• Happiness Advice from an Expert: How to Find Happiness When You’re Stuck in a Rut

    The most profitable business in the world is the one that spends the least money to make the most money, and the most joyful person in the world is the one who spends the least effort to get the most joy! Instead of trying to do a whole lot, simply commit to doing what you can every day, no matter what. It’s consistency, not intensity, that makes the most difference over time. In other words, prioritize consistency over intensity.

    Hi Rob-

    Please help!

    I can’t seem to get out of the rut I’m in. It feels so unrealistic to have happy thoughts on a regular basis, but that’s what I want most!

    For starters, my life isn’t where I want it to be; I’m not as successful as I thought I’d be. My living situation sucks, I don’t have a job I like, and my relationships are terrible.

    What’s worse, I know I won’t be happy, even if all these things fall into place. I get that, but I still want these other things.

    Finally, I feel like I’ve been working at this happiness thing forever. It’s so hard to keep my mind in a state of acceptance and appreciation, let alone happiness and contentment.

    For example, I’ve kept a gratitude journal for over 3 years, but I’ve dreaded it most of the time! I’ve noticed that it doesn’t work if I don’t work it, but it’s tough.

    I’ve read so many books, tried lots of things, and seen tons of therapists, but nothing seems to work! Becoming happy just feels impossible!

    Can you please help?

    Desperately,
    Debbie Downer

    ***

    Dear Debbie-

    First, thank you for that very honest, heartfelt message.

    I’ve been there, trust me. It can be so frustrating, infuriating even. But I got through it, and you will, too!

    To that end, please find below a few quick tips, tricks, tools, and techniques that I’ve found helpful over the years.

    I hope that you find them helpful, too.

    1. But first, happiness!

    In short, prioritize happiness above everything else.

    If you can get happy without all the stuff you want, you tend to get all the stuff you want.

    And you get it faster and easier than you would or could if you were coming from a needy, desperate, unhappy, unhealthy vibrational place.

    So put happiness first, and then trust that happiness will lead to everything else you want, too.

    In the Bible it says, “Seek the kingdom of heaven (inside), and the rest will be added.”

    Another way of saying that is, “Seek happiness inside, and everything else will follow.”

    That’s what I’m saying.

    If you take care of happiness, happiness will take care of success; if you take care of happiness, happiness will take care of you!

    Said in another way, happiness is not only the greatest success; happiness leads to success, too!

    Science agrees.

    Happy people experience more success in all areas of their lives. They make more money, live longer, are healthier, are rated as more attractive, get married sooner, stay married longer, and are happier in all of their relationships, whether they are married or not.

    Further, happy people are also kinder, more charitable, and more generous than their unhappy peers.

    Happiness is not only the cheat code or master key to success, then.

    It is also your gift to your success… and the world!

    2. Do less, better.

    You don’t need to know a whole lot to be happy. You likely know enough already. In fact, you probably know too much!

    Similarly, you don’t need to do a whole lot more to be happy, either. You probably do enough already. In fact, you probably do too much!

    In other words, you need to do less, better.

    You need to focus on quality, not quantity. You need to focus on baby steps. The smaller the steps, the better.

    Less is more!

    So, you don’t need to learn more. You just need to apply what you already know! Knowing is doing; knowing and not doing is not knowing. An ounce of doing is worth a pound of theorizing.

    Instead of learning more or even doing more, try choosing the one or two things that you can easily commit to doing every single day, no matter what.

    What happiness activity is currently getting you the greatest results with the least amount of time, energy, effort, and money or resources?

    Stick to that.

    Who are your favorite teachers or authors?

    Stick to them.

    If certain videos or books really help, listen or read them over and over again.

    This is called this “lazy intelligence.”

    The most profitable business in the world is the one that spends the least money to make the most money, and the most joyful person in the world is the one who spends the least effort to get the most joy!

    Instead of trying to do a whole lot, simply commit to doing what you can every day, no matter what.

    It’s consistency, not intensity, that makes the most difference over time.

    In other words, prioritize consistency over intensity.

    Tony Robbins is right, “We overestimate what we can accomplish in a year, but we underestimate what we can accomplish in ten.”

    Bruce Lee is also right, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but the one who has practiced one kick, 10,000 times.”

    Choose your kick.

    Then, practice it. Every day.

    3. Have more fun!

    Most people think that I’m very disciplined, but I don’t see it that way.

