Dr John Demartini boasts one pretty impressive CV. Not to mention a mind-numbingly busy schedule. So when a 20-minute window miraculously appeared during a recent visit to Sydney, we cleared our diary, phoned his hotel room (he doesn’t own a mobile) and listened intently.
Turns out, creating a happier life isn’t rocket science. All it takes is tapping into your core values, and a little Twitter-free time! Consider this your one-on-one consultation.
Every individual has a unique set of values, like fingerprints: identifying them is a game-changer.
“Some people are dedicated to family, some to social causes, others to physical fitness, business and wealth, intellectual or spiritual pursuits,” Dr Demartini explains. “The only universal one? Everybody wants to be loved and appreciated. I have a value-determining process on my site (drdemartini.com), 13 questions I ask—things like; What do you make time for? What energises you? What do you always find money for? What do you love learning about? Prioritise the things that are important to you on a daily basis. Knowing what your values are is crucial if you want to master your life.”
Each time you can’t say “No”, you say “Yes” to things that aren’t important to you
“If you don’t fill your day with high-priority actions that inspire you, it will fill up with low-priority ones that don’t. The end result is that you become frustrated and less productive. How to push back and say ‘No’? Just ‘Thank you, but no thank you, since my agenda is really full now’ or ‘I appreciate the opportunity but I have other things that are pending at the moment’. Tell the truth, be upfront and people will respect you for it.”
You can’t allow the digital world to consume your day
“If there’s one thing I know, it’s this: if people can get access to and take up your time, you can’t get the essential things done. To get around that, I do emails and sometimes have meetings on Skype, but they have to be arranged in advance and I don’t have spontaneity in that sense. Look at your day, and then schedule a dedicated chunk of time to take care of social media. If I had mine on all day long it’d bombard me, so I just go through for an hour: people contact me and say, ‘Dr Demartini, just one quick question... how did the universe begin?’ and I say ‘I’ll get back to you—I’m just talking to God!’”
When we interact with others, we truly learn about ourselves
“Humans are innately social creatures. We expand our education and knowledge, get insights and advance ourselves in almost every area of life by socialising. When we fall into a routine, it’s easy to cover up parts of ourselves, but when we interact with people, we discover what really pushes our buttons—perhaps things we hadn’t known or even hidden. It can be both painful and pleasurable, but that’s necessary for personal growth.”
Once you appreciate yourself, the rest of the world will, too
“When you’re 60, it’s unrealistic to think you’ll have a 30-year-old’s body. I choose to flip that idea on its head. Instead, think about the wisdom you do have, the skills, knowledge and experience... all the other talents that far outweigh those of a 30-something. If confidence is an issue, ask yourself: ‘How is my body serving me in my mission and what’s important to me in my life?’ Write down what you dislike plus the ways in which it’s helped or been an advantage, and don’t stop until there are tears of gratitude in your eyes. It’s an exercise that really works.”