The Happiness Connection  

Discover your Zen

What do you want most for yourself and your family? If you are like most people, your answer will be – to be happy.

We all yearn for this elusive emotion. It’s elusive because we aren’t designed to be happy all the time. Our negative emotions are there to help us survive.

Whenever our minds perceive we are in a win-lose scenario, our negative emotions help to focus us on our primary goal — survival.

In primitive times, winning meant surviving and this programming is still with us.

It is hard for most people to describe clearly what they mean when they say that want to be happy. Happiness is an emotion, not a skill. You know what it feels like, but not necessarily what causes it.

I believe you can attain that happy feeling by learning to be at peace with your life.

Awareness is always the key to change, so start by carefully looking at your life.

Are you at war with your life? Don’t answer that until you have read and answered the following questions.

  • Do you get angry at little things, like when a driver cuts in front of you?
  • Do you fume when you can’t sleep because your partner is snoring too loudly, or they chew too vigorously when they eat?
  • Do feel tired and discouraged with life in general?

These are all signs that you are at war with your life.

Being in a war zone is not a great place to be if you want to experience positive emotions.

How do you eliminate these war zones from your life and find peace?

Don’t be a controller

I come from many generations of controllers. I’m not sure if it is in our DNA, or we have just copied our elders. Either way we are masters of overt and covert control.

I speak from experience when I say, controllers live in humongous war zones.

No one will ever do things exactly the way you envision, so if you try to control everything other people do, you are bound to be disappointed and frustrated. People let you down, because they aren’t just like you. They do things differently and have their own opinions.

The other big problem controllers encounter, is believing that everything is within their control.

I don’t care who you are, the chances of you controlling the weather is slim to none, and yet many people melt into anger, frustration, and despair when it rains on their big outside party.

Learn to recognize the things you can’t control and let them go. Be at peace with them.

Remember that other people’s journeys have nothing to do with you

We are all on our own journey through life. Even your partner and children are taking their own trek. Don’t try to control someone else. Share your wisdom and viewpoints, but leave the decision making for their life up to them.

Parents find this particularly difficult, but if your children don’t learn to be responsible for their own lives, how will they manage if you are no longer there to make the decisions.

All parents want their children to be happy, and regardless of what you believe, that won’t happen if you are navigating their lives for them. They are not mini versions of you. They are individuals, with visions of their own.

Learn to recognize the things you shouldn’t try to control. Be at peace with this knowledge.


Trust is the key to being at peace with your life.

Trust that you will find a way to deal with everything that life throws at you. Learn to listen to your intuition, and believe in your abilities.

Trust that your loved ones are learning from their own paths, and will learn more by being in control of their decisions and accepting responsibility.

If you encourage your children to make their own decisions when they are young, it will be easier for them to trust themselves as they get older.

Trust that what happens in your life happens for you, not to you. There is always a lesson, or opportunity to grow in every circumstance you encounter, both the good and the bad.

If you really want to be happy, discover your Zen and be at peace with your life. 

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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