How to be Happier
the 50/50 Rule
What's Wrong with Me?
Have you ever wondered if those "happy" people you see know something that you don't? Why don't YOU feel happy all the time when THEY seem to?
Let me be clear, I'm not talking about clinical depression in this episode, I'm talking a general unhappiness. A feeling of being stuck, in a funk, and not "happy" even though you "should" be.
The truth is, there ARE some secrets to feeling happier more often! And you probably wont be shocked to hear it's all about perspective. In this episode I'm going to give you some tips for happiness that you probably haven't heard before, like:
- the 50/50 Rule - it's not always roses, sometimes there's thorns
- comparison is the thief of joy - how to stop playing the comparison game
- how to guard you heart and mind - what your mind consumes, matters
- solid foundation - what are your guiding principles and where do they come from?
You've heard the saying that "happiness is a state of mind" but there's more to it than that. And there are actual, tangible things you can do to increase how often you FEEL happy, and better ways to manage when you don't.
Need more help with some of these concepts and want to actually KNOW how to put them in place in your life? Then make sure you're on the mailing list for the next launch of the Health Mind, Healthy Body Program!
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What is the secret to happiness? Why can't I seem to get as happy as everyone else seems to be? Is there something wrong with me? If you've ever asked yourself questions like that, then this episode is going to be for you. We're going to talk about what it really means to be happy, and how you can get some more of that. Let's go.
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So happiness. At different times in my life, I have definitely not to felt happy. I'm sure you can relate to that. And at the very worst of those times, I started to feel like there was something decidedly wrong with me. Because I just, I had so much to be grateful for there was so much good stuff in my life. There was so much that was going right. But there I was feeling just unhappy feeling stuck feeling kind of in a funk. I do not call it clinical depression there. That's another line. I have definitely had postpartum depression. And I have felt depressed before for for sure in my life, that this sort of just general unhappiness is what I'm talking about. And sometimes you can't really pinpoint what's going on. And so I want to talk about this because I hear all the time like I wish I could just be happier. Or you might say about someone like she's she's not a very happy person. I've said that. But what is it that we're really talking about? And how do we actually really get happy?
Well, first, what is happiness? Even the definition of happiness is feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. I like that definition, feeling pleasure or contentment. That sounds right. Happiness is a feeling. It's an emotion. Happiness is not who you are. Happiness is not a defining characteristic of you as a person. It's how you feel. There's a big difference there that I really want to make sure that you're seeing when you say I am a happy person, what you're saying is, I feel happy more than I feel not happy. Well, if you've been listening to me for any length of time, you know that feelings are a result of thoughts. being unhappy or happy does not define a person. It's just an emotion and an emotion is a result of our thoughts. So in the moment, we either feel happy or we don't feel happy. Your emotions don't define you. Your thoughts are what's defining you. So if you put it in the formula for success, remember that at the very top of the formula is the circumstances the things about your life that you can't change. The next line is your thoughts. What's your thoughts? are about those circumstances those thoughts are driving your emotions. So basically, whatever you're thinking about what's going on in your life is determining how you feel at any given moment, your feelings, your emotions, always lead to an action and that action gives you are a result, that result usually reinforces the thought you had in the first place. Does that make sense?
So if I am feeling happy, it's because I'm thinking things that are causing me to feel happy. So I want to help you feel happy more often. So I have some tips for you about how to do that. The first tip is this, it's called the 50/50 rule. If this idea is triggering to you, you should pay more attention to this. Anything that ever is triggering to you. Just take that as a sign that that is something that you need to pay more attention to, you need to explore that a little bit more. Why is that triggering you what is coming up for you when you hear that idea or that thought or that saying or whatever? Here it is. The 5050 rule basically says that the nature of the circumstances of your life, remember, in the formula, the circumstances are the things you don't control the nature of the circumstances in your life. Generally, things are 50% crappy and 50% great. 50% shit 50% good. And that's true for every single living person, the 50% that's crappy, can range anywhere from especially crappy, like a trauma, or a death or losing your job to just like the mundane, crappy like that laundry is not going to do itself get better go do it. And the same is true for the 50%. Good, the 50% good can be really good, like you got a raise or a promotion, or you won the lottery. Or it could just be kind of that every day 50% good, which would be more like just giving your kids a really good hug or giving a cuddle of your dog on the couch, whatever it is. But inevitably, in life, the things that are happening in your life are gonna be 50%, bad and 50% good.
