist becomes convinced that their reality is the only truth.
  7. A Pragmatist becomes dogmatic that their way is the best say.

The other parts of our personality also shift into their negative side. (See personality overleaf chart for positive and negatives attributes).

What we can learn to do is to notice when any part of our personality go negative.  When that happens, we can make a conscious choice to change our mind, change our thoughts, change our feelings and change our actions to a more positive way.

It really is as simple as that!

If we shift from being in the negative side of any of our personality aspects to the positive side, all of the other parts of our personality will also raise up also.  And, just as in playing pinball, when we flip up, we can continue to play the game and have more fun.

In our physical life, when we are in the positive sides of our personality, we can resume playing the Game of Life in a positive way.  Our life then becomes more fun.

How do we shift our personality "levers"?

We can shift by doing these things:

  1. Pay attention to what you are thinking and feeling and doing.
  2. Learn the negative things that you think or feel or do when you are not at your best.  Then, as you notice those things happening to you, STOP!
  3. Then, make a conscious effort to think, feel or do something positive.  It could be a physical thing like going for a walk.  A thinking thing like reading something positive or something inspiring.  Or, a feeling thing, like remembering a happy time or a special person that brings you joy.  It’s important to bring all of your Centers (thinking, feeling and doing) into balance.  
  4. Instead of seeing the bad side of any situation, teach yourself to see the good parts of  every situation.  If you have to, make a list of as many positive aspects of the situation as you can.   Before you reach a dozen items on your list, your mind should have shifted toward a more positive view.  If it hasn't shifted, keep adding to your list until your view shifts to a more positive view. 
  5. Start each day with a smile and gratitude.  FEEL the joy of being alive, breathe in the air, feel gratitude for the shelter that you have and know that you are safe.  If you have an office where you spend a lot of time, you can have family photos that will give you a positive feeling every time you look at them.  You can have inspirational readings for when you need that type of lift.  Or, something that you can use for physical exercise.  Or simply, get up and walk around — inside or outside if possible.  Learn what works best for you and learn to do it when you need a shift.
  6. If you are lucky, your office might be near a park where you can visit to re-connect with nature if that helps shift you to a more positive frame of feeling.  Often, changing your environment or taking a conscious break from what you are doing helps to make the shift.
  7. Put a smile on your face when greeting people, answering the phone, going about your day.  Greet others with enthusiasm and when some asks, "How are you? answer with something, "I am fabulous!  How about you?"  Notice the positive way you feel and the positive responses you get from others when you do this. 
Whatever it takes, you can learn to make a habit of catching yourself when you are shifting into the negative, and learn to bring yourself out of it quickly and easily.  After a while, it won’t be much of a struggle at all to make the shift to a more positive way of being.  You will learn to start your day in a positive frame and stay that way all day long. 

If you have a spouse, close friend or associate you trust, you can ask them to tell you what they see when you are in the negative parts of your personality.  They can help you notice how it looks to others, and if it is someone you really trust, they may be able to spot your negative side before you do.  Over time, that will help you to more quickly learn your own habits and you can shift them quickly.

Once you are able to shift yourself out of the negative and into the positive sides of your personality, life will begin to look better.  Conflicts will be fewer and more easily resolved when they do come up.  Your health will be better and you will sleep better.  You won't worry endlessly about all those things that never happen. 

Stress and negativity are very hard on the body, so the more positive you are, the better your body will feel as well.  Remember, our physical body is what carries us through life.  If we abuse it, it won't be there when we need it.  If we take care of it, it will take care of us.  

Learning about yourself and learning to operate from the best parts of your personality — instead of the worst parts — is a great way to become the person you came here to be and to be the person you always though you could be.

Learning to be in the positive parts of your personality provides an immense feeling of control, especially when so many things in our world are out of our direct control.  Feeling in control is a very important part of creating happiness.  

Carol Heideman in her book Searching for the Light, describes the curriculum in the School of Happiness this way:

Level 1: Communication Skills
Level 2: Relationship Skills
Level 3: Problem-Solving Skills
Level 4: Decision-Making Skills
Level 5: Skills for Managing Abundance
Level 6: Leadership Skills (includes Teaching and Parenting)
Level 7: Flow Skills (expanding your capacity for Joy). 

It goes on to say:  “Our primary reason for creating this ‘school curriculum’ is to help you to perceive happiness as a learned skill.”

For all those people who thought the world was going to end today (October 28, 2011), it just goes to prove: worrying and fretting about the future is a huge waste of time and energy.  Let the Game of Life continue!

Making a choice to be happy every day is the very best possible thing you can do for yourself.  It may also be the best thing you can do for those who know you and love you.

We wish you a happy and joyful month!