    Yes, I get up at 4am every day, meditate, read, and workout for a few hours. Then, I come back and see clients for 12-14 hours.

    Some people might call that discipline, but I call it “blissipline.” By blissipline, I mean that I’ve made a commitment to fun. If it isn’t fun or I can make it fun, I try not to do it at all!

    So, that’s my encouragement to you, too.

    Happiness should be something you do for the fun of it – for the joy of it, for its own sake – not just to get a result.

    If you try to get a result, you won’t get the result. If you try to get good at it, you’ll never get good at it… or enjoy it.

    However, if you try to enjoy it – really enjoy it, instead – you’ll get good at it really fast.

    And you’ll enjoy it, too.

    4. Have faith.

    You’re on the right path- just persist.

    And the way you persist to keep it playful, keep it fun.

    And when you don’t feel like persisting, take a nap!

    You’ve got momentum behind you, and there’s no stopping that or you now.

    You might not see a whole lot of progress, but it’s happening beneath the surface.

    The check is in the mail a long time before you see it show up in your mailbox, so to speak.

    Trust this.

    Have a little more faith… in faith.

    5. Delegate it.

    One of the keys that I discovered along my journey from clinically depressed and suicidal to happy has been this:

    Let other people do the work! Ha ha.

    In other words, the challenge – and opportunity – for most of us is that left to our own devices (thinking), we resort to negativity.

    We don’t reverse decades of negative thinking or unhealthy habits overnight. It takes some time and energy.

    However, we don’t always have the time, energy, or interest to do that work. I get it! We all get it!

    And that’s ok.

    When possible, then, we can outsource or delegate this happiness thing! We can let other people or resources do the work – do our thinking – for us!

    Seminars, workshops, online talks, videos, audiobooks, and books are my favorite go-to tools to this end.

    In short, start consuming positive content all day, even if that means just letting a video out audio play in the background while you go about your day.

    Occasionally, it’s nice and very helpful to let somebody else do the thinking for you.

    6. Start right.

    If you have to, get up a little earlier than usual just to set the tone for the day.

    Don’t start with technology, unless it’s watching or listening to something positive, uplifting, or inspiring.

    Exercise or a little movement or stretching is transformative in this way.

    It’s the equivalent of taking an antidepressant. It has that powerful of an effect on your mood, minus the side effects.

    7. Sleep.

    Sometimes it’s helpful to play something peaceful or positive when falling asleep at night.

    When you’re falling asleep, your brain is most suggestible. It’s in what’s called the “Alpha-Theta” brain wave state.

    That’s why it’s good to meditate or listen to positive content when you’re sleepy. It’s that relaxed state that lets it all in!

    8. Stick to lifters.

    Stick to lifters, not downers.

    If there are certain people who bring you down, limit your interactions with them.

    Or, better yet, eliminate those people from your life entirely.

    9. If you can’t be positive, be quiet.

    Sometimes being quiet is infinitely better – and easier – than being positive.

    The key is to pay more attention to your physical senses as you do what you do, instead of paying so much attention to the story in your head.

    This is what “micro-meditations” are for.

    A micro-mediation is just one, single breath that you take for the joy of it alone. You take – and deeply enjoy – that one breath while you continue doing whatever you’re doing.

    And you try to enjoy that breath like it’s the last one you’ll ever take on earth again.

    Who knows – it could be!

    While you take that one breath, take it through the nose and from the stomach or diaphragm.

    And, most importantly, as you take it, let all of your thoughts go. Don’t try to fight or change any of your thoughts at all. Just ignore them all.

    Practice those micro-meditations as often as you can throughout the day, no matter what else you happen to be doing, and do it for the joy of it alone.

    Remember, happiness is not only present; happiness is Presence itself. It’s being here and now. Really, it’s just Being, full-stop.

    So, as you practice this micro-meditation – or do anything else for that matter – don’t focus on the past or future. Focus on the present.

    If you take care of the present, the present will take care of the future. If you take care of the present, the future will take care of itself.

    10. Get help!

    Reach out to a therapist, coach, or other helping professional if you want or need more help.

