The Happiness Syndrome

By Dr Dain Heer

Most people in your life don’t ask you to be yourself. They tell you that it’s important to find where you fit, to get the right job, the right relationship, the right kids, house, car and dog. You are taught that in life, having the answers is important. You are taught that being loved and approved of by those around you is valuable, and that if you get it right, the people you care about will validate, and everyone will live happily ever after.

Fifteen years ago, I had just about everything in life that was supposed to make you happy: I lived in Santa Barbara, I had my own Chiropractic clinic and a beautiful fiancée that everyone said was perfect for me. But I was not happy—far from it in fact. I wondered what was wrong with me that I couldn’t seem to find what I was seeking and be satisfied with my life as it was. I looked for something, anything that would create lasting happiness. I tried just about every modality known to man to find a sense of joy and inner peace, sometimes with limited success, but it seemed that the feeling never lasted. The weight of the world somehow always found me and settled back on my shoulders again.

Finally, about 15 years ago, I got to the point where I’d had enough. I gave the universe 6 months. I said, “Universe, either my whole life changes, or I am out of here, and I don’t care which it is!” I even set a date in the future. I was willing to end it all if things didn’t change.

Obviously, things changed, or I wouldn’t be here to telling you about it now!

When we are born, we unfortunately aren’t given a manual to help us navigate the world, to acknowledge what is really true for us, and provide tools for dealing with all the weird and whacky things we come across. Consequently, we are missing some pretty vital information that would make it a whole lot easier to be ourselves!

I would love to share with you some things I definitely wish I had been told when I was a kid, and give a few tools along the way that I use all the time in creating an expanding sense of joy and possibility in my life.

What are you aware of?

One of the major things we aren’t told about is how aware we actually are. Awareness is something we are all born with, and that we tend to give up or discount along the way. This occurs mostly because people invalidate your awareness at some point, and instead tell you that you are mistaken, or even that you are ‘too sensitive,’ or simply that you can’t know what you know.

For example, if you grew up with someone who was sad, and being a caring kid you asked them, “What’s wrong? Why are you sad?” and they said, “Don’t be silly, everything is fine, I am not sad!” more often than not in that situation you would believe them and think, “Oh, I must be wrong,” thereby invalidating your awareness of what was going on.

If you have ever walked into a room and known exactly what mood the person or people in there room were in before they turned around, you are aware.

If you ever heard the phone ring and knew who it was before you looked at your phone or answered it, then you are aware. If you have ever been walking along down the road feeling perfectly happy, then all of a sudden felt sad, or tired, or hungry, you are aware. You are kind of like a radio receiver, picking up information about other people’s thoughts, feelings and emotions all the time. People like to call this ‘psychic’ sometimes, but actually, its just awareness, and we all have it.

Who does it belong to?

We really aren’t acknowledged for how aware we are as kids, so we grow up to believe that all this stuff we are aware of is ours. In truth, 98% of your thoughts, feelings and emotions actually don’t belong to you. You picked them up along the way. Some of them you picked up when you were very young and didn’t ever put them back down, and a lot of it is just what you are receiving from all around you, day to day.

I used to wake up every morning feeling like I had an elephant on my head. All the sadness, hopelessness and depression would seem too hard to bear. One day, someone wrote down a sentence written on a sticky note to keep by my bed and read the next time I felt sad or depressed. I looked at the note. It was actually a question: “Who does this belong to?”

I read it out loud, “Who – does – this – belong – to?” Immediately, the elephant lightened up and left the room. I was astonished, delighted, elated—and extremely annoyed!

I was delighted because, well, asking the question lightened everything so I could have a sense of joy again, instantaneously. I was also annoyed (actually – more than annoyed!) that I had been spending my whole life walking around under a cloud thinking I was miserable, when I could have been asking this one simple question all along! Why didn’t anyone tell me before that none of that stuff was mine?

When thoughts and feelings don’t belong to you, when you ask ‘Who does this belong to?’ it lightens up. Even if it lightens up just a little bit, it isn’t yours. You can return it to sender! Remember how I said 98% of your thoughts, feelings and emotions don’t belong to you? I wonder how many of the problems you think you have might go away if you asked this question 24/7?

What if you don’t ‘fit’?

Ever felt like you a constantly the odd one out, the one that doesn’t fit, the black sheep of the family?

