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How Happy is...Yes, You Can! Obama's Guide To Personal Change

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As I listened to Obama's speech I was intrigued how so much of it resonated as not just a plan for the country, but a potential plan for personal change as well. You and I can't wait for change to happen outside of ourselves, as that encourages us to be victims to external circumstances. Change must start from within each and every one of us, every day, in our own lives. Here are 5 ways in which words from Obama's speech can resonate on a personal level.

TIP 1: "The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but ...we will get there."

Do you dream of goals that you would like to achieve, and yet find it hard to take the necessary steps to get to that goal? All things are possible, if you put one foot in front of another. It's so easy to desire something and fantasize about it, it takes so little effort, and yet it takes real dedication to go through the often unglamorous and diligent steps to reach that goal. Look and see if there something in your life that you want, but cannot really be bothered or don't really have the commitment to persevere and get. Perhaps you dream of being a musician, an athlete or an architect, but are not really prepared to put in the time it takes to get there. Perhaps you want to be in an amazing relationship, but are too scared to do the emotional work that it takes to clear, old unworkable patterns so that you can make the relationship that you're in the best it can be, or, if you are single, more easily attract a suitable partner. Obama is proof that 'all things are possible' If you go "block by block" and "brick by brick". Remember that 'Rome wasn't built in a day.'

TIP 2: "What begun twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter does not end on this autumn night."

There is no end point. Yes, it's great to be ambitious and have goals, but it is unwise to wait for them to happen to allow yourself to be happy. No new car, no new relationship, no new job will ever have the power to make you permanently happy. So enjoy your life and be happy now! It's the journey that is really exciting. Start with happiness and enjoy the transformation along the way.

TIP 3: "It's the answer told by ... numbers this nation has never seen; ...many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference."

Be vocal, honest and open with your communication. This will prevent any unresolved emotion from festering inside of your body, which can cause unease and potentially lead to dis-ease. I know this can be a challenge sometimes, especially if you are someone who has grown up in an inexpressive family. Take a look at your relationships, is there anyone in your life that you want to say something to, but have been too scared to? If there is, clear it with them, for you, even more than for them, so you can let go of it and move on. Remember when you speak to them, do so in a way that honors them and without blame. Most likely, by speaking out, you will make a difference to both of your lives. If the person that you are unresolved with has passed on, then find another way to help release it from your body. Write a letter, go to therapy, whatever it takes and whatever is the right way for you.

TIP 4: "We are not enemies, but friends...though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices."

Don't criticize others who think differently to you. It's amazing how we are all so unique and it's important to listen and respect everyone else's opinions regardless of whether they are yours as well. Instead of being critical, how can you be curious? You might not agree with them, but they also might help you to you open up your mind to new ways of thinking. Our differences are what make the world so diverse and interesting. Rejoice in them.

TIP 5: "...we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States"

If you were to gaze at earth from space, you would see one living breathing planet where everything is interconnected and works perfectly. Look at how those who rub you the wrong way in your life are actually similar to you. Is it possible that they could remind you of one of your own previously unacknowledged personality traits, or, perhaps of someone who hurt you in the past? If they do, then what would happen if you saw them as a signpost as to where you need to heal and grow? Think about the person in your life whom you have the most difficulty with and think about what they teach you about yourself, that you wouldn't necessarily be learning if they weren't in your life. With this more positive attitude, down the road, you might be able to see them as a blessing and even as one of your life teachers.

On a final note, remember that you are never alone, even if you have moments that you think you are isolated, a lone wolf or no one understands you. If you take the risk to reach out to another or express yourself, you will see that everyone has the same emotions and feelings as you, to various degrees. We connect through our vulnerabilities, more deeply than through our strengths.

That's it for this week! If you want to contact me, you can e-mail me at sophie@howhappyis.com.

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