Stay Aware and Enjoy Life’s Little Pleasures. You Can Create a Happiness Habit.

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“What in the world are you doing?” I asked with a smile. 

Jim was gently rubbing his collarbone with his left hand.

 “Rubbing it in.” he smiled back as he gave one last, quick rub. 

“Rubbing what in?” 

“The good feeling of being here with you, of course.” he replied.    

Then it dawned on me. Jim was taking time to focus on the good feelings we were sharing as he “rubbed it in.”  He was programming his subconscious mind with this positive moment to create his “happiness happy.

You’ve heard the phrase,  “ Take time to smell the roses.” Corny but true. It takes a little effort to stay aware savoring and being grateful for the sweetness of a ripe peach, the good feeling that comes with a genuine compliment, the joy of a family at dinner having a good belly laugh together, or like Jim, the pleasure of just hanging out together.

Positive psychologist, Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, suggests that these “good” events are typically subtler than the negative ones and harder to recognize. Also, she says that we tend to take positive feelings in stride because they are less novel, not necessarily out of the ordinary, and not threatening. Studies show, however, that good events outnumber bad events by three or four or five to one and that staying aware of them is good for us.

Happy people generally have better medical, dental and psychological health, suggests Dr. Kurtz of the University of Virginia and coauthor of Positively Happy. Positive people also tend to see improvement in the physical and  psychological conditions of people around them.

Here’s the point. Do you tend to focus on the negative? Do you find yourself craving continuous moments of high passion and intensity and disappointed with the small things in life? Or do you have a mindset that allows you to look for and enjoy those micro-moments of positivity? You have choice!  Instead of automatically going to the negative, you can choose to look for, and enjoy life’s everyday small moments of pleasure, good relationships, satisfactions, and joy. And there’s more good news. You have lots of them.   Your choice…


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Do You Have A "Focus Problem?"

Jack had a problem. Around forty-years-old, good-looking, smart, and capable, with a college degree in business, he couldn’t hold down a job. Oh, things would start out just fine. Then Jack would take offence at something or someone and the downward-slide would start. 

What was going on? Jack had a “focus problem.” Growing up, both his mom and dad expected him to be perfect. Jack learned to defend himself by focusing on their faults and taking offense at anything he thought was criticism. 

Now, as an adult, he had a bad habit. Without thinking, he automatically assumed people were critical of him. Then, to feel better about himself, he focused on their flaws and weaknesses and attacked. He knew just how to make somebody feel rotten. 

People who worked with Jack either avoided him or tried to get even. As a result, things at work became chaotic. Finally, though there was no problem with his work, the boss had to let him go. This scenario had played out several times. Still Jack didn’t realize that his negative focus on others was destroying his life. 

Like Jack, you may also have a negative focus. For example, you may live in a “what if… focus” that causes you to worry about everything all the time. Perhaps you focus on each little physical twinge and pain with fear of some serious disease. Or, instead of solving problems, do you focus on not having enough money… time…  energy? 

Your focus determines the direction and quality of your life. Where and what you focus on is where you will put your life-energy. Jack’s fear of criticism and his habit of trying to feel okay by putting others down was ruining his life.

Another way to say this is to talk about the “law of sowing and reaping.” Whether it’s corn or tulips, the seeds you plant determine the crop you get. In the same way, whatever you “put out there” will come back to you. 

You can learn to recognize your focus and choose what you focus on. Choose wisely because whatever you focus on, negative or positive, will come into your life. 

To learn more about choice, I invite you to look at the “Choice-Cube® 4 Steps for Change” in my book Become the Person You Were Meant to Be. You will find lots of new ideas, and learn some tools to help you both find immediate relief and take the 4 Steps. Most importantly, using the tools and taking the Steps, you can learn to make important changes that will last. 


Focus Hocus-Pocus

I see a shadow and whisper to a friend, "A mugger!" My friend focuses on the same shadow and knows it’s just a shadow. Why are our experiences so different? Because of our past experiences. My past programs what I focus on and the meaning I give to it.The same is true for you.

Say I am programmed to be a victim. I am likely to focus on parts of a situation that make me feel like a victim. For example, if I’m turned down for a job I may blame myself, "I talked too much. I shouldn't have worn the green skirt. It was too short. I always fail. What’s wrong with me?"