If you accept that rule to be truth, then you're free to realize that no one could possibly feel happy all the time, I would never suggest it and it will never come true for you. Because 50% of the time in your life, things are shit. Like that's just the truth, things are hard, life is hard, and it keeps coming. So to expect that somehow you're going to be happy all the time is crazy. And you're gonna make yourself crazy trying to achieve that. So the 5050 rule just says except that shitty things are gonna happen. Except that 50% of the time, it's kind of crappy, or at least it's not super crappy, but also not good. Does that make sense? And truthfully, do you even want things to be happy all the time? Do you want things to be good all the time, we need that contrast in our lives, we need that contrast between the good and bad. If we didn't have the bad, we wouldn't appreciate the good. You know, that's true in your life, you've already experienced it. The contrast between the good in our life and the bad inner life, the crappy and the happy. The contrast between those two things are so important. So that we can recognize and we can appreciate the happy stuff, the good stuff, the things that we think are good stuff. So which 50% Then are you spending most of your energy focusing on? It's 5050 no matter what, but you can choose to focus more on one half of the other? Where are you spending your thought time and your energy time? Is it in the bad 50%? Or is it in the good 50% it will become real obvious that if your thoughts are always dwelling in the crappy 50%, then your emotions, your actions and your results are going to follow every single time.
So here's the next tip, you have to choose the thoughts that make you feel happier. So I know it seems kind of like a dumb thing to say like, Oh, of course I want to I'll choose a whole choose being happier. But it's not always that easy. Because you really have to get aware of what you're focusing on. You have to get aware of the thoughts that you're having, and what they're making you feel what the feeling is resulting from the thoughts that you're having. If you have 50% crappy circumstances, right in your life, we all do. Let's say you lost your job. So your thoughts about that circumstance are what's going to determine your emotions, your actions, your results. So if your thought about losing your job is this is horrible. I'm never going to get another job. I'm going to be broke. I'm going to be kicked out of my house. Like, this is the end of everything. If losing your job as the end? Well, those thoughts are going to create a lot of emotions about lack and fear and sadness and frustration, right? And what are you going to lead? What's that? What's going to happen? Is that going to lead you to take a lot of actions to find an amazing new job? No, it's going to lead you to take actions that are going to keep you stuck and afraid. And then you're going to have results of being stuck and afraid. And then it's just going to reinforce that cycle. But same person, if you lose your job, it's still a 50% crappy thing. It's on the crappy side of life, right? But if my thoughts about the crappy thing, are that, Hmm, well, I'm going to choose to see this as an opportunity. I'm going to see this as a new beginning, I'm going to think about this, that this has opened something up for me, I was too afraid to quit this job on my own. But since it's gone, now I'm open to find something new that maybe could be even better. Your emotions are going to be very different. When you start having those thoughts right now I'm feeling empowered, I'm feeling confident, I'm feeling maybe even excited at the possibility now my actions are going to be very different, because I'm basing them on those emotions. Now I'm going to find other jobs, and I'm going to look for opportunities, I'm going to see opportunity everywhere. And my results are going to be much different, aren't they, I'm probably going to find an even better job than the one I just fired from.
So do you see the circumstance of that whole situation was in the crappy 50% of life, you lost your job, but the way you thought about it determined everything, and it determined your happiness level, your thought about that circumstance determined the happiness level, and that's what we're, that's what we're talking about. We're talking about choosing the thoughts that serve you choosing the thoughts that elicit the emotion that you want to feel, I don't want to feel shitty, I don't want to feel frustrated and fearful. So I need to change my thoughts so that I can feel something else does that make sense? happy thoughts, thoughts that create happiness, thoughts that create happy emotions, that just takes practice. That is a skill that you can practice. But the first step in practicing that is being aware of what your thoughts are.
