These are two very different world-views. Instead of seeing them in terms of black and white, we can see what Happy Dad’s wisdom can do to open our eyes about happy living: people are constructive with us, if we are constructive with them. We can also see why Unhappy Dad is locked in a self-fulfilling prophecy: people withdrawn from us, if we withdraw from them. Of course, most of us, are oscillating among the twos.
|Happy Dad||Unhappy Dad|
|Happy Dad lives in an AmAre way. AmAre stands for being:
* A – Aware and Accepting
* M – Motivated and Meditating
* A – Active and Attentive
* R – Resilient and Respectful
* E – Eating properly and Exercising
In Italian, AmAre means “to love”; in English, interconnectedness: (I)Am (we) are.
|Unhappy Dad has quite a confused life, and lives accordingly to:
* A – Attached
* V– Vindicative
* E– Egocentric
* R – Reluctant
* E – Exhausted and Exhausting
In Italian, Avere means “to have”, “to own”.
|He knows the importance of being Aware: aware of context, aware of feelings, intentions. Aware of how we see things, our strengths, values and biases. Aware that, even if we can be almost everything we want to be, we have limited time and resources, so often we are better of by using our strenghts, leveraging them in new contexts.
Happy Dad cares about being Accepting. Through our awareness and actions, he gained the courage to change the things we can change, the serenity to accept the things we cannot change. And, especially, the wisdom to know the difference.
|He is Attached. That is one of main reason why he is unhappy. He searches lasting happiness in short-lived external factors; that is like basing one’s main meals on snacks, or trying to repay a long-term mortgage using short-term credit card limits. Unhappy Dad is attached to things, because they seem easier “to control”, and also people, to validate his ego.
What he could do to improve, is to see things as meanings towards and end, and stop seeing material possessions as ends in themselves. Also, he can start caring and loving, keeping an eye on when what he does is about compassion and when it is about ego.
|Happy Dad knows the importance of being Motivated and Meditating. Being motivated means we cultivate our motivation to live joyfully and be kind to all. Initially, we may decide to be kind because so people are kind to us; with our experiences, resulting in improved awareness, we understand it is good to be kind because we, as different as we are, all share the same aspiration and right to be happy. Being motivated means to have an intention to live happily, knowing happiness is lasting only when it is shared. When we pursue a specific goal in our daily life, being motivated means to know what we want to do, by leveraging our strengths and grow the energies necessary to move into Being Active.||He is Vindicative, in an “eye for an eye” style; he thinks that, even if that would make the world blind, that is not his problem, because he didn’t “make the rules”. A struggling way to decline any responsibility.
He would become happier if he would learn it is not about forgetting what is a perceived as a “tort”, but about forgiving other human beings.
|Happy Dad is Active, because only action bring tangible results; he knows that reading dozens of books about cars doesn’t make a person a Formula 1 racer, it all comes done to practising what one’s says.
He is Attentive, because we also need to be receptive of the feedback and reactions to what we do in any given context. Being active and being attentive are a self-reinforcing loop which brings positive results to us and to the people, beings and environment we listen to.
|Unhappy Dad is Egocentric. Always trying to get the best for himself, he takes the roller-coster of the two different polarity of egocentrism: protagonism and victimism. Of course, considering that he looks only after himself, other people will often reciprocate with similar behaviour, making it a self-reinforcing way to loneliness.
He would become happier by starting to care for other people, creating a reciprocal web of caring and compassion.
|Happy Dad is Resilient. He knows very well that life is not always a big smiling adventure, he knows external situations can be tough. He also knows how to bounce back on his feet.
He is also Respectful, because resilience is about persistance and not growing a hard-skin. Respectful of himself, other people (who are, too, trying to be happy, who may just behave in ways we consider strange just because they do not feel well), beings and environment.
|He is Reluctant to do anything which doesn’t pay him a short-term dividend.
Instead, he could start being open to do ethical things, because we are all on the same boat, and, regardless of short-term results which may be a rollercoaster, in the long term we receive what we have given.
|Happy Dad knows the importance of Eating properly, in terms of quality, quantity and company. He knows that, to keep healthy, he needs Exercising, which doesn’t have to be at the gym; every opportunity is good to keep fit. For example, instead of getting in and out of the car just to cover a few blocks, he knows he can walk.||Unhappy Dad is Exhausted and Exhausting. He doesn’t know when to stop, and pushes others in the same way.
He could start appreciating the power of re-charging. It is enjoyable, plus makes performances better. We all need to unplug, at our own pace.
Happy Dad is not concerned about being perfect. He focuses on being honest, fair and taking care of his family. From his chemistry classes, he knows that nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed; he is aware of change, and embraces it. He knows that the “pursuit of happiness” is a misleading phrase: if you pursue happiness, you’ll never find it and surely end up somewhere else. Happiness is about living happily, starting from here and now. You can do it, too; the only question is: will you do it? And the answer is almost entirely up to you. External factors can be deeply influenced by us, but almost never fully determined; the freedom we always have is the one to decide what to do, in the context where we are here and now; to decide what we want to change, what we want to embrace.