Friday, May 28, 2010

Solving For Happiness

The following is a preview chapter from the book Living True To Your Self by Walt F.J. Goodridge

CHAPTER 3: Solving For Happiness: A Mathematical Proof

A short time ago, a friend and reader of my weekly newspaper column ran into me at the post office and asked me if I could suggest any techniques, philosophies, or something—anything—that could help her “be happier.”
I was at once flattered that she asked (I guess I must look happy, or maybe I look so unhappy, that she figured I must be searching, too!) In any event, in my never-ending quest to provide value to others, I promised her I would email her something, and I set about figuring out what I could offer to really help.
As I sat thinking about it, it occurred to me that there must be a formula—a mathematical approach to happiness if you will—that anyone could benefit from. So, using my memories of math class, I decided to apply the concept of "proofs" to the concept of happiness!

Solving for "X"
If you remember from Geometry class, to complete a mathematical "proof," we start with a "problem" or a "given,” and then we have a conclusion to prove:

Given: Triangle ABC

Prove: The angles of triangle ABC, angles,
1, 2, and 3, sum to 180 degrees.

You proceed through the proof by starting with an assumption, making statements, invoking established geometric laws and postulates, giving reasons, all in a logical sequence, to develop the final conclusion. I won’t bore you with the actual proof.
Similarly, to solve for happiness, we can start with our own "given" and “problem:”

Given: I am unhappy

Prove: How can I be happy?

I believe we can use the same mathematical strategy starting with some basic assumptions, and making our arguments in the same logical sequence. Ready?

PROOF 1: What is the cause of unhappiness?
ASSUMPTION: Unhappiness has causes. It is possible to be happy.
ARGUMENT 1: If you are not happy, it is because there is a flaw in your belief system. Therefore, the way to be happy is to find a belief system that works.
ARGUMENT 2: Your belief system is comprised of your thoughts. Therefore, if unhappiness is caused by a belief system, and if a belief system is merely a set of thoughts, then:
CONCLUSION: Happiness is caused by your thoughts.

[You may rightly ask, “What about my words and actions?” Yes, Thoughts, Words & Deeds are the important trilogy we often talk about. However, since our words are a function of our thoughts. And since our actions are also a function of your thoughts, we can deal just with the thoughts, and words and actions will take care of themselves.]

PROOF 2: What thoughts must I change in order to be happy?
ASSUMPTION: It is possible to identify and change the thoughts that are making you unhappy.
ARGUMENT 1: There are only four types of thoughts that you have.
You think about your self, about others, about the world/universe,
and about life's situations.
CONCLUSION: Therefore, your thoughts about: 1. Your Self, 2. Others, 3. The World and 4. Life's Situations must be changed in order for you to be happy.

PROOF 3: What specific thoughts about my self are important?
ASSUMPTION: The thoughts about your self cover many facets of your being.
ARGUMENT 1: When it comes to your self, there are three components we speak most of: Body, Mind and Soul.
ARGUMENT 2: Also, when it comes to your happiness, there are three states of existence that we speak most of: Being (who you are)
Doing (what you do), and Having (what you have)
CONCLUSION: Therefore, your happiness in relation to your self will be a function of and determined by your thoughts (i.e. your belief system) about your body, mind and soul, and about who you are, what you do, and what you have.

We now have 3 initial conclusions to help us on our proof of happiness:
1. Happiness is caused by your thoughts.
2. Your thoughts about Your Self, Others, The World and Life's Situations must change in order for you to be happy.
3. Your happiness in relation to your self will be a function of your thoughts (i.e. your belief system) about your body, mind and soul, and about who you are, what you do, and what you have.

Solving for the Self
"To thine own self be true..."
The most important step to take in solving for happiness is to first solve for the self.
Shakespeare said, “To thine own self be true,” and likewise, I suggest to you that the more you learn (i.e. solve) about yourself, the happier you will become. Let me share with you my own experience.

One of the first revelations I experienced about myself occurred as part of team during a sales training course. As part of our orientation to become top sellers in a network marketing business we had just joined, we all took a personality test. The results of the test categorized us as different types of fish. Some people discovered themselves to be fun-loving "dolphins," others were money-loving "sharks," service-oriented "whales," while I fell among the fact and figure-loving "urchins."

