Fundamental Four: Get Better Organized & Plan Things Out
Fundamental Four is to “Get Better Organized” (“Get B.O.” for short, as my students humorously refer to it). It is based on the research on happy individuals which finds that they are well-organized, non-procrastinating, efficient, and planful. Such organization displays itself not only in their daily approach to life, but also in their long-terms plans and sense of direction in life. Happy people seem to know where they want to go in life, and they appear to have the personal organizational skills to help them get there.
Unhappy people tend to lack long-term direction in life. They’re goals and plans are poorly formed. They tend to flounder as they go through life, working more on impulse than planning. And especially on a day-to-day basis, they tend to be chronic procrastinators.
In our treatment of Fundamental Four we will deal with some basic approaches you can use to “Get Better Organized” in your life.
Fundamental Five: Stop Worrying
Fundamental Five deals with what we refer to as “the arch-enemy” of personal happiness: common, everyday worry.
As we shall see, worry is probably the most detrimental thing the average person does to ruin their happiness. When we explore Fundamental #5, we’ll examine your worry-patterns in detail. You’ll probably discover that you worry a lot more than you ever imagined, and you’ll come to appreciate who destructive it is to your own happiness. From there, we’ll help you learn how to control your worry and become more like happier individuals who naturally appear to have low worry-levels.
Fundamental Six: Lower Your Expectations & Aspirations
Fundamental Six is called “the controversial Fundamental” because wherever I lecture on the Fundamentals, “Lower Your Expectations and Aspirations” always seems to spark the most heated debates. It is understandable, however, since Fundamental Six flies right in the face of common wisdom regarding happiness. We live in a highly competetive culture which generally stresses high goals, lofty ambitions, and great success as being essential for happiness. Thus most people are taken aback to learn that the research seems to show quite the opposite. Instead of being highly ambitious and achievement-motivated, happy people appear to be more modest in their goals and in their need for great success.
Now is not the time to jump into this controversy, but when we fully discuss Fundamental #6, in a later chapter, trust that we will be able to explain how lower expectations and aspirations lead more to happiness than setting your sights on the “impossible dream.”