The other little tip I want to give you is to lower your standards. You might be like, Oh, my gosh, you're killing me right now. It's here. Now I'm telling you, this is like a recovering perfectionist, that this really has helped me so much, just lowering my standards. Knowing that I have a tendency to put an unrealistic expectation on myself, that I have a tendency to have an unrealistic standard of perfection that I feel like I need to live up to, that I inevitably won't live up to. And then I'm disappointed and then I'm unhappy. If you're feeling disappointed and frustrated a lot. It could be because you have set the standard for yourself. That's not appropriate. Maybe you need to lower your standards. And when I say lower your standards, let me give you some examples. One of the things that I had to let go of was my house always being clean, right? I have two kids, I'm trying to build a business here. My husband works I had expectations and these come from, you know, my life and growing up expectations of this clean house and I had to let some of it go. I had to be able to be okay with like that's not picked up. And I'm not picking it up right now. Because I will need to get this done. instead of choosing this over that I had to let some shit go. Other standards I had to lower, you know, being a stay at home mom for 10 plus years, I had to let go of the idea that I was like this somehow super mom, that always was like coming up with a craft and an amazing activity and constantly entertaining my kids. I had to lower my standard and be like, you know what, watch your iPad for an hour, I got to get some things done. That for me was lowering my standard but it freed me up mentally so much to be okay with doing that. So where can you lower some standards? Where can you just knock down your expectation a little bit and free yourself up kind of mentally, emotionally energetically to focus on the thing that you really want to focus on. Instead of the thing that you keep saying you have to focus on that makes sense that will free you up to have different thoughts, different ideas, different emotions, different results.
The other place that I think we really get caught in this happiness trap is comparison. That saying comparison is the thief of joy. I don't know where that came from, but I swear truer words were never spoken. You have to stop playing the comparison game. Then this goes along with lowering your standards, because a lot of the times, lowering our standards, lowering our expectations, we've set these standards and expectations because we're comparing ourselves to someone else. And we are feeling like we don't measure up if we are having immaculate clean house or having perfect mom craft activities every day, when we look at social media, especially, we are constantly playing this comparison game. Don't be fooled by the highlight reel. You've heard this before, you know that it's true. So why do you keep getting sucked into it? people on social media are only showing the 50%. That's good. They're not showing you the 50%. That's shit. Why? Because if they showed you the 50%, that was crappy, you wouldn't follow them because nobody wants to follow that kind of energy, right? You're not there, because you want to hear someone's crap crap sob story, right. So understand that that is what it is, it is only the 50%. Good. So don't assume because that's all you're seeing that somehow there's not a 50% bad there is for everyone. And be honest with yourself, you don't generally post the 50% bad either, not because it doesn't exist in your life. But just because you also don't want to dwell on that. It's not that you're trying to hide that something bad is happening in your life, or that 50% is crappy, it's just that you don't want to sit in that space, I don't want to sit in that space. So just understand that social media in general is only showing you the 50% happy not the 50% crappy, okay? Know that going in.
And then while you're on social media, you got to stop playing the comparison game, the easiest way to do this is to curate your social media life. And what I mean by that is carefully and consciously choose what you're looking at and who you're following. If there is a person, or an account, or whatever, that makes you feel anything but good, anything but happy, then you need to not follow them anymore. This is not a judgement about that person. They could be a perfectly nice, wonderful person, but for some reason, whatever they're putting out there is triggering something in you. And until you figure out what that is and why that's happening. You need to just remove yourself from it. Okay? Because it's not serving you when it keeps triggering you and you don't know why. And you don't know what's going on, there's something deeper there. Or maybe they're a horrible person, those exists to you on the internet. So for example, maybe you're following the girl with six pack abs, okay, this is my example. Fine. Maybe you're following the girl with six pack abs. And every time you see her, you're like, whatever, you're 20 you haven't had any kids. You don't even know what it's like you're not nearing menopause, right? These are the thoughts that are happening in my head when I see the girl to six pack abs. I'm getting real triggered by this. And then my thoughts are turning into like, you're old, you're fat. You're a fat mom, like, right? This is where I'm going. Now I'm depressed and no, I'm sad. And now I have self loathing. And now I'm have shame. And now I have shame because I was having such rude thoughts about this perfectly nice person with six pack abs in my head. You see, we're crazy. Like we all do this right? We tell me this is not just me. So what do I have to do? I gotta shut it down. I gotta stop following 20 year old girls six pack abs. It is not serving me. I know why it's not because I know the thoughts. It's triggering for me. Those are things I have to work on separately.