  Internet Resources

book graphic  Books

  • Enlightenment for Nitwits: The Complete Guide to 2012 & Beyond.  Shepherd Hoodwin.  Summerjoy Press, 2011.  ISBN-13: 978-1885469120 (very funny!)
  • 7 Personality Types: Discover Your True Role in Achieving Success and Happiness.  Elizabeth Puttick, PhD.   Hay House, 2009.  US version: ISBN-10: 1401924565  ISBN-13: 978-1401924560  (UK & Australia versions)   www.7personalitytypes.com  
  • The Personality Puzzle: Solving the Mystery of Who You Are. Jose Stevens, JP Van Hulle. Pivotal Resources; (December 1990) ASIN: 0942663063
  • The Power Path: The Shaman's Way to Success in Business and Life.  Jose Stevens.  New World Library, 2002.  ISBN: 1577312171
  • The 7 Aspects of Sisterhood: Empowering Women Through Self-Discovery.  Debra Gawrych.  Common Boundaries Consulting & Communications; (September 2002) ISBN: 0971064601
  • Transforming Your Dragons: Turning Personality Fear Patterns into Personal Power. Jose Stevens. Bear & Co; (July 1994) ISBN: 1879181177
  • Searching for Light: Michael's Information for a Time of Change. Carol Heideman. Twelve Star Publishing; December 1, 1994. ISBN: 0964345501 
  • The Toolkit for Happiness: A guide to creating a lifetime of greater happiness.  Nancy O'Brien.  Experience Happiness, LLC, 2007.  ISBN 978-160530-188-4www.experience.net 
  • The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle and Generally Have More Fun.  Gretchen Rubin.  Harper, 2011.  ISBN: 978-0061583261
  • Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill.  Matthieu Ricard, Daniel Goleman.  Little, Brown & Company, 2007.  ISBN-13: 978-0316167253
  • The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom.  Jonathan Haidt     Basic Books, 2006.  ISBN-13: 978-0465028023
  • Stumbling on Happiness.  Daniel Todd Gilbert.  Vintage, 2007.  ISBN-13: 978-1400077427
  • 14,000 Things to be Happy About (revised/updated version).  Barbara Ann Kipfer.     Workman Publishing, 2007  ISBN-10: 0761147217
  • Income Without a Job: Living Well Without a Paycheck.  Michael Jay Anthony, Barbara J. Taylor.  Lulu.com, 2008  ISBN-13: 978-0-557-00377-8.  Website: www.income-without-a-job.com.  Tap into your own creativity and use  your full potential.  Learn how to see opportunities that others miss.   

world wide web - articles  Articles

Related newsletter article:
    October 2010 - Personality Types: the Seven Roles
    July 2009 - Life Roles in the Workplace
    October 2009 - What is Your Primary Color? 
    November 2003 - Attitude is Everything
    June 1999 - Dealing with Personality Dragons
    July 1999 - Slaying the Personality Dragons
    December 2009 - The 10 Commandments of a Happy Work Life
    September 1997 - Balancing Life and Work (The Four Pillars of Vitality)
    February 2000 - Finding Your Passion
    December 2010 - Optimism
    May 2007 - The Law of Attraction at Work

smiley graphic  The Lighter Side  

  • Official certificate of membership in the Society of Childlike Persons ( pdf)
  • The purpose of life is to be happy ~  from The Toolkit for Happiness
  • If you can’t find happiness in your own backyard, you never really lost it to begin with. ~ from Enlightenment for Nitwits.
  • If you want to be happy, be.  ~ Leo Tolstoy
  • What a wonderful life I've had!  I only wish I'd realized it sooner.  ~ Colette 
  • Happiness and sadness run parallel to each other.  When one takes a rest, the other one tends to take up the slack.  ~ Hazelmarie Elliott (“Mattie”)
  • Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.  ~ Abraham Lincoln
  • Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.  ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
  • If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion.  ~ Dalai Lama
  • Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.  ~ Mahatma Gandhi
  • Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed.  Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.  ~ Denis Waitley
  • Some pursue happiness, others create it.  ~ Author Unknown
  • Success is not the key to happiness.  Happiness is the key to success.  If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. ~ Albert Schweitzer
  • When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us. ~ Helen Keller 
  • There is only one happiness in this life - to love and be loved ~ George Sand
  •  Our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate.  So practice happy thinking every day.  Cultivate the merry heart, develop the happiness habit and life will become a continual feast. – Norman Vincent Peale
  • I keep the telephone of my mind open to peace, harmony, health, love and abundance.  Then, whenever doubt, anxiety or fear try to call me, they keep getting a busy signal - and soon they'll forget my number.  ~Edith Armstrong
  • Don't waste your life in doubts and fears: spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours or ages that follow it. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • If things go wrong, don't go with them.  ~ Roger Babson
  • Whenever you notice that worry is taking over your mind and threatening your peace and clarity, gently remind yourself that worry is a choice.  Rather than trying to stop worrying, choose to replace the worry with words and thoughts of peace.  As Robert Eliot tells us in this modern classic of worry quotes, “Rule number one is, don't sweat the small stuff.  Rule number two is, it's all small stuff.”

 

About our resource links:  We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in these links.   We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.

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