Or I may take a victimizer position and blame the interviewers,"They didn’t give me a chance. They don’t like the color of my skin. It’s not fair. They're jerks anyway."

Whenever things don’t go my way, it's likely that my focus and reactions will be the same in the present as they were inthe past. I will think, feel, and do the same things I've always thought, felt, and done. And that’s the end of it. I won't ask myself if my reactions are appropriate or helpful. Magically—focus hocus-pocus---I don’t have to think any further.

But I have choice! Instead of doing the same old thing one more time, I can look for the truth of why I failed to get the job, make the baseball team, or win the beauty contest. I can open my focus, learn from the experience, and do something different the next time. 

The Choice-Cube Method, an innovative approach to self-help offers simple tools and four key steps to help you stay aware of your reactions and do something different. Using the method, you can train yourself to stay aware of a negative focus and unhelpful reactions. Then instead of getting stuck repeatimg the same old things one more time, you can open your mind to options and possibilites. Using the method gives you choice and creates change.

What about you? How much choice do have? How eager are you to know the truth? If you feel stuck, don’t be disheartened.The Choice-Cube®Method can help you understand and manage your focus and reactions. Dr. Beth Cujé, therapist and author of the book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, is giving you the opportunity to download the first chapter of the book for FREE. Just click here and see what the Choice-Cube Method® can do for you today.


What's Running Your Life?

ARE HABITS RUNNING YOUR LIFE? It’s a good idea to become aware of the little, and big, habits that run your life; the ones that keep you on auto-pilot. Why not sit down and look over your current lifestyle. Ask yourself what you are doing that is mindless, habitual, and no longer enjoyable. You may even have a habit pattern that is hurtful to yourself and others.

WE LOVE THAT COMFORT ZONE! Change is always challenging! And most of us structure our lives to stay in our comfort zone. But avoiding change and staying stuck in the comfort of mindless habits can lead to stagnation, or worse. Not a pretty picture.

Read More



THE SITUATION“Tim makes me so mad. I hate him!” Sara, a new client, was yelling at me. Truth be told, Tim does not make Sara angry. He triggers her rage, but Sara is making herself furious.

It works like this. Sara’s focus on Tim’s current behavior pulls up certain thoughts, memories, and pictures in her mind. These create the meanings she attaches to Tim. At this moment, she sees him as mean and unreasonable. The meanings she attaches then cause the emotion (anger) that Sara is feeling.

But let’s suppose Tim makes Sara laugh and hands her a small gift. Her focus will still be on Tim, but the meaning she attaches to him will change. I’m pretty sure her emotion will change from hate to something more positive, hopefully love.

Note: Our focus causes the meaning we attach to a person, thing, or situation and this causes the emotions we feel.

WHAT ARE WE TO DO?      Our challenge is to stay aware of our reactions and take full responsibility for them. It’s true that others trigger emotions in us. But how we process that flow of energy and information depends on us. Moreover, we mustn’t forget that in most cases we repeat these useless reactions over and over again. We get stuck in this habitual way of reacting, and it’s up to us to train ourselves to get unstuck.

BAD NEWS - GOOD NEWS     If we refuse to take responsibility and insist that others are making us feel a certain way, we give away our power to change ourselves. We are at others’ mercy until they make us feel different. In contrast, if we take responsibility for our reactions, we can choose to do something about them. If we acknowledge them, and our responsibility in them, we are better prepared to resolve the issues and situations that cause them.

THIS MIGHT HELP   If you struggle with taking responsibility for your reactions, do not despair, the tools and four steps of the Choice-Cube Method found in the book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, can teach you how to train yourself to take responsibility for your reactions and change them.

A LITTLE SECRET     Here’s a secret. Forgiving is often necessary for us to change our focus. This means forgiving others and ourselves! Sometimes forgiving is possible only with help from God or our Higher Power. Connection to God or our Higher Power can often help us find the compassion and forgiveness we seek.

My book, Become the Person You Were to Be, gives you the chance to explore some of these ideas. Look inside the book at or download its first chapter for FREE. Just click here and get an idea of what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you