…if only people knew
By Lori Carpenos, LMFT and Jack Pransky, Ph.D.
Very happy people all have one thing in common, though most of them don’t even know what it is. They spend more time living in positive, upbeat thinking than the rest of the population. They don’t do it on purpose; it’s natural to them. If you took a closer look you’d see that they don’t focus on what they don’t like in life. They are more enamored with, more intrigued by, and more interested in the joyful aspects of life. If two poles existed with positivity at one end and negativity at the other, they would naturally gravitate toward the positive. Because they enjoy it so much they tend to have more benevolent thinking. They don’t even know they’re doing it because they don’t think they’re doing anything. And they’re not; they’re just being. They would say, “Well, what other way is there to be?”
How do we know this about them? Because we know this about us! It’s not that we’re happy all the time, but when we’re not we don’t take it too seriously. We know it will pass and, lo and behold, the happiness eventually returns.
Unlike many of the people we spoke of above, seeing through the eyes of happiness and positivity did not come naturally to us. Jack’s ex-wife used to call him “Doctor Doom” because he was always looking at what could go wrong. Lori was depressed for years and spent years talking about it to a therapist!
But we learned something.
We learned about “The Three Principles,” and by “principles” we mean “universal truths” or facts about how our entire experience of life is created—not what happens to us in life, but what we make of what happens to us, or our internal experience of whatever happens to us. In other words, what we have come to understand about these three psychological/spiritual principles at the core of all human experience is what brought us to the state in which happy people naturally live. Anyone can attain a happier, more joyous experience of life with a deep enough understanding of these principles.
We do not have enough space here to go into detail about what the three universal principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought are, but to cut to the chase, at their essence and most simply, what these principles mean is that whatever happens in the outside world can never make us happy or unhappy. What makes us happy or unhappy or any other feeling or emotion comes from our own thinking appearing and feeling real to us. Happy people are happy because they see themselves and the world through happy eyeballs (their own thinking), plain and simple. Unhappy people are unhappy because they see the very same things through the eyes of anger or upset or disappointment or frustration or worry or bother or depression or any other emotion. In other words, happy people create their own happiness simply because of what they see with their own creative power of thought made to look and feel real by their consciousness. Therefore, happiness is their own creation.
And here is an even more amazing thing that we learned from understanding the three principles: If we didn’t take our unhappy thoughts seriously they wouldn’t impact us and we would automatically be happy! We don’t have to go out of our way to think up positive or happy thoughts (that’s too hard!), because joy and happiness is already naturally built into the human spirit, and the only way human beings cannot experience it is if they create the illusion with their own thinking that life is otherwise. Such thinking puts a veil over the internal happiness that exists, and which would be there for everyone to see if they weren’t thinking otherwise. Now, there is nothing one can do to stop those thoughts and the resulting feelings from popping into our heads, but when other than joyful, loving, peaceful or wise thoughts do pop in, we don’t have to take them to heart, we don’t have to believe them, trust them or follow them. We simply allow them to pass through like clouds across the sun.
We could not have an experience of anything without the ability to think! That’s a fact. We could not have an experience of anything if we had no consciousness of our thoughts; it would be like reading a book in a foreign language that we didn’t understand a word of. That’s a fact. And without the energy behind life (the principle of Mind), the creative source of everything, we would not be able to think or be conscious. That’s a fact. All we have to understand is how these facts work together to create any possible experience, any feeling, we can ever have.
Think about it: We could not possibly be in a bad mood without low quality thoughts, and vice versa. We could not possibly be in a good mood without high quality thoughts and vice versa. Most of our thinking is not voluntary; thoughts just occur, constantly, for all of us every moment of our lives. We get into habits of thinking, however, which can result in labels, such as pessimist, optimist, worrywart, Debbie Downer, Nervous Nelly, etc. Our individual thoughts create outcomes—sort of a built-in system of consequences–all brought about by us!
Outcomes change however, for people who know enough about the three principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought and how they operate within every human being. A deep understanding of these principles naturally results in greater resilience, common sense, happier lives (no matter what is going on in the outside world), greater passion for life and a more generous spirit, as well as a greater appreciation for ordinary life experiences. There’s nothing to cultivate or make happen. These are the outcomes from a simple understanding.
This is not as much of a mystery as it sounds on the surface. Psychologist Abraham Maslow found that everyone in their best or peak moments displayed the same characteristics as ”self-actualized” people. In other words, even generally miserable people have happy moments, and in those happy moments they are thinking the way the happiest people think generally. This means we all have it in us to be happy because in moments we are! We all know how to be that way because it happens to us, sometimes even in spite of ourselves. All we have to do is realize what our minds look like and function like in those moments, allow it to happen more often and disbelieve our thinking when we’re not thinking that way.
We don’t want you to believe us. Simply look inside yourself and see if it’s true for you. If you want to learn more about it and understand it better you can watch interviews of people from all walks of life talk about these three principles at www.3PGC.org or www.threeprinciplesmovies.com or read books such as Somebody Should Have Told Us! by Dr. Jack Pransky. There is no doubt that understanding these Principles leads to greater happiness—at least it has been no doubt for us and for the thousands of others who have caught on to the way life really works.
If you live anywhere near Hartford, CT, USA please consider coming to a Retreat on Feb. 28 and March 1, led by two renowned 3 Principles teachers, Drs. Pettit and Sedgeman. You can find out more here: