A duty to be happy?


How do you feel if I tell you it is your duty to be happy

how do you feel if I say do you deserve to be happy

how do you feel if I say why are you happy.


What you feel  is affected by what you are asked and how you are asked.

In effect the question  dictates the answer you will give----I am not talking about something basic like the open and closed questions that are used to elicit certain responses in, for example, sales conversations where a sales person is trying to manoeuvre you into buying. I am talking about how you -- your personality-- responds to questions that may be asked with no preconceived agenda in mind.


I will leave the first question for a moment, lets look at "Do you deserve to be happy"  Does that make you question yourself, does it make you wonder about what entitles or disbars you from happiness? Does it cause you to compare yourself against others Does it put you on the defensive where you feel the need to defend or justify yourself? If any of these prompt a yes just pause  and wonder why! As you do so wonder where thoughts come from and who creates them


So now consider the "why are you happy" in asking that are you being challenged or are you being asked to explain?


How you read the question depends on you, the options I offered may not be the only ones applicable because you may see yet more  possibilities but how and why?


Words have meanings-- that is how we communicate-- but in addition we, individually add lots of emotion and past association to words and phrases.

Further, the way words are presented,  encourage some people to attribute either more or less importance or value depending on our personal  views and past experiences.


So now-- back to the first question:- how do you feel if I tell you it is your duty to be happy--- what are your thoughts?  does it make sense, does it give you the freedom to be happy. what about the duty part, is that informing you that you have a responsibility, does it make you feel that you should take control, to make it happen?


Are you getting  the point of this article now?


You react to any question in a way that is personal to you—sometimes you may have taken a question as rude, impertinent, invasive  only to find that you have misunderstood the motive of the person asking--- it can be embarrassing at times – but is quite natural. We are responsible for what we think—there is no one outside dictating answers to us—we may of course adopt attitudes and values of those around us – that might be a good or bad thing. The point I really want to make is that no one else makes us feel happy, sad or anything in-between. 

For a moment think of this:- a person you do not know passes a comment aimed at you on the street. You presume they mistook you for someone else and brush it off. Further down the street you meet a friend you have not seen for two years who makes the same comment--- how do you feel this time.??

It matters not what the comment was or if it was true--- what matters is your response---in that scenario there is only you to create whatever feelings come to you---so you cant say X made me feel this way and Y made me feel that----You make You feel.


Once you realise that and take it on board just imagine how powerful that is--- you are no longer victim of your feelings --- you created them, SO --you can change them, ---dismiss them--- be victim of them or controller of them.


Feelings are  yours—why do some people feel scared of spiders and others feel scared of heights, why do some people love the rush of downhill skiing and others feel scared of speed. It is personal, individual---you choose how you feel but you do so at such great speed that you do not notice that, it happens at subconscious levels---- stop and think about something you don’t like – analyse why you don’t like it –think what it was like before you disliked whatever it is--- think about what caused the change---- think about what might change it again—is it something that you could consciously do? Is there any thing to stop you changing how you feel ? 



What you make of a question determines how you respond, the reply you give then triggers a response from the person who is  asking the question.

 Simple practical questions get simple clear unequivocal answers however questions such as do you like oranges can trigger past memories of Childhood in which you either loved  or hated them --you may not even know if you like oranges in the current time because past memories stop you trying them in the present.


We develop habits of all kinds--- we develop habits of thinking, short cuts that cut out the choosing and deciding so the brain working at high speed  sees a question and looks up the answer—it assumes that if you liked apples yesterday you still do today, that if you never eat oranges that means you don’t like them.


Shortcuts are useful but they also trap us in old ways of thinking, old ways of acting--- they stop us changing and evolving so we really need to be aware. Being aware is not enough though—once aware we need to use that knowledge, to apply it and to see where it takes us --- new  possibilities open up:- maybe I do like oranges, and if I do that means that I might like foods and drinks that have orange in them. If I don’t know how I feel about oranges what other fruits / foods/ drinks might I like that I have just avoided “In case  I don’t like them”


The choice is yours--- duty to be happy? Maybe not but right to be happy  certainly—and it really is your choice.


If you have questions—and I hope you do--- feel free to contact me on  mail@hypnowtherapy.com  I will always answer you and if you want to make an appointment  you are welcome to either email or ring me—Email is more practical because when I am with clients my phone is off. Email also allows me to give you more detailed and better  researched answers.

1234© Martin Williams 2015