Feb. 24, 2023

The Secret to Happiness Every day After Trauma

Are you searching for the secrets of happiness and how to maintain it?...
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/the-secret-to-happiness-every-day-after-trauma/#show-notes

Are you searching for the secrets of happiness and how to maintain it?

In this episode, we delve into the deep topic of happiness and explore what it truly means to be happy. Join us as we discuss the true happiness and how it can be both a choice and a chemical response. Michael Unbroken shares his experiences of going through tough times, including homelessness, addiction, and abuse, and how she was able to find happiness even amid those challenges. Tune in to discover practical tips and strategies to cultivate and sustain happiness in your life, regardless of your circumstances.

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Hey! What's up my friends! I hope that you're doing well wherever you are in the world today. I'm doing well, actually, I'm super happy. And was thinking about this today and about what I wanted to share with you as if you're watching on the Internets, you'll see that I'm sitting here recording from my living room floor because I've really just had a moment of and I don't know if I'd call it inspiration maybe, or it just sat with me. I was like, oh, I know exactly what I want to talk about this week on Friday's episode, and I don't want to wait until I go to the studio on Monday to record. And so, I'm sitting here at home having really one of my days off, and I just felt so inspired to come and share this with you.

And I was thinking about this. What does it mean to be happy? How do you get that? And what do you do with it when you have it so that you don't lose it?

You know, I've been through incredibly painful in tumultuous experiences in my life. I've been through rock bottom; I've been through homelessness and abuse. I've been through addiction. I've been through loss and suffering and all the things that one can be go through. And I've also experienced just the most beautiful and incredible happiness that one could probably have. And there's so much thought about this idea about the choice in happiness and whether or not we have the ability to choose to be happy, whether or not it's psychological or chemical, whether it's based on our environment or if it's just something that is innately inside of us. You know, sometimes you see those people, they're so happy go-lucky about everything and you're like, that can't be real. And I agree, I actually know I don't think you can be happy all the time I think that's nonsensical. But at the same time, I don't think you have to hate the world all the time. And that's the thing that I've discovered over the years is like sometimes it's okay that you're just like, good, it doesn't always have to be bad, we don't always have to be looking for the glass half empty, and I think that's the thing that I want to begin today with you is like, how are you measuring your life?

And it's really hard to be comparative when we live in a world and a society in which we know that the vast majority of people who live in specially the United States where the majority of you are listening to this and in Western countries, like if you have access to this right now, like you are on the top 1% of the whole planet, freaking earth. And if maybe not, then why not? What I mean by that is if you don't feel like you're in that top 1%, like why don't you feel that way? Knowing you have access to the information, knowing you have access to more advice, more expertise, more guidance and more proof than ever before and in the history of the world. Like there is no question to me, in my mind, zero question to me in my mind that YouTube is the greatest thing that has ever happened in my life. Period. I used to go to the library all the time as a kid, I would spend hours upon hours, upon hours every day in the library, in the summer, in the winter, didn't matter there was a library around the corner from one of the houses that we lived in and the neighborhood that we lived, and I would always find my way back into the library. It was like this respite of peace, of calm, of happiness, and what I've discovered about myself, which you may want to ask yourself this question, is like, what do I need to be happy? What do I need to be happy? Because for me, what I used to think happiness was going to be, was going to be like, I need to have a bazillion dollars and I need to be the most famous person in the mental health space, and I need you know, I have 10 million followers and I need to have all this, it's like, need, need, need, need, need. It's like all this stuff that I needed to have. And you could look at Maslow's hierarchy of needs and you could look at the way that that flows. But ultimately, here's the thing that I believe, if you're paying attention, happiness could potentially be the definition for you. Like, do you get up every day with an opportunity? Do you wake up every single day and do you have an opportunity? ‘Cuz not everybody does. You know, real talk, not everyone to f***, I really didn't think I did for a very long time. You know, coming from the level of poverty I came from, watching my mother destroy her life through drugs and alcohol, my grandmother doing the same, having the abuse that I went through, not graduating, ruining relationship after relationship after a relationship, losing friendships, being massively in debt, breaking the law, like the whole thing, it was like, damn, like I'm never gonna be able to have happiness in this life. And then I realized like for me, and this is me, happiness is in learning like there is nothing that brings me more joy in the world than learning something like at its core because I know if I can learn something, I can create something with it and from it. And so, when I think about learning and I think about happiness, it's like, okay, cool, we can leverage that because there are days where bad things happen in my life. You know, just recently we lost a mentor, a friend, someone who's been a guest of the show, Dave Hollis. Dave was young man, he wasn't even 50 years old, had four little kids, was really a rising star in the world, and it was just like, poof. Gone. And I got emotional, I was sitting at dinner, this was Monday night. I was sitting at dinner with my friend Ken who I love dearly and master Jeff, if you don't know him, he's an awesome human, a great friend. My friend Jim, my friend Jamie, and we're all having dinner and Ken told me, and I just got him like, I just started getting teared up. So sad, so heartbreaking to lose somebody, to lose somebody young like, that's crazy like he wasn't even 50, like, that's insane to me like that's a less than a decade, for me, it's a little bit over a decade, but you know what I mean? And I got emotional for a minute and then I was like, man, I'm so happy, so happy that I got the opportunity with him and so happy that I got the space with him because so many of us, like we are all going to die, right? And we know this I talk about this all the time, you know this, I don't even need to say it, and you know it.

