Happiness road map

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The Happiness Trap Roadmap

The Happiness Trap Roadmap

with Dr. Russ Harris



I created this Roadmap for two main reasons:


1) To give you an overview of the program - how it all fits together, and a sense of what you can look forward to in the weeks to come.

2) I found quite a few people were so eager to solve a pressing problem that they would protest that they couldn’t progress with the program until they had first dealt with their specific issue. They’d say things like, “What’s the point of doing XYZ when I haven’t dealt with issue ABC?” or “I don’t see how LMO can help me until I deal with GHI first!"




Pieces of the puzzle

Each week of the program is like one piece of a puzzle. The puzzle will not be completed until the end of week 7. Each week of the program will give you something useful to help with any type of problem – either to solve it, or to improve your life even while it remains unsolved. It may be that you can solve the problem or resolve the issue with the tools you find in weeks 1 or 2; or it may be that you need the tools in weeks 3, 4, 5, or 6. Or it may be that you won’t have all the tools you need until you get to the end of week 7. (Week 8 is a summary and review of the previous 7 weeks).


Solvable and Unsolvable Problems

Obviously, not all problems are solvable. For example, if the problem you’re dealing with is that the person you love has just died, there is no solution to that. For solvable problems, the program takes you step-by-step towards solving them, with each week contributing tools, techniques and insights that may be helpful. For unsolvable problems, the program looks at how you can live the best possible life given your unsolvable problems, and deal most effectively with the inevitable pain that goes with them. So, the take home message is: Please Be Patient And Work Through The Program In Sequence, Week by Week.




WEEK ONE
Happiness Traps and Towards Moves



















WEEK ONE

Happiness Traps & Towards Moves



In week 1 of the program, we look at why it’s so hard for humans to be happy, and how we all so easily fall into ‘happiness traps’ (misguided attempts to find happiness that make us miserable in the long term). Then, we look at the building blocks of happiness, and we start making small ‘towards’ moves - small actions that take us towards (rather than away from) the life we want to live.

















WEEK TWO
Dropping the Struggle

















WEEK TWO

Dropping the Struggle



In week 2 of the program, we look at how trying to avoid or get rid of difficult thoughts and feelings is completely normal and natural – but often very unhelpful. For example, we’ll explore how going through life trying to avoid or getting rid of anxiety actually makes you more anxious in the long term. And, we’ll start learning how to ‘drop the struggle’ with difficult thoughts and feelings, as a first step in reducing their impact and influence over us.

















WEEK THREE
Dealing with Difficult Thoughts
















WEEK THREE

Dealing with Difficult Thoughts



Difficult or unhelpful thoughts are commonplace in almost all forms of human suffering. In week 3 we’ll identify patterns of unhelpful thinking that tend to easily ‘hook’ us - to dominate our awareness, and pull us into patterns of behaviour that take us away from the life we want. We’ll also learn how to unhook from those thoughts (without challenging or disputing them or attempting to replace them with ‘positive thinking’).
















WEEK FOUR
Mindfulness and the Present Moment
















WEEK FOUR

Mindfulness and the Present Moment



In week 4, we’ll explore the benefits of mindfulness and shatter a lot of myths and misconceptions about it. We’ll learn how to focus and refocus our attention so we can appreciate and enhance life’s pleasures, live more fully in the here and now, and react more effectively to life’s challenges.
















WEEK FIVE
Values for Motivation and Inspiration
















WEEK FIVE

Values for Motivation and Inspiration



In week 5, we’ll learn how to identify and access our core values in order to give ourselves a sense of meaning and purpose, and provide us with inspiration and motivation to do what we consider important and helpful.
















WEEK SIX
Handling Difficult Feelings
















WEEK SIX

Handling Difficult Feelings



In week 6, we’ll learn how to ‘expand’ around difficult emotions such as anxiety, sadness, guilt and anger: how to open up and make lots of room for these feelings, so they can ‘flow through us’ without holding us back or bringing us down or sweeping us away. At the same time we’ll learn how to be kind and compassionate to ourselves as an alternative to the harsh self-judgment and self-criticism most of us tend towards.
















WEEK SEVEN
Taking and Sustaining Action
















WEEK SEVEN

Taking and Sustaining Action



Week 7 builds on all the tools and techniques and insights from weeks 1 to 6 to get you into action: stepping out of your comfort zone, behaving like the sort of person you want to be, and actively doing the things that build genuine happiness.
















WEEK EIGHT
Review & Refresh







WEEK EIGHT

Review & Refresh



Week 8 is largely a refresher, reviewing the key points from weeks 1 to 7, and helping to bring them all together.






Combining the Pieces of the Puzzle

Hopefully you have a sense now of how the course builds week by week. For example, let’s suppose one of your issues is that you are procrastinating on some important course of action – e.g. going to the gym or changing career. If so, you’ll probably need the unhooking skills from week 3 to deal with all the unhelpful thoughts that keep popping up and, talking you out of doing it; the expansion skills of week 6 to deal with all the uncomfortable feelings that show up, such as anxiety; the values work in week 5 to motivate and inspire yourself; the committed action skills in week 7 to continue doing all the difficult stuff you need to be successful in this endeavour.

Of course, this is just one example. The same principle is likely to hold true for any problem or issue you are dealing with: you’ll often need tools and techniques from several or all weeks of the program to effectively handle it.








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