    If I can help, just let me know! You know there you find me…

    Happily,
    Robert

    By Rob Mack

    Robert is a happiness coach & author. He writes and speaks to people about how to live happier lives from the inside, out. Robert’s work has been endorsed by Oprah and Vanessa Williams, among many others. In addition to serving as a Celebrity Love Coach for the television show, Famously Single, on E!, Robert has been a featured guest expert for shows like The Today Show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, CBS Early Show, The Balancing Act, and AskHer.com and magazines like Self, Health, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Upscale. Robert has also served as a National Media Spokesperson, Management Consultant, and Executive Coach for companies like Capital One, FitBit, Buffalo Wild Wings, Microsoft, Carnival Cruise Lines, Deloitte Consulting, McCormick & Spice, IFF, Plus Consulting, and Falcon Credit Management. Robert was born in Pennsylvania. He was educated at Swarthmore College, where he received his Bachelors of Science in Psychology, and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his Masters in Applied Positive Psychology (M.A.P.P.), an ivy-league degree held by only a few dozen people in the world. Robert lives in Los Angeles.

    Photo by Jacqueline Munguía on Unsplash

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  • Interview with Rob Mack (3 Min Read)

    Kind, Positive, Non-Judgmental.

    Where are you from and/or where do you live?
    Los Angeles, CA

    How did yoga come into your life and what has that journey been like for you?
    I discovered yoga through Kino’s work at Miami Life Center. It’s been an ever-evolving journey.

    How has yoga changed and what do you feel it creates in your daily life?
    I feel increasing peace, love, and joy.

    What is yoga to you?
    Yoga is practicing the presence of God (peace, love, and happiness), which we are all infinitely and eternally one with.

    How did you feel after your first yoga class and how do you feel this influences or impacts the space you create for your students?
    My first class was a meditation class, and I feel completely overwhelmed with gratitude.

    Who were you before you started practicing and how have you changed, evolved and transformed?
    I was a guy deeply dedicated to being happy, but still finding my way.

    Who were you before you started practicing and how have you changed, evolved and transformed?
    As a child and young adult, I was deeply depressed and suicidal. Through practice, I became a much more present person.

    What has been your biggest struggle and your biggest milestone in the practice, in teaching and within the yoga community?
    Making sense of all the seemingly different and disparate teachings.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga student?
    Having a random stranger tell me he decided not to kill himself that day because he met me.

    Why do you practice?
    There’s nothing else to do, literally.

    Why do you teach?
    Because I can’t not teach.

    What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?
    Divisiveness (illusory perceptions of separation).

    Do you have any recommended yoga reading?
    I love Ramana Maharshi’s “Be As You Are” Osho’s “The Path of Yoga” and “The Alchemy of Yoga,” and “The Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali.”

    Through your own personal journey, what do you feel is your path and offering to the community- local and global?
    Practicing the Presence.

    What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?
    (1) Do it for the joy of it and (2) think of the world as your mat!

    Are there any current projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?
    Two new books will be published this upcoming year (2021), “Love from the Inside Out “ and “Success from the Inside Out.”

    What’s your Favorite Book?
    That’s like choosing my favorite organ! Ha! I love all books by Joel Goldsmith and Eckhart Tolle, “Be as You Are” by Ramana Maharshi, “The Cloud of Unknowing” by Anonymous, “Practicing the Presence” by Brother Lawrence, “White Fire” by Mooji, “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson, “Ashes of Love” by Rupert Spira, “Mediations” by Marcus Aurelius, “At Your Command” by Neville, “Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna,” “Awareness” by Anthony de Mello,

    What’s your favorite meal to make at home?
    A protein shake.

    What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga related?
    EVERYTHING is yoga-related in my head! Ha! But I lift weights and read, too…

    Who is your greatest inspiration?
    My mom and dad.

    Do you have a favorite podcast?
    Whichever one I’m featured on that day. Truthfully, I’m more of a reader or even audiobook fan, though.

    If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you bring with you?
    2 of my favorite books and a boat to drive home.

    When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
    A professional basketball player.

    What’s your favorite movie?
    The Last Dance, Limitless, The Book of Eli, Horrible Bosses, and the Matrix (sorry – couldn’t choose just one!)

    What’s your favorite TV series?
    The Blacklist, Billions, and Cover Affairs. Don’t judge me.

    Do you have a favorite band/singer?
    Jay-Z, Drake, Michael Jackson, Norah Jones

    Favorite song to dance to?
    “Empire State of Mind.”

    What’s your favorite quote/affirmation/mantra?
    “You are what you seek, and you seek what you are… stop that!”  Also, “Be still and know that I AM.”

    What is your life’s biggest question?
    What’s this all for?