And so, I want you to challenge yourself on something. Why would you spend your whole life not being happy? Because if happiness is a choice, based on the information and data that you have, and you're listening to this show right now, and maybe you have a car or a house or you have food or you're not in the struggle like you used to be, and maybe you have a good relationship and you have a relationship with God or your spirit or universe. You have relationships that are getting rekindled with family. You can pick up the phone and call people and you have Netflix and you can order Uber Eats. Do you know why you're not happy? Well, I can tell you probably, and generally speaking, I'm not saying this is for everyone, but this is a reflection of my journey having had all the same things as you, coming from nothing and turning it around and having something is like I was looking at my life. I was like, oh, I'm not happy for one very simple reason because I'm choosing to look at the negative in everything. Everything. You know, those people and like real talking, you might be one of those people who look at the world glass half empty woe is me. I hate everyone. This s***. It could be a sunny outside, but it's raining on me, all of this. And look, of course, there's always space to talk about anxiety and depression and the things that we go through of course, you may need some chemical intervention there through pharmaceuticals. You may just need to change your diet. You know, like, honestly, you might be so inflamed that your cortisol’s are spiking and you're in this place where because of the dietary and lifestyle choices you make, you're always in this fight or flight state, right? So maybe it's not even that you're not happy, you're just eating b**** all the time putting poison in your body, right? Which I'm not gonna sit here and be like, I haven't done that ‘cause I do. Right. I have. I try my best not to. And sometimes it's like spoiling myself, right? But I digress.

Happiness is like right here for you, okay? If you grow up in homes like mine, I'll give you an example. Always volatile, always sad, always somebody else's fault. Our home might as well have been called Victim Central. Right? And that's a trickle-down effect ‘cuz trust me, my siblings and I, we suffered a lot. And I'm not trying to discount that at all, what I am saying is, like my mother, my stepfather, my grandmother, my uncle, the people who were supposed to be our protectors and our guides, all they did was play the d**** victim, they were never happy, never satisfied, never content, they were never, ever, ever in this space of gratitude, they never were thankful they never showed up and went the extra mile for other people, they were never more interested than interesting, they did not protect and promote, they did not feel healthy, wealthy, worthy, right? And those were decisions that they made through lifestyle, through circumstance in which they had control over, through a lot of different arenas, a lot of different reasons, and I played into that shit too. And you're probably playing into it right now, looking at your life, even though you live in maybe the top 1% of all human beings on planet earth, you're not happy. And I'm not talking about being unsatisfied like you should be unsatisfied in a lot of different ways in your life, about your goals, about your mission like you should never be satisfied about those things until you get them, until you've earned them and you've gotta be obsessed about them, you've gotta show up for them, you've gotta go and like push yourself to the brink to get those things sometimes I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about not having gratitude for the fact that you're alive, right now. And if you're alive and well, and I hope healthy, and your family's doing well, and you have even 500 bucks in the bank account and you're not working yourself to death, which some people have to, then you gotta kind of look at your life and go, am I actually in that bad of a situation or am I believing that I am because this is what was modeled to me, this is what was taught to me from my family, from my friends, from my community, from my mom, my dad, my siblings, the teachers, the schools complain victim less than lack of abundance. Is that what I learned from most people? Chances are the answers yes. Like real talk, like calling it what it is, the chances are the yes. Yep. Because that is what we come from, like the generation of people like you and I who are listening to this show right now like we are the people who are changing this forever. Shouldn't you be happy about that? It's like, I'm so happy about that every day. I'm like, f*** yeah, you know what's really great is that I hopefully don't have to have this conversation in 50 years. Right. Happiness is a really, really, really hard thing to come across when you don't give yourself the space to be grateful and have gratitude that you're alive right now. Say thank you more to yourself even.

