Successful people realize that success does not bring happiness. Happiness is the next journey for most successful people. Early on, most top performers equate that success will fill the void within them and show the world that they are valuable. Sorry to say, it doesn’t happen. Happiness takes a different set of skills, disciplines, systems and procedures.

Here are the first three steps to getting on the path of true happiness:

Step One: You must see the mind, which I call The Drunk Monkey, for what it really is. The Drunk Monkey, all that talking in your head, is just biology. It’s energy moving through fields of neurons in your brain. It’s job is the same as all the other cells in your body… Keep you alive longer!

Here’s the big problem; you are not in a dangerous situation. If you are reading this article, you are seeking happiness. People seeking happiness are not trying to survive. Yet, I would be willing to bet, you feel emotions like frustration, anger, doubt and fear pretty frequently. Those emotions are chemicals used by the brain to move you away from danger. Hello! Your life is not dangerous and yet, you let The Drunk Monkey trick you into thinking that it is. Awareness is a skill that must be developed if happiness is your goal.

Step Two: With awareness comes flexibility. Being flexible means you start to use some discernment. You no longer take The Drunk Monkey’s statements about reality as truth. You start to see that the talking in your head is just one particular point of view. As soon as you see that the thoughts in your head are not “the truth,” you become more flexible. When you are more flexible, you are less reactive. To be less reactive gives you more choices. More choices represent more power over the situation. In other words, awareness makes you flexible, which makes new options available and those options give you power. Empowerment is one of the ten forms of happiness.

Step Three: Practice accepting things as they are. This is a discipline. It’s the exact opposite of your normal mental functioning. When you pay attention to The Drunk Monkey, you see that it has an opinion on everything; including things it knows nothing about. The Drunk Monkey says, “He shouldn’t be that way!” or “This is not right!” To create true happiness, you must recognize that these are just opinions. Even more important, is to realize that opinions are the source of your suffering. Life is just “life-ing” along and your opinion about it won’t change it. To accept the situation as it is, gives you the emotional well being you need to focus on what really matters to you. To allow The Drunk Monkey to ramble endlessly about how things should be different, is a waste of time and energy. Ultimately it degrades your experience of life.

There are ten forms of happiness and each will lead you to a life of ridiculous bliss. Start practicing the three steps today and you will notice an immediate difference.