What Creates Real Happiness?

Many people believe that they will be happy when they are rich, famous or powerful. Or when they find the perfect partner or get a raise or buy a new car. These beliefs are destined to create only frustration and unhappiness.

This has been proven over and over by studies like the Harvard Happiness Project. It turns out that lasting happiness arises from one primary source: high quality relationships.  And these relationships result from doing our inner work, the work of developing self-awareness, self-acceptance and a healthy ego that is balanced with grace and humility. And this takes time. Here are two simple examples.

I went to my favorite barber shop recently. While I was waiting my turn, I got chatting with a younger man who was waiting for his son to complete his haircut. He told me that every year he holds a birthday party for himself.


Take a Happiness Survey

How happy are you, really? How do various characteristics such as gender, age and relationship status impact happiness?

This survey has two sections.

  • Capture demographic characteristics
  • Identify sources of stress in your life and the various wats you reduce those stressors

You may choose to provide or withhold your contact information. If you do provide your contact information, you will receive an analysis of your characteristics as they relate to happiness.

The Five Gateways to a Happier Life

Each gateway acts as a threshold that offers you an opportunity to do your inner work.

Each gateway builds upon and depends on the earlier gateways.






What Are The 5 Gateways?

Humans grow and evolve physically through clearly identifiable stages. We start off barely being able to turn over or toddle around the room, and we end up the same way. Our growth through these stages is inevitable. We cannot skip any stage unless we die prematurely.  Let’s call this Physical Growth.

As we get older, we trade physical ability for life experience. Although we all accumulate some form of life experience, our emotional and spiritual development are not enviable. We can (and many of us do) get stuck along the way and start to get rigid emotionally.

Many people have studied both physical and emotional growth, and often give names to the stages they see.  I have looked at many of these models and discovered a simple pattern that tends to correspond to Abraham Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs.

As I studied Maslow, Jung, Wilber and many others, I realized that there is a simple way to understand and teach how emotional growth shows up And, more importantly, I realized that growth through the early stages can be taught and learned.

The First Gateway: Self-Awareness

The first stage is simple self-awareness. If you don’t know who you are and what makes you tick, you can be a walking time bomb. So developing self-awareness is the first challenge to growth. To understand this, imagine yourself standing outside the fence around a beautiful garden. Perhaps you want to see the garden more closely,, but you discover a locked gate. Theere is a sign on the gate that says, “The Key Lies Witching You“/ This is the metaphor for the first gateway. Self-awareness lies within you  It’s there for you to discover.

The Second Gateway: Self-Acceptance

As you wander around in the garden, some feelings arise. You realize that something is not right in your garden. Perhaps you discover little stone benches that each have different messages. The first one says, “Are you aware of how you are seen by others?” Does this question fill you with compassionate curiosity or fear, guilt and shame?

Another message might be “How many self-limiting beliefs to you have? Do you hold any “I am not good enough” beliefs?

The 2nd Gateway focuses on looking into the mirror of yourself and healing the wounds that limit you. We will look at behaviors that either deepen or bust connection with other with a focus on defensive behaviors like denial and projection. We will explore how your body speaks to you and how well you do (or do not) listen when it speaks. You will lean how to transform limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs about yourself. And we will take a close look at any ways you may still be carrying from your childhood.

The Third Gateway: Self-Confidence

This workshop is all about skill building. You will lean how to listen deeply, to replace critical judgment with compassionate curiosity, how to spot and change the unconscious patterns in your life that cause you problems.

You will also develop a clear sends of your values and how they show up (or don’t show up) in your life. You will  explore accountability and integrity, your personal mission, vision and purpose.

You will learn how to ground yourself nd be less reactive and more stable in your relationships with others. And you will learn the simple tricks creating connection with others.


The 4th Gateway: Self-Actualization

Do you have a driving passion about something you want to create? Imagine what it took to create Mount Rushmore? This was created because and by one man had a vision that he felt a driving need to crease.

If you have he self-actualization bug, you will know it. Not everybody does have it.  It can’t be taught but it can be coached.

The 4thGatewasy is an intensive coaching process that will help you refine and stay on track with your own personal vision.

Mount Rushmore - HISTORY

Characteristics of Sell-Actualization
  1. Self-actualized people embrace the unknown and the ambiguous.
  2. They accept themselves, together with all their flaws.
  3. They prioritize and enjoy the journey, not just the destination.
  4. While inherently unconventional, they do not seek to shock or disturb.
  5. They are motivated by growth, not by the satisfaction of needs.
  6. Self-actualized people have purpose.
  7. They are not troubled by the small things.
  8. Self-actualized people are grateful.
  9. They share deep relationships with a few, but also feel identification and affection towards the entire human race.
  10. Self-actualized people are humble.
  11. Self-actualized people resist enculturation.
  12. Despite all this, self-actualized people are not perfect.

The 5th Gateway: Self-Realization

The fifth gateway is about self-realization.

Characteristics of Self-Realization




Fulfillment by oneself of the possibilities of one’s character or personality


Mainly an eastern spiritual concept, especially in Hinduism.


Adapted into western thought by psychodynamic theorists like Carl Jung and Karen Horney.

Self and it’s Parts

Includes the unconscious.

How the self relates to the world

The self relates primarily to an inner metaphysical world.

Behavior / characteristics of a person

  • Inner peace
  • Strong spiritual fulfillment

Common Usage

Psychodynamic perspective of personality; everyday life in the context of religion and spirituality.