The point of the test was to impress upon us that different people
we would work with—as well as those we would sell to—were motivated by different things. No personality was "better" than another, and all were necessary for the functioning of our team.
Until that moment, I knew these quirks of my personality, but I had always felt I was alone in my uniqueness. However, once I realized that my personality type was not unusual, that it was actually comprised of identifiable, recognizable, known traits, and that there were others like me, it became easier to accept who I was. I was simply a person more comfortable with facts and figures. I was an urchin!

This new understanding of who I was—this new belief system—explained a lot. It explained why I ended up as a civil engineer. It explained why I was able to recall facts that my schoolmates couldn't. It explained why you could move me to action by providing me with information rather than by promising me "tons of fun" or "lots of money." As I embraced and became more secure in my personality, others did, too. My team members knew they could come to me for facts and information about our products and industry, and that any answer I gave them would be correct.

Years later, I took the popular Meyers Briggs test and found out I was an "INTP" (Introvert, iNntuitive, Thinker, Perceiver). Again, I encountered a set of traits and preferences and aptitudes that described me perfectly, and added yet another dimension to my understanding of who I was.

Next came my introduction to the "life themes" concept, where I found the theme I was living was as "teacher." It explained a lot. It explained why I was drawn to write books that teach others. It explained why I was tutoring other students from as early as 2nd grade (I never went to first grade).

Then, as I mentioned earlier, the concept of "soul age" came into my life, and again, provided me with validation of things about myself that added more peace to my life. (See “If Old Souls Ruled the World”)

Yes, solving for the self is the first and most important step in the Proof for Happiness. However, it’s not enough. As we determined in our second conclusion above, in addition to your beliefs about your self, you must also change your thoughts about Others, The World and Life's Situations if you are to be happy.

Solving for Others
In my own Solving for Happiness journey, the more I discovered about myself, the more accepting I've become of who I am, and by extension, the more tolerant I've became of who other people are. I no longer expect "dolphins" to be more like "urchins," or "ESFJs" (Extroverts, Sensors, Feelers, Judgers) to be more like "INTPs," or healers to be more like "teachers." We all have our individual uniqueness, our purpose, our mission, our life theme, our personality traits, our talents, our predispositions, and our unique soul age that make us different, valuable, and necessary to the whole.

Knowing more about myself, and then about others had the added benefit of helping me actually predict how people will behave in certain situations. Things have become less of a mystery. In other words, I’ve been able to solve for others. Result: new understanding=new belief system=different expectations=more happiness.
Conclusion: The only thing you have complete control over in life is how you respond to the “others” over which you have no control.

Solving for Life’s Situations
Once you begin to understand yourself, and others a bit more, you’ll find that life can proceed a bit more happily. However, there’s going to come a day when you’re confronted with an some situation, emergency, catastrophe, development or some other condition which you did not anticipate or plan for.

The single most impactful lessons I learned about life's situations involved the law cause and effect, the law of attraction, and how to become accountable for the situations that happen in my life.

Many years ago, I took a course called "LifeSpring," an experiential personal development weekend workshop that introduced me to the concept of personal accountability. The concept was essentially: "Given that [this situation] is happening in your life, what did you do to create and/or attract it, and, more importantly, what are you going to do about it now?” Many people waste time playing the blame game, and instead of responding in ways that create their desired reality, waste time assigning blame to people or planets as the cause for creating the effects in their lives. Sadly, many people never move beyond that level of response to life.

Conclusion: The only thing you have complete control over in life is how you respond to the situations over which you have no control.

The final, and perhaps most truthful statement about happiness that I ever encountered was that "happiness is an unmet expectation." In other words, the only reason you are ever unhappy about anything, is because you have an expectation that is not in alignment with reality. Husband forgot your anniversary? You're unhappy because you expected him to remember. Change your expectation. Noisy neighbors? You're unhappy because you expect everyone to value peace and quiet the way you do. Change your expectation.