You know, one of the things I love Snoop Dogg, like I love Snoop Dogg so much. When he got his walk of fame, he thanked everybody. He thanked Dre, he thanked Pac, Biggie, he thanked everybody who helped him on the come up. He thanked as his family, as kids, you know, he thanked everybody. And then he did something that I never seen anybody do that I loved, like to this day, I think about it all the time. He was like, and I want to thank me. I want to thank me for showing up. I want to thank me for doing the hard work. I want to thank me for putting myself in a position to be successful. I want to thank me and I was like, I love that because I want to thank me too because when I thank me, I feel more grateful and when I feel more grateful, I feel more happy. And when I feel happier, I can deliver better to my family, my community, you guys here listening to the podcast, right? And that comes through one really simple thing, like it's okay to have gratitude for yourself because I bet if you thanked yourself a little bit more, you'd be a little bit more kind to yourself and thus you'd have a little bit more happiness in your life. You know, we go to that mindset concept all the time. What you think is what you speak, what you speak, become your actions, your actions become your reality. So, if you're speaking gratitude and happiness into your life, chances are you're going to have more happiness in your life. You're thankful who's not happy when they're being praised. F***. Praise yourself. It's okay.

And then if you want to have long-term sustainable happiness, you gotta get into the dirt, you've gotta grind, you've gotta go chase that dream. You've gotta go do the thing in your soul that you know you need to do like, that's the thing people leave on the table. It's like happiness is in the moment, right? Happiness is fleeting. It's gonna come and go. Just like any emotion, anger, sadness, joy, love, like those things, they come and go. And that's just the nature of it, right? But if you keep going forward, moving towards those goals, you will find happiness in your life, that simple, my friends, that simple.

And look, happiness is like a car like, I'm gonna talk this out in real time ‘cuz this is like landing on me as I'm sitting here with you.

Happiness is like a car. Like you have to maintain your car, you have to get oil changes, you gotta go put gas in it. When the wiper fluid is out, you gotta put wiper fluid in there. You gotta clean the seat, like that is happiness. You know what I'm saying? Happiness is in doing the thing all the time. You neglect your car, it stops working. How do I know this? Because I've had cars that I neglected that stopped working, same thing that happened to my body, my happiness, my emotional capacity, like this, it just went away ‘cuz I stopped putting into it. You stop putting into yourself, you stop getting, right?

And happiness is also being of contribution to your community, your family, your friends, your church, your spirituality, your work, right? Like some of you are complaining every single day about everything, it's like, check yourself. You hate your job. Quit. Nobody wants to hear it. I'm not trying to be mean to you. Nobody cares. You're unsatisfied with your relationship. Go get a coach. That doesn't work. Get a therapist. That doesn't work. Get a coach and a therapist. That doesn't work. Go on a retreat. That doesn't work. Go to a conference. That doesn't work, all right, cool. Did you try everything? Great. Then you have to walk away. But you can't try everything and keep complaining and stay in it at some point, you gotta walk away. And sometimes the happiness is only going to come through doing those hard things, which I encourage everyone. It's like, go do the hard thing. Don't be afraid of it. Don't be afraid of it, because when you do the hard thing, like that's where life is. I never feel happier than the moment that I accomplished something that I thought was impossible, right? And even I think things are impossible and I'm like, okay, cool. Bet. Let's go figure it out. Can you go figure it out? Can you show up? Can you build into yourself every day? Leave it on the table. Go play all out. Live your life. There's a lot of excuses that you're allowed to have, like I'm not mad at you for having 'em like go and make them. You deserve to like, f*** life's hard sometimes, but it's only as hard as we choose to look at it.

