Seeking Happiness through Success
Like most of us, I was told as a child that if I did all the right things—set my goals high, worked hard, and followed the rules along the way—I would accomplish great things. And it was further implied that, as a result, I would grow up to be happy. All our lives, we’ve heard people declare that they’d be happy if only they had more money, or a better job, or more sex, or a bigger house, or more opportunity to travel, or something else. I was determined to ensure my future happiness by having an abundance of all those things and more, and from an early age I worked hard to earn them.
I was valedictorian of my high school class, finished college in two and a half years, and received the highest honors in medical school. After completing my internship and specialty training in eye surgery, I eventually established one of the most successful ophthalmology practices in the country. I performed thousands of operations and taught other physicians locally and across the country. I was a leader in my church and in the local Boy Scout organization. I had everything money could buy, and I was a husband and the father of five beautiful children.
Something was Missing
By the time I reached my late thirties, I’d accomplished almost every goal I’d ever set for myself, but despite all my successes, I slowly came to the terrible realization that I had not achieved the happiness I’d been promised. When I was standing in front of a group of physicians, teaching the latest surgical techniques, and everyone was admiring me for my knowledge, I felt relatively satisfied with my life for the moment. And some of those expensive vacations were exciting while I was actually in those far-off, exotic places. But when I was all alone, with nothing to distract me, I knew something was missing—I just didn’t know what it was. I couldn’t have worked any harder. I’d done everything I’d been assured would bring me the happiness I wanted, but still something was wanting.
I found it difficult to sleep at night and began to take some of the sleeping pills we kept at the office for post-surgical patients. When those were no longer effective, I took other tranquilizers, and before long I was injecting narcotics every night. I rationalized my drug addiction for a long time, but it increasingly affected my behavior and my emotional health. Then, one evening, as I sat in the woods behind my house with a loaded Smith and Wesson 10mm semi-automatic pressed to my head, I finally realized that I couldn’t rationalize my behavior any longer. I knew I needed to do something about my life.
Drug Rehab and Searching for Happiness
I went to an in-patient drug treatment facility, and after my discharge I participated in several twelve-step programs for a while. Getting off the drugs saved my life, but it only put me back where I’d been when I started using them. I was still desperately missing something, but this time I was determined to find out what it was. I tried individual and group therapy, support groups, men’s groups, New Age techniques, and Native American spiritual groups, among others. Each had wisdom to offer, but the old emptiness I felt was not being filled.
In my searching, I found many others whose feelings were similar to mine. Most of them hadn’t been addicted to drugs, but they all were missing the profound happiness they’d always hoped for in their lives. We began to meet together in our homes, where we tried a variety of techniques I’d experienced or read about. Gradually, we eliminated the things that didn’t work, and we discovered some principles that were astonishingly simple and effective. People who had been unhappy for a long time, in many cases despite years of therapy, were finding the first genuine happiness they’d ever known.
As we began to figure out what worked, I started writing down what we’d learned, handing out a few pages at a time to the men and women who participated in those early “experiments.” Eventually, my observations became two self-published books that have now been read by hundreds of thousands. I’ve shared these principles with people all over the country, and as they’ve applied them, their lives have changed in remarkable ways.
When I was trying to fill my emptiness, and later, as I was learning to change my life, I made many mistakes as a person, a husband, and a father. Among other things, those mistakes caused the end of my twenty-two year marriage. Learning—as I discovered—can be very expensive. Now I’m deeply gratified to see the results of what I’ve learned, and to share it all with you. My second wife and I are the parents of seven children between us, and we’re happier than we’d ever imagined it was possible to be.
I have written and produced more than twenty books, CDs, and DVDs on the subjects of unconditional love (Real Love®), relationships, dating, marriage, parenting, conflict resolution and rehabilitation, which have been translated into many languages and sold to millions worldwide. I am considered an international expert on these subjects.
I counsel individuals, couples, families, and corporations from all over the world.
I train psychologists, psychiatrists, marriage therapists, and coaches worldwide who have discovered that traditional therapy is grossly ineffective. I teach them how they can make a real and lasting difference in the individual happiness of their clients and in the ability of their clients to participate in fulfilling relationships.
I founded a Non-Profit organization, The Real Love Company, dedicated to teaching the real meaning of love, replacing anger and confusion with peace and confidence in individual lives and relationships.
I started RealLoveParents.com which uses these teachings to give parents the "instruction book" they didn't get—but need—to learn how to raise happy and responsible children.
I am dedicated to helping create a generation of emotionally stable adults by teaching parents NOW how to raise happy and responsible children. Effective parents experience more joy and have naturally eliminated a need to respond to stress. Happy and responsible children grow to be effective leaders in their own families and in society.
My goal is to teach you the real meaning of love, replacing anger and confusion with peace and confidence in your individual life and in your relationships. I can help you.