Acceptance Is The Key To Happiness
Acceptance is something most of us struggle with. Especially during confrontations or conflicts, we often assert ourselves to be right. But does being right make us happy? According to my guest today, not always. Michael Weinberger is back with us again, folks! And he’s going to explain why it is possible to be happy even if we’re not always right.
Happy Or Right?
Michael Weinberger shares that the one question he always asks himself is — ‘Do I want to be happy or do I want to be right?’ Well, until recently, he admits he wanted to be right. However, in reality, he prefers to be happy. Ultimately, Michael Weinberger learned that when he tried to control things and assert that he was right, sometimes the solutions are significantly worse than the actual problems.
“It’s nice to be right, but I prefer to be happy. I learned this through engagements with my wife and kids,” said Michael Weinberger. “Just because they are not doing the things in such a way how I would do them, doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”
The Art Of Acceptance
It is said that acceptance is a present emotion. When Michael Weinberger learned to focus on the concept of acceptance, it allowed him to be present at the moment. And the more acceptance he had towards people and situations, the happier he became.
Michael Weinberger realized that when he sought the need to be right about something, all he accomplished was wasting time trying to control the past and the future. Ultimately, that need to be right prevented him from moving forward.
“I was angry if somebody wronged me. I later realized that anger is a past emotion. On the other hand, anxiety, fear, and worry are future emotions. Consequently, it’s funny that the things you are anxious about turn out to be the things you are angry about.”
Living A Life Of Acceptance
Through his experiences, Michael Weinberger says acceptance is the key to happiness. He learned that being right was never worth it. So when he practices mindfulness and acceptance, Michael Weinberger always asks himself — ‘How much anger do I need to change the past?’
“I’m a pretty intense person. And if you told me the proper amount of anger to undo things from my past, I would focus exerting that amount of anger,” said Michael Weinberger. “And instead of focusing on anger, anxiety, fear and worry, we should focus on extending energy towards acceptance.”
Michael Weinberger further explains that we spend a lot of time trying to change the past and the future with unnecessary energy. At the opposite side of the spectrum, the more time we spend on acceptance, the better off we will be as far as our overall well-being, awareness, and happiness are concerned.
The Struggle Was Real
I looked up to my parents who were both strong-willed individuals as well as accomplished entrepreneurs. My father dealt with a business situation wherein he was made to chose — risk being unemployed and earn more money or play it safe and lose money.
My father initially wanted to take a risk. But because I was still a baby then, my mother’s fear mode kicked in and convinced my father to take the safer route. It turned out that it was the wrong choice. My father lost everything and had to start from scratch.
It was a challenging time for the family, but my parents weathered that storm. They were able to pick up the pieces and eventually became self-made millionaires in their respective business endeavors years later.
However, my father never really entirely moved on from that downfall years before. He constantly reminded my mother the choice she made him do and held it over her head that the decision he originally wanted to make was the right choice. Over twenty years, my father tortured himself, all because he focused on ‘being right’ rather than learning from the experience.
Michael Weinberger has had past struggles on acceptance. However, he was able to channel negative experiences into something positive. As an example, there was an instance wherein he had to fly out to North Carolina for a speaking engagement.
Michael Weinberger woke up early on the day of his flight departure. Thinking all was well when he boarded the plane, things took a different turn when all passengers were made to deplane due to a mechanical problem.
As expected, everybody was upset and flustered. And who wouldn’t be? But because Michael Weinberger was aware and mindful of his situation, he calmly chose to book a seat on the next flight out. With two hours of waiting time to spare, Michael Weinberger utilized that time to work on his presentation.
Upon arrival in North Carolina, the next hurdle was getting to the event which was an hour and a half away. Michael Weinberger consequently had to cancel his first accommodation and instead book a hotel closer to the venue. On top of that, the Uber fare going to the place wasn’t cheap.
Michael Weinberger admitted that once he got to the event, he was taken aback by the apparent lack of participants. However, choosing to make the most of the situation, he remained positive and ended up meeting some incredible people at the presentation.
“In the end, I was asked to be the keynote speaker for the entire conference next year. I’m glad I learned to slow down and realize that I had choices for each encounter,” shares Michael Weinberger. “Negative thoughts take only a few seconds to ingrain in your mind while positive ones can take up to 15 seconds.”
That day would have been regarded as a total disaster. But because Michael Weinberger practiced gratitude, he immediately realized that his primary focus was to improve himself through the presentation. Opening himself up to what the day had in store, it turned out to be the most incredible experience!
“Be aware. Slow down and experience the emotions. Write down why you’re grateful for those emotions,” Michael Weinberger said. “Obsessions are anti-mindful behavior. If we can just refocus obsession onto a positive behavior or habit instead of the obsessive thoughts of misery and negativity, we can influence how we experience our day and ultimately, our life.”
A Plan For Living
Michael Weinberger is a dynamic and inspiring speaker frequently asked to speak on topics including Mindfulness, Coping with Mental Illness and Addiction.
He was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder in 1994 and has learned how to not only cope but to thrive while living with his illness.
Michael teaches individuals how to adjust their mindset to be mindful and grateful for everything their life! He is the founder and creator of APlanForLiving.com, a digital mindfulness manager, and wellness platform.
Everyone has problems, and Michael’s approach helps people apply gratitude, spirituality, and mindfulness to their daily lives. A grateful heart is a happy heart!