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The Happiness Factor: How to be HAPPY no Matter WHAT!
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The Art of SDASU
For years I have poured over thousands
of pages of research, investigated the world’s religions and
delved into hundreds of books by some of the world’s most
respected experts in the self-help field. There is so much
information available it would be quite easy for someone to
be inundated with tips, tricks and promises on how to be
happy and be at peace. You could spend a lifetime trying to
implement all the principles and techniques that promise a
better life. I have found something that is almost universal
among all the materials – The Art of SDASU –when practiced,
it brings all the other methods, techniques and principles
SDASU stands for “Sit down
and shut-up!” This is the ancient art
of calming your mind by calming your body. All too often we
are caught up in the busy-ness of life that we barely have
time to sit down and enjoy a meal, let alone be quiet. For
many of us, silence is uncomfortable as we rush to fill
silence with endless banter about TV shows, Twitter updates,
Text messages and video games. It as if we have become
uncomfortable with being with ourselves.
The benefits of SDASU are enormous
allowing you to understand yourself better, accept your
surroundings, put your problems and adversity into
perspective and help you develop strength and character.
While The Art of SDASU can be a
lifelong quest to master through meditation, let me propose
a few things that can get you started. These are four things
that I have found to be fundamental and very easy to do.
A first step and one that can bring
great benefits is to raise your tolerance for silence.
It will take some practice to become comfortable with
silence. One way to practice this is to turn off the radio
in the car. You will be surprised at what happens in a
silent car. You may receive inspiration to solve problems,
think of new ideas for your business or just feel at peace.
This is even true when you are stuck in traffic or when have
a passenger in the car with you. Another way to practice
this is to allow more pauses in conversation. Don’t jump in
to fill the pauses in a conversation. Allow yourself a few
seconds to be quiet. The other person will likely continue
talking and you may learn something new.
Next, raise your
tolerance for being alone. There are many people who
have a very difficult time being alone and spend a lot of
time and energy in seeking company just to not be alone. One
way to test your tolerance for being alone is to imagine
eating alone at a restaurant. Just the thought of eating
dinner alone may cause some discomfort. I recommend a
few practice sessions with step one before you start the
practice of becoming comfortable with being alone.
Don’t do something, sit there! One way to practice SDASU is
to raise your tolerance for doing nothing.
Most of us have been raised and programmed to think that if
we are not busy we are lazy. That is simply not the case and
I challenge you to re-think that position. My best thoughts
come when I am doing nothing. There is so much busy-ness
that we barely have time to think. Take time to do nothing.
This does not mean sitting in front of the TV or playing
video games. It means just sitting there. You can try this
the next time you go to the doctor or the dentist. While you
are in the waiting room, just sit there and do nothing.
Enjoy your surroundings. Another way to do this would be go
to a park and just sit on a park bench.
Lastly, learn to be comfortable
with yourself. One reason you may have a hard time
with silence, being alone and just sitting there is because
you are not comfortable with yourself. This may take some
practice but it is a logical and natural outcome of the
first three above. Learn to be your best friend, to be at
peace when no one else is around. You really don’t need
others to praise you, to pay attention to you. You are great
the way you are. Feel it and live it.
One way to kick-start The Art of SDASU
would be to attend a silent retreat. A silent retreat is
where you go to a peaceful location and practice being in
and with silence. This can truly be a transformational
experience. If you are interested, I suggest you check out
Riverside Retreats. Riverside Retreats is a leader in
offering silent retreats in one of the most beautiful
settings near the Payette River in Idaho. You can learn more
Learning and practicing The Art of
SDASU will pay big dividends. You will feel more peace,
handle change and adversity better and feel more energy and
you will begin to experience happiness on a new level.
Kirk Wilkinson – author of the
bestselling book The Happiness Factor: How to be Happy no
Time does not heal all wounds!
I have heard it said that “withholding
forgiveness is like grabbing on to a red-hot coal with the
intention of throwing it at someone.” Perhaps you have heard
that “not forgiving is like swallowing a slow acting poison
hoping it will harm someone else.” Let’s face it,
forgiveness is not about the person who has hurt or offended
you, it is all about you. Forgiveness is a gift you give
yourself - a gift that has enormous benefits and keeps on
In my next
book, Don’t let the past ruin your day – How to go
from Victim to Hero in Ninety Seconds! (due out next
spring) I share how forgiveness is a pathway to happiness
that helps you rise above being a victim to being the hero
of your own life. You see, forgiveness is a reflection of
your self-worth and integrity and allows you to identify
yourself, not by past events, injuries or offences, but by
who you are, what you represent and how you feel about
yourself. In fact, forgiveness is one of the ways you can
start to re-build your self-worth.
we approach forgiving as an outward event, something we
‘give’ to someone else. I believe that the first step to
forgiving is to recognize your own value, your own
self-worth and how much you deserve emotional freedom. It
is more like a ‘gift’ we give ourselves.
example, let’s say that you have been wronged by some
injustice. Would you drive to the county jail and lock
yourself in a cell? Sounds absurd doesn’t it? Well, the
truth is that when you have been wronged and don’t take
steps to forgive you end up losing some your emotional
freedom as if you are locked up in some kind of emotional
jail cell. Set yourself free by learning how to forgive,
practicing it and doing it regularly.
cases you are the one hurting the most and the person you
are blaming has likely moved on and doesn’t feel as bad as
the choice to stop hurting when you reach the point of
wanting to take your life back and that you want to heal.
When you finally reach that point forgiveness becomes a real
kid ourselves by thinking that forgiveness is easy or that
it is unnecessary or that we have already forgiven something
that still bothers us and causes us pain. Deciding to
forgive someone who has harmed you is a hard choice to make.
There are some hurts, offenses, betrayals and abuse that
seem too horrible to forgive. Because we are human, because
of our programming our natural response is to seek revenge
and to get even and demand an apology or retribution.
also remember that the one person who deserves your
forgiveness more than anyone else is you!
is both a daily practice and a journey but one that can
release us from bitterness and hatred. Think of how much
room you would have for happiness by unloading the burden of
past offenses. Yes, forgiveness is a journey but we begin
healing from the very first step.
forgive with real intent we break out of the emotional
prison we have built up around us. You can break free; you
can feel peace, happiness instead of bitterness and anger.
Do it today!
Kirk Wilkinson – Author of The
Happiness Factor: How to be Happy no Matter What!