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Dany's Axioms (or how to be happier)

This is my on-going list of (currently 15) Axioms – things that when I believe them, or at least act like I believe them, I am happier and so are those around me. These things contribute to the well-being of myself and those I love.

  1. Energy undirected will find form. – If you raise energy without directing it, it may find outlets you are not comfortable with. Buried emotions can come up when you least expect it. Energy is as real as matter, find ways to channel it safely.

  2. Make conscious the unconscious. – If you make conscious the unconscious motivations, results and ideals of yourself or others’, you make informed choice possible.

  3. Kindness and respect are everyone’s due, even you. – No matter what they or you have done, it is never a bad idea to treat someone with kindness and respect.

  4. Everyone is doing the best they know how to do given the resources they currently have. – That doesn’t mean that you approve of what they are doing. But they may not have had the knowledge, experience, stability or physical ability to have done it differently. Offering help in such areas will result in better results than punishment. Of course, if they do not want to do it differently, protecting yourself is also an option.

  5. Never assume malice. – Most of the time, people act without the understanding of why they do what they do, let alone the consequences of their behavior. That does not mean you must accept the behavior. But it is usually not helpful to assume malice.

  6. It probably isn't about you. – We often react to other people as a child who thinks the world revolves around them. Most of the time, when other people are angry or afraid, it is not about us but about their own history.

  7. You are responsible for your own actions or inactions. – We may not always be in control of our emotions, but we are responsible for our behavior. We are not responsible for the behavior of others. Even parents can only guide their children.

  8. Everything and everyone changes. – You can't go back. Places change, people change. For example, if you knew someone ten years ago, you must learn them anew. Survival is about adapting to changing situations.

  9. Breathe deep and slow, and the pain will go. – Taking time to breathe, relax and think can help in most areas of life. Breathing deep and relaxing will lessen physical pain by getting additional oxygen into the blood stream. It also helps you get in touch with your body, emotions, and make better decisions.

  10. When in doubt, talk it out. – Check with the person you are upset with. Share with, ask questions and really listen to them. Maybe you don’t have all the facts. Maybe it is a misunderstanding. You won’t know until you talk. If you can’t or are too upset to talk to them yet, talk with someone who can help you get a reality check on what you are thinking.

  11. Create detours, not road blocks. – If someone is doing or saying something you do not like or are unhappy with the way they are doing it, suggest an alternative. They may not know another way. By focusing on what you want instead of what you do not want, you may both get what you need.

  12. The only way out, is through. – No matter what happened, you have to move forward. You can't avoid the consequences, we have to work through them. You can turn, make a new path, but you can't retrace your steps backward. Learn from the past, but move toward the future.

  13. Put your own mask on first. – Airlines always caution people in an emergency to put their own oxygen mask on first before helping others. The urge to help others is good but if you don't take care of yourself, you will be of no help to anyone else.

  14. Birds have wings, cats have claws and humans have culture. – We are an interdependent species. We evolved to function as part of social groups. It is our greatest sources of stress and our key to success. Never underestimate the need to be part of a human community. Children are not the only ones who need the village to be healthy. The trick is to balance individual needs with that of other people.

  15. Balance in all things. – Happiness is not in excess but in the balance of all things in one’s life. To be whole is to allow for complexity and to find a way to give space for competing elements – needs/desires/feelings/ideas.

Copyright D. Atkins 2005. Last revised 9/2/2013