Step 1 – The Assessment

The Foundation Series

Happiness is just a Choice Away
Step 1 – The Assessment

Welcome to the “Happiness is Just a Choice Away” Online Course
Let’s dive in..

Why is this 1st step so important?
– To provide a road map through a positive change process.
– To clarify where we are at and where we want to go.

– To understand how much stress and conflict is costing us.
– To determine your commitment to take responsibility for doing the work
– To help motivate us to do the work
– To move past denial and take the first steps to responsibility

Click the Play button to hear Hal narrate this page.

“Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.”
“Since there is rarely any justification for destructive emotions, we need to become aware of what gives rise to them and what the antidotes are.” ~ Dalai Lama.

The Plumber Analogy:
A plumber can’t fix a leaking water problem until he knows where the leak is.. By the same token, we cannot resolve the stress, anxieties and conflicts in our lives and relationships until we understand exactly what and where the problems are. This first module asks us to put ourselves in the role of a detective looking for clues and asks the questions that will help clarify exactly what we feel needs changing in our lives and why we want to do it.

The Assessment Tools:

The graphic below gives an overview of the assessment process and how it leads to Step 2 – Identifying the Blocks and Obstacles. In order make effective, positive change in our lives, we have to be completely transparent and honest about revealing to ourselves where we are experiencing difficulty in our lives that is causing us stress, worry and anxiety. When you do the Simple Change Planner Process below, you download the worksheet and then fill in these questions on the left in each of the 3 main stress categories. You may have many things you want to change. Don’t get stressed about changing all of them overnight with this process. You probably just want to focus on 1 or 2 so you don’t feel overwhelmed at first and get some confidence under your belt. Our Ego absolutely loves for us to fail; and then use that as justification for all our poor me driven, victim  stories. More about that in Step 3 – Dealing with Resistance. For now, in order to continue with the process, just focus on something a little easier or less fearful that you’re willing to work with.

The Cost of Stress Calculator: Cost of Stress Diagnostic Tool

Quick Instructions: Click your mouse in the yellow fields and the number that best represents the approximate number you feel is appropriate in each field: Time per hour and amount of hours of stress you may spend in each of the three main stress categories – Relationships, Finances and Health. Then hit the return button or enter and the calculator will automatically give you a total approximate cost figure by the week, month and year. These figures are then multiplied by a factor of 2 to express the difference between and hour lost and an hour saved. NOTE: It might take a few seconds depending on traffic. Write the “TOTAL COST” number down somewhere so you can measure the success of your progress through this course. View the Symptoms of Stress Page CLICK HERE to get an idea of the kinds of symptoms that stress can cause if you are having a difficult time determining your hours of stress in each category.

“For every minute we are angry…
(stressed, fearful, anxious, critical, judgmental, resentful, etc..)
we lose sixty seconds of happiness…!”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.

We can’t manage what we can’t measure..! This process was originally designed as an ROI measurement and diagnostic tool for the corporate world to convert subjective hours of stress and / or conflict into time management, productivity and monetary terms. Like a monetary balance sheet, it is also very effective to measure the approximate cost of stress in our personal lives.

The totals in monetary figures will be displayed by the week, month and year to give you a feel for how much stress is costing you in time, productivity and money. As you learn and practice the tools for reducing stress, the calculated “Cost of Stress” in monetary terms will be reduced and consequently, the time you previously experienced as stress can be displaced and focused on areas that are more fulfilling in your life.

In the example on the page, a person who is earning $30 per  hour with just 8 hours of stress per week is losing  $24,960 per year* in lost time, productivity, monetary and potential lost happiness terms. NOTE: The higher your perceived time value, the more stress and conflict will impact you.

*Disclaimer: These numbers may not reflect exact figures but are
used as a general guideline to illustrate the concept of converting
subjective stress to a potential monetary measurement.

The Simple Change Planner Worksheet

Download the Simple Change Planner Worksheet PDF file, print it out and honestly answer the questions
asked in the worksheet for the 3 main areas of stress and conflict. 0_The Simple Change Planner Worksheet
– Relationships – Finances – Health

Important: When filling in this worksheet, keep in mind that these questions are about “YOUR Beliefs”!. This course is not about changing anyone else. Filling in any of these questions about someone else’s behavior or why someone else has to change, has nothing to do with anyone else. This course is about taking completely responsibility for what is in YOUR POWER to change with your own thoughts, beliefs, feelings and actions. A question of “Why is this person treating me this way” is not nearly as empowering as asking: “What is it about “my beliefs” that are causing me to feel this way or causing me to take this personally”? The only place we experience mental stress is in our own minds and that is the only place it can be changed!

NOTE: I can almost guarantee that there will be RESISTANCE for most people to doing this step. This is an important first step in this process to find out how committed and willing you are to do the work.Due to the nature of the conditioned patterns that we will be learning to undo in this course, they will almost surely arise to stop you from moving forward: They include: Denial, procrastination blame and many others we will discuss in Part 3 – Dealing with Resistance. For the time being, just keep an open mind that doing this work will pay huge benefits as we move through the course.  After doing these worksheets, we will discuss them.

The First Mindfulness Exercise

As we are primarily using Mindfulness and CBT as the 2 main tools for this course, we want to get you started right away into practicing developing your awareness, attention and focus. Click the link provided to go the the Mindfulness Audio Page. Mindfulness Audio Page Link

Homework for Part 1 –  The Assessment:

– Do the assessment process
– Fill in the Cost of Conflict Calculator and record your results for yourself as a reference
– Download and complete the Simple Change Planner
– Do the first Mindfulness Meditation Click Here
Take your time to do these processes. As mentioned, this course was intended to be a 6 week process.

When you are ready, continue to Part 2 – Identifying the Blocks and Obstacles

If you have any questions or feedback on this course, please contact me using the contact page.

This Mixed Media E-course is Copyrighted 2017
Hal Tipper – All rights Reserved
ISBN – 978-1-7750454-3-4


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