But I need to also not be triggered every time I turn on social media. Does that make sense? So that's a twofer. Right there. You got to you can remove the things and unfollow the people that are causing you to think thoughts that are causing emotions that you don't like. But you do need to start creating an awareness of why that's happening. Just canceling people on social media just for unfollowing people because you disagree with them. I'm not really gonna subscribe to that. Because I had to understand that it's not about her. It's about what's happening in me. And I had to start understanding what was going on for me, why am I having these thoughts? Why am I feeling jealous, honestly, of a 20 year old with six pack abs? Why am I having these thoughts about myself? Why is this bringing this up for me? What does this mean about me and what I think about me, and I had to really sit with that. But in the meantime, while I was sitting with that I stopped following her. So what I want you to start seeing and understanding and feeling and really acknowledging for yourself is as you scroll through social media, what are what are the things that are coming up for you? Are they good things that are serving you or are they not good things that are keeping you stuck? When I say curate your life on social media. What I'm seeing is be intentional. Don't just be this like passive consumer of information, understand what that information is doing in you Understand the thoughts and the feelings that are being Elicited by that person or that topic or whatever it is you're following. I know you go to social media to escape. But what I'm telling you is that it's working in your brain, whether you think it is or not. So you need to start being aware of how it is working in your brain. Like we need to be more conscious consumers of media.
And in saying that, I want to also say that you need to really guard your heart and your mind, about what you're letting into it. Be aware of the things, the ideas that you are letting into your mind in your heart, who has influence over you. What has influence over you, who are the people that you listen to? What are the places that you listen to them at? Why? Why do you trust them? Why have you allowed them to have influence in your life and not someone else? Just questions, I want you to start asking, because the messages that you're filling your mind with every day are important, because that's designing your life that's designing your thoughts. I'll give you another example. I stopped watching the news. Why? Because the news thrives on fear. The news needs viewership. And fear creates more viewers, right? You got to keep tuning in to find out what you're supposed to be scared of now, I wasn't into it. I don't like being in fear. I don't live in a place of fear. And I was tired of watching things that were trying to create that in me. So I just felt frustrated. And I just stopped. I'm not doing it anymore. I wanted to be very aware of what I was looking at and how it was affecting me. I just like when you go through and you choose a podcast to listen to you don't just listen to every podcast, you listen to the podcast that you think are going to elicit in you the things that you want. You want to feel hopeful, you want to feel empowered, you want to feel inspired, you want to feel entertained, and informed, then you're going to find the podcast that elicit those things for you. That's what I'm saying you are curating you are deciding what you are allowing into your brain in your heart, you are deciding who you are allowing to have influence in your life. But we need to really be doing this consciously, right. Don't just follow the girl because you went to high school with her follow her because she is adding something to your life.
And then I'm going to ask you to think about stop watching, listening, associating with people that are bringing out anything but the best in you stop hanging out with that person if that person is constantly being mean to other people or being negative. And that negativity is bringing out thoughts in you that you don't like that are making you feel negative. You are the five people you hang out with the most well, I To me, it goes beyond just the five people in person you hang out with most. But it's where you get your information. It's the shows that you're watching. It's the podcast that you're listening to. It's the people that you're listening to. It's the people that you're following on social media. I'll give you another example. I used to when my kids were young, I used to watch The Real Housewives of Orange County, like religiously, like every season. They are they're probably still on like it's been on since my first was a newborn. So that's 14 years, I watched Real Housewives of Orange County. And at one point, my husband was like, why are you watching this? You hate drama, you hate fighting? And you're watching these women have Total Drama all the time fighting with each other being super mean to each other talking about each other behind each other's backs. Like why are you watching this? Why are you filling your brain with this? And I was like, Damn, you're so right. Like, why am I so I stopped watching it haven't watched the sense for years? Because it just took him to like make me realize like, why are you filling your mind with that? I have another friend and she was talking about the shows that she watches. And everyone at the time was watching Game of Thrones, right? It was the thing, I still have not seen it. And she was saying she doesn't watch it because that's not what she wants to fill her brain with. She wants to fill her brain and her heart with other things that are more useful to her. And I was like shoo. Like, that's a really good point. Like I didn't think of it that way. What am I filling my brain in my heart with? Do I want it to be Game of Thrones stuff like not really, I would much whether it be things that are more useful to me, or that make me feel uplifted or inspired or excited. So just start really paying attention to what you're filling your heart and your mind with your thoughts and your beliefs are shaped by these messages that you are allowing in whether consciously or unconsciously. So I would advise you to do that a little more consciously.