Well, I am happy to be the one to tell you—it’s true–you don’t fit in! Isn’t that cool? Isn’t that great? I mean, you are definitely different – there is no one else like you on the planet! Have you ever truly considered that maybe you didn’t actually come here to fit in? What if you would enjoy being different, weird and brilliant instead?

Most people on the planet have never been encouraged to be themselves, to be as different as they truly are. They have never been asked to look for the greatness of them or what is actually right about them rather than dwelling on what is wrong.

We are taught that it’s valuable to fit in, to be like other people, to find people to agree with so that we can be ‘right’ and get it perfect. Getting it wrong is often considered the worst thing you can do, and we put a lot of effort into trying to avoid it, while believing deep down that we are totally and utterly wrong anyway!

 A wise man and good friend once said to me, “you can be right, or you can be free. If you are willing to be wrong, you get to have way more fun.” The truth is most people would rather be right, which means they have to constantly bend, fold and contract

If you truly desire to be happy, you have to let yourself be as different as you are, and give up judging anything about you.

Giving up Judgment

On this planet, people judge all the time. And even though judging is possibly the greatest pastime on the earth, it’s not one that actually works well for people.

The thing about judgment is that all it creates is more judgment, while killing all kinds of other things. Judgment kills caring, kindness, healing, and it kills possibility. It creates separation between people, and stops magic from showing up in your life.

Do you notice how you don’t like judging other people, but you will willingly judge yourself non-stop? If you heaped the same amount of judgment on your best friend or your dog that you heap on yourself, how do you think they would feel around you? If you saw someone judging another person to the degree that you judge yourself, what would you think about them?

Are you beginning to notice that you have quite possibly been very unkind to yourself with the judgment? Is it time to be a lot nicer to you?

Would you do me a favour? Next time, when you go to judge yourself, please stop it. I mean really, stop it. See a big red stop sign and hear big loud voice going “STOP! No judging here!”

 Anytime you start to judge you, what if you would stop and ask, “What is right about me?” instead? What’s right about you you’re not getting?

One of the greatest tools I was given several years ago was, “what if everything is just an interesting point of view?” What if every thought, feeling or emotion you ever had, and that anyone else had, was not right, or wrong, or true, or significant, or meaningful—just interesting?

 Imagine if you woke up in the morning and you didn’t judge a single thing about you, or your life. What if you could see all the judgments that the people around you had about you and about themselves and you were like a Teflon coated pan, where nothing could stick, no matter how hot it got? What if it all just slid off you and onto the floor? Would you have more space, more ease, more joy in your world? This is what interesting point of view can create in your life.

Love is a judgment too!

If I told you that love is something you need to give up to get happier, it’s likely you will want to protest loudly, or throw this magazine across the room. After all, haven’t we been told love conquers all? Love is all you need? That pursuit of love is what life is all about?

 Firstly, I am not talking about giving up the caring you have for people, or becoming ‘heartless.’ What I am talking about is giving up the need to live and judge your life by all your definitions of what you think love is.

There are so many definitions of what love is and isn’t, what it should and shouldn’t be, that no two people on the planet have the same point of view about it! It means something different to every single person. It’s impossible to agree on, and you have to do a very, very large amount of judgment to keep your own definitions alive.

You have to judge you to see if you are being loving enough or getting enough love. You also have to judge everyone else to decide if they are delivering (or not delivering) in alignment with your definitions of love. It means you never have a sense of peace or possibility in your relationships.

Love can’t deliver the intimacy, the caring and the nurturing that we are looking for, but there is something that can—gratitude.


The magic of gratitude is that it eliminates the ability to judge. You can’t have gratitude and judge at the same time!

You can have gratitude, you can see the gift of everyone, not matter what they choose. You also get to have gratitude for you, no matter what your current situation.

 Take a minute each day to list at least 3 things that you are grateful for in your life.

Are you grateful for the roof over your head? Those cute freckles on your nose? The smell of fresh coffee? What else are you grateful for? It doesn’t have to be big. Think of the little things that you have in your life that you are grateful are there.

Now take a closer look at that list. Do you realize that all those things in your life are there because of you? You chose them, you created them.

 I wonder what else is awesome about you that you have never acknowledged? But don’t ask that question, you might just find out!

 Dain Heer is an energy transformation virtuoso, author, international speaker and workshop facilitator. His latest book is, ‘Being You, Changing the World’.

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