    By Rob Mack

    Robert is a happiness coach & author. He writes and speaks to people about how to live happier lives from the inside, out. Robert’s work has been endorsed by Oprah and Vanessa Williams, among many others. In addition to serving as a Celebrity Love Coach for the television show, Famously Single, on E!, Robert has been a featured guest expert for shows like The Today Show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, CBS Early Show, The Balancing Act, and AskHer.com and magazines like Self, Health, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Upscale. Robert has also served as a National Media Spokesperson, Management Consultant, and Executive Coach for companies like Capital One, FitBit, Buffalo Wild Wings, Microsoft, Carnival Cruise Lines, Deloitte Consulting, McCormick & Spice, IFF, Plus Consulting, and Falcon Credit Management. Robert was born in Pennsylvania. He was educated at Swarthmore College, where he received his Bachelors of Science in Psychology, and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his Masters in Applied Positive Psychology (M.A.P.P.), an ivy-league degree held by only a few dozen people in the world. Robert lives in Los Angeles.

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  • Do you do yoga?

    As a spiritual teacher and author, people sometimes ask me if I “do yoga.” I never know exactly how to answer that question. There’s so much I want to say and so little time to say it.

    So, I usually just say, “Yes! Yes, I do yoga. Sat nam!” And then I namaste and walk away. Ha ha!

    I’ve always found that question fascinating, though… and difficult to answer. And the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized just why it’s so fascinating… and difficult to answer: it’s a loaded question. It’s a question that exposes so many misconceptions – and truths! – about yoga… and Life, too.

    So, what follows is my list of the “Top 10 Myths About Real Yoga” – the pure essence of yoga – as I see it, and the “Top 10 Truths About Real Yoga,” accordingly.

    Of course, we could just as well call it, “Top Ten Reasons Why Rob Has That Funny Look on His Face Every Time Somebody Asks Him the Yoga Question,” but that’s just way too long and way too confusing a title. Ha ha!

    Drum roll, please…

    (Myth #10) Yoga is physical.

    Truth: Yoga isn’t physical – it’s non-physical. It’s not of the body – it’s seeing through (the illusion of) the body to your true Self.

    (Myth #9) Yoga is movement.

    Truth: Yoga is not movement – it’s Stillness itself. It’s not asanas or postures. The real posture and the real asana – Stillness – is inside you. (And there’s no inside or outside, but let’s save that for later…)

    (Myth #8a) Yoga is you doing something.

    Truth: Yoga is not you – or anybody else, for that matter – doing anything.

    Yoga not a doing – it’s a non-doing. In yoga, there is no doing and there is no do-er, either. There’s no-body who does anything.

    Yoga is the “I’m not the doer” consciousness or attitude, no matter what’s being done or not done… with or without the body.

    (Myth #8b) Yoga is effort.

    Truth: Yoga is not effort – it is non-effort. It is effortlessness.

    Yoga is surrender, total surrender. It’s resting and relaxing – resting and relaxing in Self, Soul, God. It’s eternal rest and infinite relaxation.

    (Myth #7) Yoga is mental.

    Truth: Yoga is not mental – it’s seeing through the veil of thoughts, opinions, judgments and beliefs to your real Self.

    Yoga is not thinking – it’s above thinking and beyond thinking. It’s non-thinking.

    (Myth #6) Yoga is knowing something or learning something new.

    Truth: Yoga is not knowing anything or learning something new – it’s UNlearning everything and UNknowing everything. It’s a Cloud of Forgetting, a Cloud of Unknowing.

    Yoga is not a class or course you take with other people, even if you’re in a class or course with other people. Yoga is an UNclass in Life itself; it is the ultimate UNcourse in Solitude itself. And it is a required UNcourse. Nobody can opt out of this UNcourse because it’s the only UNcourse/UNclass being taught. You can’t drop out, but you can, of course, sleep through it… and hence, repeat it over and over again until you wake up.

    (Myth #5) Yoga is mantras and chants.

    Truth: Yoga is not mantras, chants, or japa – It’s Silence itself. And that Silence speaks, that Silence shouts, that Silence sings!

    (Myth #4) Yoga has different forms.

    Truth: Yoga has nothing to do with form – not with your form or with anybody else’s form – it’s formless, Formlessness itself.

    (Myth #3a) Yoga is achieving, accomplishing, or acquiring something new.

    Truth: Yoga is not achieving, accomplishing, or acquiring anything at all – It’s Presence itself.

