Friday, September 21, 2007

11 steps to become happy

We are all familiar with or have heard of the many Twelve Step programs and communities. The reason the 12 Steps are so effective in helping people create happy, joyous and free lives is because it is a program of solution based on principles written so simply that anyone can use them in their daily lives. As partly a Sober Living Coach, agapelegacycoach.com I team up with clients who already have a strong recovery foundation to transition from recovery into enhanced Sober Living. I also coach those who wish to craft and design Legacies of Excellence in all areas of their lives who are not familiar with 12 Step Living. In my coaching career, all of my clients have shared many successes by allowing me to bring them some of the indispensable tools I have come to live by as a proud member of the 12 Step Community myself. Here are some proven effective 12 Step Community tools to add to your toolbox:

1. If you're not the problem there is no solution:

People have tendencies to focus on others being the cause for problems. Waiting for others to change keeps them in charge of how your life looks and moves. Living in this mindset, you might be waiting a very long time for desired results and relief via others' actions. Take your power back and look into what only you can change.

2. If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting:

If your life is not where you want it to be, then investigate other ideas and options. If things are moving well, then remember " If it ain't broke don't fix it!"

3. Check your motives:

The choices and actions we make based on only our plans, schemes and designs for other's lives are the ones that place us in positions to be hurt, let down and disappointed time and time again. When faced with an action or choice, ask yourself, "Why am I doing this?" Although our motives seem sincere at times, there is always a chance that we are operating out of what we want for ourselves. When self-centeredness is the motive, others around us tend to respond in defensiveness and anger.

4. Trust God and clean house:

Trust that God or the Universe will take care of the outcomes. Make sure your side of the street is clear of wrong motives, actions, unmade amends and apologies for your own behaviors. As they say in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, "a business that takes regular inventory rarely goes broke."

5. Watch your expectations:

High expectations - High disappointments? Low expectations - Low disappointments

One sign of living in "It's all about me" might be that you are using your "personal rights" to govern the behaviors of others . Humility and acceptance are the tools when struggling with unfulfilled expectations.

6. Get a competent sponsor and use them:

Mentors, coaches and community add such tremendous value to our lives. Have a solid support network that you trust and then follow their suggestions.

7. If you want what I have, you'll do what I did:

Be supportable and open to using the experiences of your mentors, coaches or support group. Don't question support from others when they offer ideas that make you uncomfortable or suggest a call to action. Just choose others with successful experience and not opinions.

8. By admitting powerlessness, you are actually gaining power:

This simply means to step back and stop operating out of reaction or control. What person, place or thing are you allowing to run your life? This is living from external forces while happy, joyous and free is an internal job for you to master.

9. Stop letting it rent space in your head or stop focusing on the problem:

If there is nothing you can do about it today, and if it is something that you have no control over, focus on productive things to spend valuable time thinking about, like gratitude or the relationships and outcomes that are working in your life.

10. Share experience, strength and hope:

Don't waste you time with people who lead or support others by opinion, embellishing who they are or just plain make things up. You're time is valuable. Surround yourself with people who can really support you through things because they have "been there, done that" and are now where you want to be. Community is invaluable for building thriving relationships and support. We all need friends and mentors who see past our blind spots and will kick us in the behind to get us back on track.

11. Work with others:

Community and support work both ways. Be available for others that need your expertise or experience to learn by or lean on. Give back what is freely given to you. Service work of any kind, such as Habitat for Humanity, The Special Olympics or which ever direction you are pulled toward, will create healthy ways of giving and keep you out of your head should you feel down or isolated or uninspired. Remember, if you're not having fun then something is not working!

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