If you choose to show up every single day and go, my life sucks. Your life will suck, I promise. And if you choose to go look at your life every day and go, my life is amazing. I'm proud of myself, I love myself. I'm grateful. I'm promoted and protected, I'm happy, healthy, wealthy. If you are showing up, you're asking for help, man, your life's gonna be so different. Right. If you're grinding, you're living this mentality of this idea of growth. You're finding mentors and coaches, and then you're looking at the actions that you're taking every day like happiness is abound. Happiness is abundance. There's no limit on happiness. Just like money, like there's no limit on money, there is so much money in the world, like happiness, like money is created. You go find it, you build it, you make it right. You borrow some from some people, some like sometimes I'm like, yo, I need some of your happiness. I'm having a f**** really bad day and it's here for you to have. But look, I mean like I love my life.

I am very fortunate because I had to like, this is the building confidence thing we often talk about. I had to suffer myself into happiness. Now, what do I mean by that? Suffering, if you look up the definition means something that is uncomfortable or of discomfort, and I had to go through a lot of being uncomfortable to get here with you today. It was like every time I did something harder and harder and harder and harder, like I just got happier. The confidence got built. I felt more capable. I loved myself more. I proved to myself capability.

And so, if you want long-term sustainable happiness, you gotta show up. You gotta play all out. You gotta get in the game. You've gotta stop leveraging the victim mentality, the lack mentality, the lies that your parents, your teachers, your peers told you growing up. You gotta turn off the news. Stop listening to them radio. Take all the music that isn't bringing you value. Get it out of your life. Stop watching television and movies that are that dangerous. Like, I mean, do you ever, like, if you really go like, I'm not trying to be a conspiracy theorist here, but if like you really go watch most movies, they're all massively violent like massively. Go watch happy movies with good endings where there's no violence, where there's a beautiful conversation about humanity and I bet you look at life through a different scope, because I'm telling you right now, the world is not as bad as people wanna make it out to be.

And so, we live in this society in which people are always like, man, life is so sh****. I'm like, your life is sh****. My life is amazing. Doesn't mean my life isn't hard, doesn't mean I'm happy all the time like, let's not be foolish. Like there are people who say, yes, you can be happy all the time. I go, okay, cool. I'm not sure I'm happy about the fact that my three best friends got murdered. I'm definitely not happy about the fact my mom cut my finger off. I'm not happy about the fact that my grandmother was an alcoholic and drug addict. I'm not happy about none of that, right? So, I don't know that I agree with those people who are like, happiness is everywhere all the time, I think that's a lie. But I think happiness is there a lot. It's available to you every single day.

And so, if you can get to this place where it's, I look at it kind of like winning, I know it's a weird analogy, but hear me out. If you can be happy in a given day more times than you're not you win the day. If you can be happy more times than a week than you're not, you win the week. You win the month, you win the year, you win the life, and so that is the journey. Find the space in the day-to-day to have a happiness, thankfulness, gratitude. Be gracious and grateful. Be thankful, give. Show up, play all out. And I promise if you just change the scope in which you're looking at your life, you will find more happiness. It's impossible not to. It's impossible not to. It is impossible not to.

When you look for things that bring you happiness, joy, love, hope, abundance, they will be there. If you look for things that are sad, detrimental, demeaning, hurtful, harmful, and less than, they will be there too, so make a decision. What glasses are you putting on today to look at the world because happiness is here for you, my friend, but you have to find it. And 99% of the time it's right in front of your face.

My friend, thank you so much for being here, means the world to me.

Please check us out on social @MichaelUnbroken

For more information, go to thinkunbrokenpodcast.com

And Until Next Time.

My Friend, Be Unbroken

I'll See You.

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Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.