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From an early age, I remember feeling unhappy with many things I did. The smallest challenges, mishaps, or failures put me in a downward spiral of shame and self-deprecation. My entrenched inner critic never focused on the things I did right, and only served as a daily reminder of all the things I did wrong. It trained me to become a victim and a negative thinker. I never imagined this would change.
Don’t get me wrong, lot’s of great things did happen for me, things I realize now, that kept me going. I married my best friend. I had two, fantastic kids. Loving, supportive parents. Great friends. I made a great living. But the voice within can be so damn cruel and indiscriminate. People saw a happy, funny, lucky, successful, confident, arrogant, extrovert who was the life of the party. In truth, I was paralyzed by compulsive behaviors, a self-hating machine, and an insecure man behind the jokes. I hit my spiritual and emotional rock bottom in December of 2014, and the idea of death during a violent, turbulent flight in January of 2015, seemed like a great solution.
I’m not sure what happened first. Maybe it was getting help for sleep, or when I started running. I began to meditate. I learned to breathe. I learned about giving. I learned about mindfulness. I embraced humility and vulnerability. I learned about changing my state in the moment. I learned about gratitudes. I began to recognize and celebrate the victories - big and small! I learned that fear is a condition of not seeing joy, not feeling grateful, and not remembering the reasons I love life. I started to learn that I have a choice. I learned to recognize and consciously push away that damn critic, allowing the space for me to choose happiness.
Pockitudes was born at the peak of this enlightenment. It’s the perfect and simple solution for me. I tried other gratitude journals but they were too structured, bulky, and laborious. I carry a Pockitudes journal on me all the time now and just seeing it, triggers the reminder to jot something--anything down. The key is to let this tiny act become a habit, a habit to be grateful and choose happiness. I found plenty of research out there, not only on the value of recording gratitudes, but on the actual act of handwriting them on paper. My outlook and my overall state of mind has literally changed. If you are like I was, I encourage you to try it. See for yourself the benefits. See for yourself the change in your attitude. See for yourself how you will begin to see the good in things, people, and places.
This little book alone won’t save you, but it can be the trailhead to one of the most beautiful hikes of your life. I know fear is here to stay, but today I have tools, and most importantly, I have a choice. Today, I dance with fear and I choose happiness. You need other tools on this hike and I encourage you to get a huge backpack and stuff it full.
My mission and dream is that the Pockitudes Journals will help as many people as possible discover the joy and benefits of gratitudes. I hope your journal can be the genesis to your own personal transformation to happiness. Join our happiness movement and share your Pockitudes with me, with all of us. Use #Pockitiudes on instagram, facebook or twitter and let’s create some good news together.
Frederic Terral, Happier Dude
The following humans have been invaluable guides on my hike to a happier place: Tony Robbins (Date with Destiny - Dallas, June 2016), Tim Ferriss, Eckhart Tolle, Dan Harris, Tim JP Collins, Tara Brach, Rick Carson, Brené Brown, Ph.D., Nate Herschleb, Tyler Kruger, Vyga Kaufmann, Ph.D., Angie Pagán, Dr. Michael Gervais, PhD, Shawn Achor, Oprah (yes, thee Oprah), Drummond West, Paul & Michele Algreen, Krista Tippett, Dante Filippelli, Twenty-One Pilots, David Gelb, Claudia Hillmeier, Eric and Maya, my mother the saint, my father the fighter, and my greatest mentor, my wife Misa the angel.