Getting Happy: Redefining Life’s Experiences with Les Dossey

Disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only and are not to be considered a substitute for professional legal advice or a consultation with a lawyer.

1. Family Law Tip of the Week

If you have a family law case pending and you want it settled, step away from the anger and resentment you have for the other person and get real about the issues. During the 100s of cases I have handled as a divorce attorney, more often than not, “the principle of the matter” is what gets in the way of cases being resolved. Don’t commit to a position only because you want to punish the other person.


Focus only on those things that matter right now.

2. Getting Happy: Redefining Life’s Experiences with Les Dossey

If you have something in your past that is very heavy and painful, you CAN get to happy. Les knows people can do this because he has it done it himself. It takes some real desire and the willingness to let go of hurt to get to happy, though.


When bad stuff happens to people, they get tangled in the darkness, and it gets difficult to escape. You have to stir up the desire to break free from the pain. In Les’ case, he reasoned with himself that if he was going to live 24 more hours, he was going to do everything he could to feel as good as possible in that 24 hours. In order to do that, he needed to structure and organize his thoughts better. This meant he had to examine and be honest about the way things really were.


Many people blow things out of proportion. If you think you might be guilty of this, get real with yourself. Be willing to see things how they really are and figure out how to make them better.


Another point Les thinks is very important: You have to be willing to take 100% responsibility for the things that happen in your life. We create a lot of the heartache we face through ineffective or erroneous thinking. Once a person takes responsibility for their problems, they will be able to see how they are creating their own heartache.


Les doesn’t think we can really move on until we forgive and forget. Unless it is done, there is guilt, shame and resentment bound up on the inside of us. This blinds us and prevents us from being able to see the truth. What will happen then is that you will find yourself in that same situation again in the future.


Forgiveness can be done in an instant. However, it could take a while for you to make the shift to where you’re ready to forgive in a moment. Once you become resolute about forgiveness, it is possible to get to the point where you can forgive instantaneously.


According to Les, every behavior is a habit that is developed over time. Most of our habits are created when we are young. This affects how people act later in life (unless they encounter someone who influences them in a big way). It takes a commitment to undo the patterns you learned early in life.


The Meanings We Hold in Our Mind Determine a Lot


In terms of redefining life, it is the meanings we hold in our mind that determine how we see others, ourselves and situations. We can change those meanings in a moment of time. To do this, we have to be committed to feeling better in life.


Les talks about the guilt, shame and responsibility he felt when his 4 year old died. He spun out of control. Fortunately, at some point, Les had a moment where he asked himself whether he wanted to continue to feel the same way or move forward.


At that time, Les didn’t have any coping mechanisms. It was hard for him to move past the tragedy. The way he moved past it was by doing the “wrong” things (drinking, for example).


Later on in life when Les got “educated,” he learned how to “redefine” the experience so he could move on. Les learned to look at situations honestly and accept the fact that he couldn’t change the reality. In that moment, he made a decision to look at things differently: his son was with him for 4 and a half years and made amazing contributions to Les’ life. Focusing on those contributions gave Les the strength to move forward with his life and be free from the grief and sorrow.


This was instrumental in Les’ getting happy.


There are many areas where it is possible to redefine experiences. If you change the way you look at and think about things, the things you look at and think about change. If you have a situation in your life that is challenging, it is your responsibility to look at it as many different ways as possible to get a fresh perspective and see it from someone else’s point of view. In doing this, you empower yourself instead of feeling miserable.


Changing Others and What to Do With Toxic People In Your Life


In all of this, remember you can’t change others. As far as removing people who are toxic, this is recommended until you get to the place where you are stable. Once you are stable, you can start to reintroduce these people into your life.


Les compares himself to a high-performance machine. A high-performance machine requires the best fuel on the planet. He is not going to plug into things (people) that are going to dilute that fuel source.


When the person who is toxic is a family member or a spouse, each person has to commit to working on him or herself first (as opposed to changing the other). If each person is committed to that, THAT will help influence (in an indirect way) the situation. More importantly, it will help each individual become strong enough to take a stand and not play “the game” any more.


Once you are strong enough, you can just make the decision not to “play” anymore. You must diffuse your own hot buttons. That means the other person no longer has control over you anymore.


For more information on this, study Viktor Frankl. Victor cast a vision for himself and began to live that vision in his mind. It became so real to him, that nothing going on around him had an effect on him.


The principles Viktor taught are the ones used by many self-help teachers today.


The people who enjoy the most happiness in life have learned to dance with happiness AND pain. Instead of trying to avoid, medicate or numb pain, they look it in the eye and say “let’s dance.” They say “I’m going to lead because this is my dance.”


Check Les out on “Getting Unstuck With Les” every Tuesday at 2:30 EST on Google+. You can also find him at

3. Thoughts From the Life Coach

Today, James talks about saying “sorry.” If you mess up…maybe it’s time to ‘fess up.

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