Now, I'm not saying you don't have a right to be disappointed when certain things happen. What I'm saying is that you also are able to make a choice as to how to respond. You could actually CHOOSE to be tolerant when others don't behave the way you'd like them to. You could actually CHOOSE to smile, when the racket starts next door. Anytime you cling to an expectation that is not in alignment with reality or truth, you are creating your own unhappiness, and you have the ability to create the opposite state by choosing a new reaction.

The Ultimate Key
So, therefore, the ultimate key to happiness is this:
"Something you believe to be true, and thus your expectation
about (fill in the blank) is not in alignment with reality and/or truth. Change the belief and the expectation, and create your happiness. For Happiness is merely a thought.”

Next, we will explore several specific examples of how to apply this key to your self (i.e. body, mind and soul, who you are, what you do, and what you have), to Others, The World and Life's Situations, and solve for happiness!

Enter your email address to download and read Part 2 and Part 3 of "Solving for Happiness,"

First Name:
Last Name:
*Your Email:

Confirm Your Email:

Optional: email of person who referred you:

Thursday, May 27, 2010


SHE (The jealous type): "A harem, huh?"

ME: "Yup. I'll send you an application, but you'd have to promise not to poison the other girls."

Life on a Flash Drive

Here I am! On Saipan!

No, I haven't forgotten my promise. I'm right now sequestered in my apartment on Saipan working on a software program to streamline my communication with the many lists I manage. I know it's not the exciting details of a nomad's adventure you might be anticipating, but this is all very necessary. Prior to this, I had lists on numerous platforms for different sites. I would send my emails to the FreeSummerConcerts mailing list from one software, then send my PassionProfit emails through another online software, etc.

Now, as I finalize all the challenging little bugs and such in the PERL program to get the program to do everything I want, I'll be able to log into one software, and send announcements and updates to the SaipanLiving list, the Chicken Feathers and Garlic Skin list, the HipHopEntrepreneur list, as well as many others!

THEN, once I'm in Vietnam, or Czech Republic, or Ghana, I won't even need my laptop in order to communicate. I could run my life from a 1-inch flash drive!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Note: all links open new new windows!

I hadn't really planned on starting and maintaining a blog. It was at the suggestion of my friend, Saipan Blogger, and fan of the "LOST" TV series, Angelo, who made a joke about the Walt character on that show, that I whipped up this page yesterday to capture a few hits for my Jamaican on Saipan book.

But, when Angelo identified it as the newest blog in the Saipan blogosphere, it made me think.

I don't fancy myself a blogger. I've started quite a few blogs, but those were mainly just pages that should have been stand-alone sites. I'm too private a person to let the world into my life on a daily basis. With that said, however, I do consider myself a writer (yes, I know I've started sentences with "but" and "and"). And, as I thought about it, I realized that this might not be such a bad idea after all. Even though I like to think of myself as very busy--I write a weekly column, I have 50 websites to oversee, I have several books in various stages of completion, I have a tourism venture, among other pursuits), I do have a lot of thoughts that need a home. Perhaps this might be the best venue and voice for the real me.

Lately, beyond the PassionProfit books, beyond the coaching practice, beyond the writing, I've ben thinking more about continuing my nomad adventures in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Bali and China. Perhaps a "Where is Walt" blog might be the best thing to light a fire under that desire, and the the best place to consolidate all of the adventure.

It's got a built-in search-engine friendly name (thanks to the television series). It's applicable to any adventure I decide to pursue. And it's not limited strictly to business concepts, so I can throw in some vegan, minimalist lifestyle ideas, or old soul philosophizing as the opportunity arises. I could even expand it a bit and include the application process and auditions for the harem. (um, more on that later.)

We'll see. For now, I can only promise that I'll go with the flow and see where it will go.

Feel free to throw any encouragement my way, or reach out if you're in, or have any tips for visiting any of the countries mentioned above.

Oh, and before I forget....

CLICK HERE for the answer to Where is Walt?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Where is Walt?!!! The answer revealed!......maybe

Hi, all,

it's me, Walt! Yes, Walt! I know you are all wondering where I am. With the final episode of Lost now a part of television history, this might have remained one of the greatest unanswered questions of television lore, along with "Who shot J.R.?

But, I couldn't do that to you.

Here, therefore, is the first suggestion to answer the question: Where is Walt?

CLICK HERE to answer: is this where Walt is?