And I really can't talk about the subject of how Happiness without talking about spirituality. I am personally a Christian, you do not have to be of the Christian faith to listen to this show, I feel like I keep the message. pretty universal. But for me personally, when I talk about happiness, the deepest happiness that I have felt in my life has been as a result of my spiritual relationship, my relationship with God, filling my mind and heart with the love and the teaching of Jesus, and cultivating that relationship. My faith brings me the deepest joy and love and happiness that I have ever had. Do I still have 50% shitty happening in my life? Yeah, everybody does. But because I have such a solid foundation of belief and worth, because of that foundation, it's easier for me to stay focused on the thoughts that will serve me, instead of the thoughts that keep me stuck. It's easier for me to be in a emotional state of happiness, instead of unhappiness, because I have this faith that I rely on, I have this relationship that I have, that I rely on, that serves me and feeds me. Does that make sense? So what is your foundation? What are your foundation, foundational beliefs? What is the thing that you can go back to and say, no matter what shitty stuff happens in my life, there's always this that I can count on. For me, that's my spirituality, that's my relationship with Jesus, that might not be the same for you. And that's okay. But what I'm seeing is, if you don't have some of those grounding principles, if you don't have a faith to fall back on, if you don't have that kind of foundation, that could be a huge missing spot for you.
That could be one of the things that's keeping you stuck. That could be one of the things that's making it hard for you to shift from the thoughts that are creating unhappiness, and shift to the thoughts that are creating happiness. I want to suggest that to you, maybe if it's not something that you have in your life, maybe it's something that you need more of, maybe if it's something that you already sort of have in your life, maybe it's something you dive a little bit deeper into, I think so often a just this foundation is missing this foundation, that gives us purpose, this foundation that gives us inherent purpose inherent worth, no matter what dumb thing I do, or stupid thing wrong, I say, or the 50% of my life, that's crap, just like everybody else, no matter any of that there is a foundation of goodness, does that make sense? There's a foundation of faith. That's always there, lifting me back up. And if that foundation has gone, it feels a little lost. It feels a little like you're floating and flailing and just not having a lot of direction. So I am not telling you in this podcast that I am preaching to you that you need to go be a Christian. I'm saying that's how that works in my life. And if it's something you feel like you're missing, that could be a place that you could explore a little bit more. Ask friends, what their foundation is, ask friends, what their core belief is, find your friends that you consider the ones that are happy all the time, and ask them. Why are you happy all the time? What are you doing? What are you thinking like what's going on in your head? I bet you'll start to find some common themes. So the bottom line is this, everyone has 50% crappy and 50% happy, such as life, right? No one's life is ever roses all the time. Sometimes we get the thorns. The trick is what you think about the crappy. And what you think about the happy is what makes all the difference. Because your thoughts create your emotions and your emotions, create your actions and your actions create your results. So if you want different results, if you want different emotions, if you want more happy emotions, you need to figure out what the thoughts are that will elicit those emotions, and underlying all of it is a foundation of what you're putting in your brain and what you're putting in your heart.
What are you surrounding yourself with? What are the messages that are getting through? start becoming aware of those things? I hope that was super helpful, you guys, please understand that you will never be happy all the time. That is just not real. Don't expect it and you won't be disappointed, right? I hope you guys can find ways to create and choose more thoughts in your life that make you happier more often. If you have any questions about any of this, please reach out to me and ask I would love to walk you through some stuff. You can find me all over the place. I'm just Tara Faulmann everywhere. So until we do Again, my friend, you well.