The Secret to Happiness

The Secret to Happiness

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to talk about one of life’s greatest challenges and the secret to happiness.

First a quick update:

“Liars, cheaters &  adulterers – the politicians”– Read the long list I compiled of the prominent scandals and cheating of US politicians dating back to 1974. 

I wish to correct the name of the magazine whose cause I am promoting: “It’s All In The Journey” – a recovery magazine that printed my article on “Emotional Vampires” ( They are auctioning an original Jim Warren painting on eBay (ART category) with proceeds donated to Joy’s House – a new sober house for women in Miami ( Jim Warren is the famous painter who did the cover to Bob Seger’s “Against the Wind” album. So if you love art and want to help a worthy cause please bid for this painting on eBay.

Now, let’s talk about the secret to happiness.

In last week’s Success Newsletter, I shared with you the Gestalt prayer – a short statement that is often touted as an ideal way to live life. I pointed out that the magic in that prayer relates to expectations:

“I am not in this world to live up to your expectations and you are not in this world to live up to mine.”

The Gestalt prayer promotes the teaching that we could find greater peace and better relationships if we could learn to accept ourselves and others, rather than always trying, demanding and expecting the other person to be who we want them to be – no matter who that person is – a wife, husband, mother, father, daughter, son, boss, friend or employee.

The opposite of expectation is acceptance – acceptance of “what is”, right now.

We struggle so hard and waste so much energy trying to control and change everyone and everything around us. Our challenge is acceptance: acceptance of who we are, who other people are and the way that life is.

Of course, “accepting others as they are” does not imply allowing people to walk all over you or abuse you.

In order to accept ourselves, we must first know who we are. The definition of “who we are” is much greater than simply a broad religious or esoteric belief such as “we are children of God…we are divine…we are powerful beyond our imagination…we are pure potential, we are light, etc. “

Some teachers, writers and philosophers state that “our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure” – Marianne Williamson’s book “A Return to Love” which is based on the teachings from “A Course in Miracles.” But I have never yet found that person whose greatest challenge in accepting themselves is accepting that they are powerful beyond measure. We may have enormous power – whatever that definition may be, but that is not our greatest fear. Some people may fear the power of their anger, or the power of their physical strength but why would someone fear their power if it could create good in the world? And yes, it is true that we do collectively have enormous power – the ability to create and destroy. Michael Jackson aptly described it in his “Earth Song”

What about animals
We’ve turned kingdoms to dust
What about elephants
Have we lost their trust
What about crying whales
We’re ravaging the seas
What about forest trails
Burnt despite our pleas
What about the holy land
Torn apart by creed
What about the common man
Can’t we set him free
What about children dying
Can’t you hear them cry
Where did we go wrong
Someone tell me why
What about babies
What about the days
What about all their joy
What about the man
What about the crying man
What about Abraham
What about death again
Do we give a damn

So, yes, we have enormous power as humans – both dark and light – but our untapped, individual power is not our greatest fear.


I believe that our greatest fear is the fear of rejection – in all its forms – being found out or exposed, not being good enough, being a loser, failure, an impostor, a failure disguised as success, not measuring up, being inadequate, not being worthy, being humiliated, embarrassed, being unlovable, etc.  (Read my article “Are you and impostor?” where I reveal insights into Charlie Sheen and the impostor syndrome).
And it is that fear which drives us to engage in destructive behavior. And in our craving to escape that fear of rejection, we reject others and tell them that they are not good enough and that they must change; they must meet our expectations.

And so, to what am I referring, when I ask, “Can you accept the truth?”?

I am referring to the ability and choice of accepting the truth of who you are.

Can you accept all of you?
Can you accept your weaknesses as well as your strengths?
Can you accept your darkness as well as your light?
Can you accept your flaws as well as your diamonds?
Can you love every aspect of you?

Acceptance leads to freedom.


It neutralizes the addiction to trying to change what cannot be changed.

And in order to accept something, we must first identify exactly what it is and see it as a whole, every part of it.

When you can say “I identify that I have anger; I accept that I have anger”, then you can decide if you wish to let it go or not. The addict’s greatest problem is moving beyond denial and admitting and accepting that he or she has a problem, a weakness, an addiction. We all have weaknesses; we all have addictions – the craving to be right, the craving and need for others to change or to be perfect, the craving for us to be perfect, the craving to be eternally young and beautiful, and so forth. Ultimately, I believe, all of our addictions come from the same source – our inability to accept our past and present – what happened and what is.

Only when we are honest and when we can see all of us – the good and bad – are we ready to be released from our own prison of judgment and fear. Yes, once we choose to see all of us – every aspect of us – we can accept what is and move towards forgiveness and letting go.

Having said that, I do believe that the truth of who you are is so much more than the flaws you see, the self doubt you have or the fears and insecurities. The truth is you do have great power, enormous potential and talent, but to tap into it and freely express it, you must overcome the fear or rejection, of not being good enough or deserving of the best, of love.

If you would like to learn more about “who you are” – your temperament, qualities, strengths, weaknesses and even blocks, use my personality test “Who Are You?”  This one hour and twenty-minute program also gives you the skills to deal with, understand, motivate and accept others.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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