Happiness Is the Way | How to Reframe Your Thinking | Wayne Dyer | Book Summary



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Happiness Is the Way: How to Reframe Your Thinking and Work with What You Already Have to Live the Life of Your Dreams by Wayne Dyer

Dr Wayne Dyer was affectionately known as ‘the father of motivation’ by his fans. This is the first new book from this beloved spiritual teacher since he passed into spirit, and draws on his audio lectures from the 90s and 00s. This is a chance for his long-time fans to rediscover some of his inspirational talks and for his younger followers to read his classic teachings.

One of Dr Wayne Dyer’s favourite quotes was: ‘When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change’. In this collection of his most classic teachings, published for the first time in writing, readers will find a novel solution for any problem they may encounter at this time. As Wayne liked to say: ‘There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way’.


Attitude Is Everything

Happiness is an inner concept. That is, you can have it if you decide to have it. If you have it inside you, you bring your happiness to everything you do. You bring it to your work. You bring it to your relationships. No matter what, you just have it; you don’t have to try to get it.


If you want to be a truly happy human being, the first thing you must do is really absorb this notion: Everything that you experience in your life is a result of your perception of whatever is out there in the world. In other words, you have to take responsibility for all aspects of your life.


Responsibility Means Response-ability

In life, you don’t get to control everything that happens to you, but you get the choice to respond to everything with ability.


Think for a minute about an orange. When you squeeze it as hard as you can, what comes out? Orange juice, of course. But the question is, why does juice come out when an orange is squeezed?


The answer is, because that is what’s inside. Now, does it matter who does the squeezing? Does it matter how you do it, what instrument you use, or what time of the day you do it? No. When you squeeze an orange, what always comes out is what’s inside. Similarly, when you squeeze a person—that is, put pressure on them of any kind—and anger and hatred and stress and depression come out, it isn’t because of who is doing the squeezing or when they do it or how they choose to do it. It’s because that is what’s inside that person.


If you don’t have it inside, it can never come out, no matter what your circumstances are.


When somebody cuts you off on the freeway and you’re mad as hell, it isn’t because they cut you off that you’re so upset; it’s because that is what you carry around inside. And when you stop carrying that around inside, nothing that anybody does can upset you.  In other words, no one can depress you. No one can make you anxious. No one can hurt your feelings. No one can make you anything other than what you allow inside.


Next, imagine a lit candle: if you were to walk outside with it, the wind would blow out the flame pretty quickly. Likewise, there are all kinds of outside forces you are going to encounter in life that may make you feel as if your inner candle—which symbolizes who you are as a human being—is getting blown out all the time.


But in fact, you can ensure that your inner flame never even flickers. Outside of you, any number of things can and will happen that you’re not in control of: the storms of life, taking the form of illness or an accident or any other unforeseen event, may strike at any moment. And perhaps the highest place you can get to in life is to understand that your own inner development, symbolized by that candle flame, can stay strong and bright regardless of what’s going on out there.



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The Choice To Grow Is Yours

Awakened people are motivated by growth rather than a sense of lack or deficiency. Those kinds of people are the ones who are going to make this planet operate at a higher level—and we can all strive for the same thing. You may currently feel that you’re motivated by your deficiencies, thinking, you want to improve yourself. But keep in mind that you don’t have to be sick to get better.


You don’t have to look at yourself as in bad shape in order to grow.

Everything in the universe is exactly as it should be. So stop judging it, including the part that is yourself, and go to work. Resolve the things that you don’t like and accept those you can do nothing about. Run your life on this concept: Each day is great. Where I am is just fine, and so is where I’m going. That’s called growth motivation, and it’s a choice you can make right now.


Who You Really Are: Six Things You Are Not

To realize who you really are, it’s important to look at a few of the things you are not, even though you’ve probably been told the opposite for your entire life.

  1. You are not your name.Your name is just something that was given to you to separate you from all the other forms that are on the planet.
  2. You are not your body. When you say, “This is my arm,” the implication is you own something called an arm. Not that you are the arm, but you are the owner of it.
  3. You are not your mind.“I was thinking this morning” means that you are the thinker of the thought, the “I” who thinks it.
  4. You are not your occupation.You’re not an engineer or a teacher or a shopkeeper or a secretary or a nurse; such role identification keeps you from your own, true higher self.
  5. You are not your relationships.You are something that is observing the relationship and someone who is in a relationship, but you are not the relationship itself.
  6. You are not your country, your race, your religion, or any of the other labels that you have placed upon yourself.You are something that is independent of all that, something that is observing it all. There is nothing about you and your racial or ethnic or geographical qualities or characteristics that makes you better than anybody else on this planet who has different racial or ethnic or geographical qualities.


