At the beginning of each day, read this definition aloud to yourself. Over time, the definition will evolve; this is natural, so feel free to amend it as time moves on. You have made the first important step toward happiness by processing this simple yet powerful question. Each step on your journey of self-awareness will move more quickly hereafter. I don't like not finishing something. It feeds the shame feeling. And if I haven't given up on the thing entirely, then it's hanging over my head. I don't like things hanging over my head. And if I don't finish, I feel bad about wasting the time and energy I've already invested in it. I try to use strategies to help me avoid the not-finishing trap. First, I question myself before I start a project: "Is this really useful? Is this a good use of my time?" If I decide to do it, then I make a commitment. I've told you about the struggles I had about writing this book before I finally made a genuine commitment. Then I take a moment to think about the project: "What will it be like to finish it? What are the payoffs and rewards? What will be the consequences if I don't finish? How will I feel if I just let it go?" This is similar to what Daffy does. I knew this tortured soul personally. An economics professor with some very credible publications, he was not very well liked among students, because most couldn't satisfy his grandiose requirements, so only 40 percent passed his courses. "This is the university, and my students need to toe the line!" he was fond of saying.

Even one typo cost students a letter grade. He poured over student papers, looking for every conceivable type of grammatical error, not to mention trivial content inaccuracies. typos allowed! Students were expected to have perfect attendance, and, you guessed it, "No excused absences!" A student who missed even one session lost another letter grade. And if a student missed an exam, that's right: no make-ups. The student received a zero! Unfortunately, this brilliant professor is no longer teaching, because he was given an early retirement. Reflecting on these three layers of experience helps the right hemisphere of the brain to be aware of what is happening and why -- on a personal level -- that experience is emotionally significant. A person with left-right dysregulation issues will struggle to offer more than the most superficial answers to these questions. It will be relatively easy for her to say what happened, but she will struggle to answer the question, "What does it mean to me/say about me?" and she will be hard pressed to identify specific memories of experiences that taught her to think that way. If you struggle with this, don't give up. The struggle you experience is directly proportionate to how much you need to develop this ability to overcome your particular experience of anxiety. The struggle is not a sign that the exercise is useless or not worth your time. It is a sign that you need to exercise the right hemisphere's mental muscles a bit more in order to maintain better emotional balance. The substances are called "Opioid Peptides." They are short sequences of amino acids that bind to opioid receptors in the brain, act as neuro-modulators and influence the release of neuro-transmitters. They play an important role in motivation, emotion, and behavioral attachment. Some of them are: B-endorphins, B-lipotropin, and enkephalin. Who is the most joyful adult that you know? You have identified the most joyful person you know. Isn't it interesting who this is in your life?

Isn't it equally fascinating whom you did not choose? Study his or her actions and attitudes, learn from this person. If it is possible, ask to interview him or her and discover how they look at the world. If you feel reluctant to do this, if this feels silly, think carefully about how it feels "normal" to seek advice for almost anything other than happiness. Let's take an example of lateness. You are late once again for an appointment and you hear inside your head, "I can't believe you're late! You should have left earlier. You knew what time you should have left, and you blew it. He is probably going to leave, and it will take months to reschedule another appointment with him. He is going to be standing around waiting for you, and you're not there. How inconsiderate of you. And on top of it, you forgot your cell phone! Unbelievable! You really have no concept of time. You're always late. You're always forgetting something you absolutely need. After all the work you have put into this deal, and now you go and screw it up by being late. You idiot! Can't you do anything right? Maybe you should get out of this line of business, since you can't manage your time.

You're hopeless!" Not finishing is actually a form of procrastinating, isn't it? So I use some of the same strategies: Break it into small steps. Pick the hardest one. See if I can break that into even smaller steps. Pick the hardest step and do it. Then it seems downhill from there. I think I will be able to finish the autobiography once this book is finally done. And it will get done. Finishing, or rather, not finishing, is a major ADD problem. The strategies include planning ahead, being sure that the project is worth doing and why, and that it's not biting off more than we can chew. Then if we're stuck, we can break it into small steps and get unstuck. We can also discuss with ourselves the benefits of finishing and the consequences of not finishing, hoping to make the benefits and consequences heavy enough to motivate us. A manager of a department store expected his sales crew to be busy at all times. No one could sit down even for a moment. If the shelves were neat and tidy, he would ask personnel to mess them up and then redo them so that they looked busy at all times. If an employee was ever idle, the irate manager berated her: "You are not being paid to stare out into space! Get back to work now!" Not surprisingly, this store had an extremely high employee turnover rate. This particular customer believed the bakery made a mistake by not mentioning the cake was vanilla, so it must give him a refund without a receipt, even if this violated store policy. Such an expectation was grandiose, inflexible, and unrealistic. Unfortunately, it typified virtually all of this person's other interpersonal relationships.

By contrast, people with right-left dysregulation tend to find it relatively easy to answer the above questions but struggle to address a different set of questions that the left brain is more equipped to answer. These four questions are: Are the thoughts and memories identified in the first three steps consolations or desolations? (We'll explore these two terms, and our use of them in terms of handling anxiety, shortly.) If the thoughts are desolations, what is a healthier, more productive way to view this situation? What experiences have I had to support this healthier and more productive view? What action steps would this view require me to take (whether or not I feel like doing them)? Now let's explore the feelings you have just felt while reading this. Did you experience shortness of breath? Did your heart rate increase? Did you feel a rush in your chest? Did you feel anxious, guilty, fearful, or ashamed? Have you heard a voice in your head talking to you in this way about something you did or didn't do? Has it happened more than three times with the same situation? Did you feel important? Did you receive a lot of attention (albeit negative)? Did you feel self-consumed? Were you preoccupied with your situation? Did you feel like the center of attention? What was the happiest period of time in your life thus far? You have identified the happiest period of time in your life. What made this period of time so amazing?