    (Myth #3b) Yoga is a way to achieve, accomplish, or attain peace, happiness, and love.

    Truth: Yoga is not even a way of attaining, achieving, or accomplishing peace, love, bliss, nirvana, samadhi, or enlightenment.

    Yoga is realizing, remembering, and recognizing that there’s nothing to attain, achieve, or accomplish whatsoever, not even “spiritual things.”

    Yoga is the non-striving, non-struggling, non-ambitious Awareness that’s always at home in the Self, always enthroned in the kingdom of God.

    Yoga is the “That which you seek, you already are” consciousness (without the thought as such).

    Yoga is Awareness itself – Christ-Consciousness, Buddha-Mind itself.

    Yoga is Peace, Love, Bliss, Nirvana, Samadhi, and Enlightenment itself.

    Yoga is total non-seeking, non-striving, non-struggling. It’s total surrender of all fear and all desire. And in that total surrender of all to All-That-Is (which you are), there is total fulfillment. In complete fulfillment, there is no fear and no desire whatsoever.

    (Myth #2) Yoga is self-improvement.

    Truth: Yoga is not self-improvement – it’s Self-love, Self-acceptance, and Self-abidance.

    And yet, yoga is not even Self-acceptance, Self-love or Self-abidance, because there’s not two; there’s just One. There’s no-body and no-thing to love, accept or abide and no-body and no-thing to be loved, accepted, or abided in.

    Yoga is practicing the presence of that One, of God, of your Self (God).

    There’s nobody and nothing to improve, nobody and nothing to do the improving, and no improvement at all.

    (Myth #1a) Yoga is about becoming more spiritual.

    Truth: Yoga is not about becoming more spiritual – it’s abiding as Spirit itself. You can’t become any more spiritual – you’re 100% Spirit itself, and you’re simply dreaming you’re not.

    (Myth #1b) Yoga is a way to God.

    Truth: Yoga is not a way or path to God – it is Oneness with God, your Self itself.

    Yoga is so sweet and simple:  It’s simply being – remaining as, abiding as – your Self. It’s remaining as you already are – at home, in the kingdom of God, as thoughtless awareness, as mindless consciousness – and letting the rest be added.

    It’s being what you already are: One with Source itself. You are – Consciousness itself is – the Source of everything.

    (Myth #1c) Yoga is union with God.

    Truth: Yoga is not union with God or anything else, for that matter, because there’s no-thing and no-body outside your Self to unite with. You are already One with All That Is.

    Yoga is simply Being, full-stop. It’s being Everything and No-Thing all at once without effort at all.

    Yoga is the experience-less experience, the state-less state, the pathless path of the Self. It is abiding as the formless, infinite, eternal, Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Omniscient Self: God Self. And in God – Self, Atman, Brahman, Christ, Buddha, Mohammed, Moses, Lao Tzu, whatever – you find that nothing is desired and nothing is lacking. It contains – is – All. There is nothing that is not included in it.

    Yoga is knowing, “You are not in the world; the world is in You.”

    So, back to the question…In one sense, then, no, I don’t “do yoga.” And neither do you. No-body does. I don’t “do yoga” – I AM yoga.” And so are you. And so is everyone. And in another sense, yes, I “do yoga,” and I’m always “doing yoga,” because I AM always abiding as the Self. There no-thing and no-body else to abide as or be… and there’s, quite simply, nothing else to do! It’s the only game in town.

    In the simplest terms, “practicing yoga” is practicing Presence itself: the Presence of God, the Presence of my Self, the One Self and Soul we all are. I’m always on the mat, as are you, because the mat is the world – our jobs, our relationships, our politics, our religions, our everything. We are always doing yoga; we are always practicing the Presence – the Presence of our Self, God, Awareness – no matter what else we’re doing.

    Sometimes we are consciously aware of this fact and sometimes we are not. Being aware of it – being aware of your Self, of Presence itself – IS yoga. And it IS meditation.

    You ARE yoga; you ARE meditation.

    Just stop and see. Just stop and be!

    Whatever you’re doing or not doing on the outside, on the “inside” just be.

    Just Be.

    “I AM that I AM” – that’s yoga.

    By Rob Mack

    Rob is the author of Happiness from the inside out. We’ll be releasing a new 8 episode course, ‘How to become a rich yogi’ with Rob next week, only on Omstars, so stay tuned!

    Learn more about Rob

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