Start Your Cranky Busting Here (book excerpt)
The Life You Want
Many of us spend our lives searching for happiness but never finding it. This is because looking for happiness chases it away. Happiness comes to us when we quit searching for it and just start being it. The life we want comes to us when we just start living it instead of waiting for it. This sounds so simple and in a way, it is.
Maybe it's time you quit looking for happiness and fulfillment and instead welcome and affirm what you have of both right now. If you want more, practice the principles in this book and incorporate the good ideas you've read or heard elsewhere. Start being the person you want to be, even if you have to force it in the beginning. If you keep waiting for the right time or circumstances you could end up waiting the rest of your life. Start now.
Habits are the Stuff of Which Life is Made
There's only one real difference between cranky people and those who are composed and centered. It's the habits they practice. If you want to change your life, then change your habits. Do you want to be a more relaxed, less cranky person? Practice the habits that let you slow your pace and enjoy yourself, such as taking deep relaxing breaths and smiling more. Would you like to feel better about yourself? Develop new thinking habits; repeatedly tell yourself you're capable and worthwhile. Do you want to feel happier? Work on the habits of feeling appreciative and seeing abundance in your life. If you want to feel healthier, work on your eating and exercising habits. Regardless of the question, the answer is the same. Habits.
My everyday habits are completely different today than during the years when I was cranky. I now enjoy getting up in the morning and at nights I go to bed with sense of appreciation and accomplishment. I can laugh at myself when I screw up and admit my flaws. I eat better. I exercise. My habits support the lifestyle I've come to love.
Cranky people engage in habits that support their crankiness. Composed, calm, or centered people engage in habits that support their connectedness. Pay attention to your habits: they'll tell you what you need to know about yourself.
One Last Hurdle to Jump
In reading this book maybe you've occasionally stopped and thought, "Wow. There's a lot of information here." You're right. I can't tell you how many times I've said the same thing. You only had to read it: I had to write it! Yet I wrote only one idea at a time; one word at a time. We live life the same way, one decision at a time, one day at a time. That's how we change, too: one behavior at a time. Think big, but keep the steps small and doable. Just as the old saying goes: inch by inch life's a cinch. Yard by yard it's hard.
Sometimes, in a program, when I talk about practicing anti-cranky strategies people say, "But that's a lot of work." Of course it is; initially. Change takes a certain amount of work. But overall, making positive changes is a whole lot less work than staying unhappy.
People also complain that it's too hard, they've already tried it, or it will take too long. These don't always realize these are just excuses. Some people use "advanced degree" rationalizations and detailed, logical sounding justifications, but when you strip them down, they too, are just excuses. It all gets down to this: if you don't like what's happening in your life, change. You can either change the situation or change yourself.
Just in case you're feeling a little short on time and you still have a few doubts about your ability to apply the ideas in this book, I thought I'd list some of the excuses that may pop into your head:
It's too complicated.
It's too hard.
I'll never be able to stick with it.
I don't have time.
My life really isn't all that bad.
I tried it once but it didn't work.
I don't know where to begin.
This sounds too simple. There has to be a catch.
It wouldn't work anyway.
I'm too busy.
I'm too miserable to try.
I'm too tired.
I'm too full.
Change is incompatible with my astrological sign.
Now that we've covered this list, you'll have to come up with some better excuses on your own. Instead of excuses, exploit your abilities; make those changes now!