7 Doors to Happiness
Door 1: What is Happiness?
The first of the seven doors asks you to think about your definition of happiness. Everyone has a different definition of happiness that suits his or her own needs. When thinking about what happiness is to you, try to think about your personal interests. What is it that makes you happy?
Door 1 of Happiness also points out that there are waves of appreciation that allow us to reach an ideal level of happiness. These waves are simple things. Things that make you feel good. For example, “I like how my dog is always happy to see me,” “Today is great day to go for a run,” and “I am proud of myself for getting my assignment in on time,” are all excellent waves. As you think of the things you appreciate about yourself and your environment, a boomerang effect occurs and what you perceive about the world will come back to you. If you submerge yourself in positive thoughts about what you appreciate, you will gain a more conscious outlook without even trying.
Door 2: Obstacles to Happiness
The second door addresses the obstacles that may get in the way of happiness. However, these struggles are only temporary. No matter how painful things may seem at the moment, there is always a silver lining. Door 2 explains that even though we may not have control over what is going on outside of ourselves, we do have control over what is going on inside of ourselves.
Everyone has the ability to tap into his or her inner guidance system. Our inner guidance system is the mechanism that tells us which way to paddle. You paddle with the good and against the bad. With a moment of reflection you can focus on your individual needs and determine the good things in your life that you want to paddle along with.
Door 3: Self-Reflection
The third door is about reframing your mindset. Remember, your mind is not fixed. And only you have the power to change and ultimately reframe it. This door brings to light a sequence that helps us reframe our mind through self-reflection: think → feel → act (react).
The way you frame your mind will determine the way in which you interpret the things that happen to you. Once you have determined your thoughts regarding the issue, you are more able to recognize how you feel, and then decide how to act.
Door 4: Self-Mastery
The fourth of the seven doors recognizes that emotions are physical. A great way to recognize the physicality of emotions is to assign them colors and practice color breathing. Color breathing allows you to breathe in the good and breathe out the bad. Imagine two colors, one is for happiness and one is for stress (or any other negative emotion). As you breathe in, picture the color for happiness coming in. As you breathe out, picture the color for stress going out.
This door also recommends that you learn how to manage your anger “button.” It’s okay for your anger button to be pressed. It only gets out of hand when it is not being managed positively. In order to optimally manage your anger button, notice your thoughts and emotions and gain control of your actions. Others may set off your button, but it is up to you to handle it in a productive and not destructive way.
Door 5: Compassion in Action
Door 5 could be summed up with one word: empathy. Empathy is what helps us feel love, affection, kindness, generosity, spirit, and warm-heartedness for others. When you empathize with others, you are more likely to feel greater self-compassion. Say goodbye to your unfavorable habits and welcome in the favorable ones that help you feel good about yourself.
The fifth door also points out that caring exists on a continuum. On one end, there is apathy, and on the other, there is sympathy. We recommend you strive to be somewhere in the middle—at empathy. Apathy relates to a detachment from others. Sometimes it can be hard to connect to others and people lose interest in helping another. Sympathy can lead to an over attachment to others. Boundaries disappear and people can become engulfed in another’s emotions. An empathetic state is best to achieve in order to recognize others’ emotions and be there for them at an appropriate distance.
Door 6: Interdependence
This door emphasizes the importance of achieving balance within yourself, with others, and with the environment. As you achieve an ideal level of happiness, it can be reflected onto others and the environment when you step outside of yourself and uncover how you interact with people and the world around you.
Reflect on the actions you take that encourage a positive relationship with others and the environment while also reducing the negative ones.
Door 7: Share Your Gift
The final door to happiness suggests a formula in order to reach optimal happiness.
Awareness + Compassion = More Happiness
As you adopt this formula, you are able to get into the habit of this practice. Awareness is built from the inside out. Compassion is best demonstrated when you guide your actions to benefit others as well as yourself. This formula encourages you to share your happiness with others to help create a warm environment for everyone to enjoy.