Lead with Love

A lot of studies have been done on the difference in business between leaders and followers, and it seems that there are two things that really separate them:

  1. Leaders always see the big picture, or the connection to the whole. Problem-oriented follower is somebody who sees only their job and what they have to do within their department. Solution-oriented leader, on the other hand, sees that everything a person does in their job affects not only their department but also the next department and the entire company and the profit picture and so on.
  2. Leaders anticipate the long-range effect of everything that is being done.For example, if they’re on an airplane and see a flight attendant being rude to a customer, the leader recognizes how that behavior impacts the entire organization in the moment as well as how it will impact future business for years to come.


If you’re thinking only about your particular organization and how someone’s behavior impacts the organization now or in the future, then you’re still limiting yourself. You have to look at the impact on your community, your country, and humanity to see the biggest picture of all.


Enjoy the Journey

You’re familiar with the saying, “It’s the journey, not the destination.” You want to see that every step along the way to realizing your goals is just as important to savor as getting there. Just as happiness and success are both inner concepts, so is fulfillment. If you think that you’re going to find fulfillment by obtaining a goal you have worked really hard for, then your life is all about external striving.


You don’t act as if, “Maybe if I set all these goals and work really hard at them, then I’ll get what I want. Boy, will I be excited once I finally get there.”  If you’re focused only on striving, you cannot be a no-limit person. If you concentrate your energy solely on goals to reach in the future, you will always be a ego-dominated person who suffers from the disease of more. What you need is a psychology of arriving, not striving.


Send Love to Everyone

Take a moment to think about all the people in your life with whom you have any conflict. If it’s about something that happened with your mother when you were two, if it’s your neighbor, if it’s your boyfriend, whoever it is, list them in your mind, from the person with whom you have the most trouble to the one who just annoys you. Then send them all love.


See, it’s easy to send love to the folks who do the things they’re supposed to do, who are nice to you and smell good. Commit to working on this: every time you find negativity in your life, practice sending out love to that person, even if somebody is being really nasty to you. You can practice with something as small as dealing with aggressive drivers, and then move on to bigger things, like when someone uses cutthroat tactics at work or a friend betrays your confidence. Eventually you’ll make that a way of life.


Forgive Everyone

You don’t have to forget; you just have to forgive. You don’t have to call them up or send them notes if that’s not what you want to do. Just let it go—when you do, that’s called non-attachment. You are no longer attached to this person or their behavior, and when you’re not attached to it, you’re then free to be the creative genius you are.


Think of yourself as holding on to prison bars and screaming, “Let me out! Let me out!” Then you look to the left and to the right of the bars, and it’s all open space. You turn around, and it’s all open space back there. Because of your tunnel vision, you’ve been looking straight ahead at the only way you know how to do things.


All those entrapments have made you feel like you’re locked in a cell, but look to the left and look to the right and look behind you. You are holding onto bars in a cell that is open—all you have to do is let go and walk around them.


9 Questions to Help Spark Change

As we come to the end, let’s turn to a series of questions to ponder, in order to guide you on your way to a no-limit life:

  1. If you suddenly discovered that you had six months to live, how would you change your life
  2. Who would you choose to live with, if you could live with anyone else in the world and had no history with those you’ve lived with up until now?
  3. Where would you choose to live if you had no awareness of where you’ve lived up until now?
  4. How much sleep do you think you would get if you had no clock and no ability to measure time?
  5. When and how much would you eat if there were no such thing as mealtimes?
  6. What would you do if there were no such thing as money?
  7. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?
  8. What kind of a personality would you have if you were starting today?
  9. How would you describe yourself, if you couldn’t use any labels?


With the answers to these questions, you’ll find your sense of purpose. You won’t focus on external motivators anymore. You’ll focus on what you believe in, your mission and see every other stuff gets taken care of. It simply is.

The world is so perfect, if we only stop to realize it is. There is no way to happiness. Happiness itself is the way.



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