Sunday, July 26, 2009

Iris the Victim Develops Persistence

Lately I have been developing a new skill: persistence. It is something that I never had much of!

Through my life, I've started many new adventures with lots of enthusiasm that would slowly fade out. When persistence should have kicked in, I would give up or I would go on to finish the project with screaming and kicking (lots of resistance), doing lots of unhappiness because it didn't feel comfortable...

Still, I did finish tasks most of the time, because I had a strong belief that "I should not let so-and-so down" and a strong want to not have to rely on others.

On the outside, I seemed happy, independent and fulfilled with my life and work, while on the inside I screamed with frustration. I would tell myself things like: I don't know why I am doing this... or, Why am I pleasing others again... or, Why doesn't anybody care about what I think... or, Who are you to know what is good for me!...

I was an unhappy duck!

Then in January of 2003, I went for a month as a volunteer to the united states at the place I later got certified. While in the volunteer program "Iris the victim" learned about taking ownership of her feelings and behaviors and how to influence and change them by looking at her beliefs. I learned that if I take ownership for who I am and how I think, I can be happy even if nothing changes around me.

It is just a choice.

This new belief became the cornerstone of how I live every day. It is also the reason that I became a mentor to help others. I chose to focus on happiness during that January, six years ago, and I want to help others make that choice too.

So, why am I telling you all this? Because me choosing happiness is helping me to become more persistent. I am now in my seventh year of choosing happiness in my life and lately I have found that my persistence level, combined with a high happiness level has dramatically improved in different areas. And this time, my persistence has nothing to do with other people and the old beliefs that I wrote about in the second paragraph. This time my persistence comes from my wants. I want to... Wow, what amazing wonderful!

Let me give you examples of my persistence fueled by my happiness:

food: I'm intolerant of gluten and milk products. Sugar is also something that my body responds to in a uncomfortable way. In the past I made "not being a nuisance when eating with others" a higher priority than my diet. So I regularly ate things that were not good for me. Now, I have decided that I would rather be happy by taking care of my body and my eating habits have changed dramatically. Only very rarely do I eat things that are not tolerated by my body

painting: Last year I started painting the house. It was a challenging process for me. Wasps, hot weather, big house... It went very slowly. I got awesome help from Clyde and Beverly, but I still got myself stuck before the house was halfway done.

This summer I finally picked up the task again, and to my surprise the experience is very different. It's fun! It is great exercise for my body. My painting is much better and faster (thanks to some inside painting over the winter). It's still a big job, but I am not wondering if I will ever get it done. I know it will get done and I am proud that I am doing what I am doing.

music: I love playing music and singing, but I have always doubted my skills. I never thought I could be a singer in a band. I never thought I could write songs people would like.

When I decided to be happy with whatever I do, I allowed myself to show more of myself and do the things I love most. While doing these things, I allowed myself to develop new skills.

While visiting a friend in the Netherlands in December, I told him that I would make a CD in 2009. And I will tell you, that CD is coming! And I am so proud! I have some awesome inspirational musical friends and I am blessed to play with them. My happiness has inspired my persistence, which has lead me to the musical place I am today. I practice singing daily. I started to play Djembe. I have improved my rhythm skills dramatically, and I am leaning to experiment and allow myself the time to learn.

This blog: Just a year ago I would have asked: "Who am I to start a Blog about happiness? What do I have to share that can be interesting to others? What if I write something people do not agree with?!" "Whahahaha", I think right now! Ohhh, hell yes! There's lots to say and to share! And readers who don't like it don't have to read it, they can go somewhere else, or write a comment for discussion! It's all a choice!

Choosing happiness is a philosophy. It is something that can help you to make changes in your life if you want to. It is something that starts with a decision, but then grows by practicing. Choosing happiness has been my biggest source of persistence so far, and I know now that it stimulates persistence in many other areas in my life.

Are you allowing to make happiness your first priority? Did you realize that it influences what you will create in your life? Are you going to do anything different after reading this article?

Have a great Sunday!

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