Bears says of his life’s work… “For Samahria and me, we clearly see our personal challenges as gifts to help us grow stronger and to create more love and sustained happiness in our lives. Our life’s work has allowed us the privilege, honor, and blessing to be able to help others facing their own challenges. Not just to teach them how to find their own best solutions to adversity and the surprises of life, but also to teach them a solid methodology and attitude they can implement to fill their own lives with a sense of ease, self-trust, empowerment and happiness. The title of my book, Happiness Is A Choice, speaks to the heart of what’s possible – to choose happiness and love even during tough times.”
The Core of What we Teach
A letter from the Co-Founder of The Option Institute – Barry Neil Kaufman
“At The Option Institute, we teach people unique and practical tools to build the life experience they desire. How?
“It begins with a radical departure from everything we’ve been taught. Many of us have heard of the popular psychological model of stimulus-response. The dog barks, I get scared. My friend compliments me, I feel happy. This model has helped spawn a culture where we see our emotions and experiences as being caused by people and events around us. As a result, we often try to change our circumstances and the people around us so that we can feel good or, at least, not feel bad.
“This approach leaves most of us feeling like victims. We believe that, if we could just get our loved ones to treat us right, or our finances to increase, or the roads to be traffic-free, we would feel better. But there’s always something else. Even without major life events such as divorce, bankruptcy, illness or loss of a loved one, many of us experience deep distress and discomfort.
“The Option Institute modifies the stimulus-response paradigm with a simple twist. We introduce a third component: BELIEF. Every stimulus that elicits a response from us is first filtered and processed by one or more beliefs. As our beliefs change, so do our responses and experiences. This simple shift changes everything in our lives, moving us from the passenger’s seat into the driver’s seat. We call this new paradigm the Happiness GPS™ because it helps you identify where you are and allows you to navigate to where you want to go (In terms of your own happiness and emotional well-being).
“For instance, two parents watching their daughter getting married can have different experiences – one is happy and the other is distressed. How do we explain 2 people witnessing the same event (the same stimulus) having diametrically opposed responses? Simple – each one holds different beliefs that filter their experience of the wedding. One sees it as wonderful – believing that their daughter will be happy and the family will grow. The other sees it as terrible – believing they are losing their daughter and that they will be lonely without her. This simple illustration is a microcosm of the myriad ways our beliefs determine every response, from joy to anger, from kissing to shouting.
“The good news is: our beliefs are changeable. Our experience with thousands of people from across the globe has shown us that, when people use the tools that we provide, known collectively as The Option Process, they are able to uncover the beliefs fueling their responses and the underlying reasons for their beliefs. Moreover, they are able to change the beliefs that may be generating unhappiness, dysfunctional relationships or ineffective behaviors.
“In our highly interactive courses, we help people address ongoing challenges, find peace with catastrophic events, build more satisfying relationships and become efficient and effective at achieving their desires and dreams. We believe that the most effective way to help people change is to provide them with tools and opportunities to change, in an environment where they are completely accepted as they are, whether or not they change. We are happy to be, for many, the one place in the world where they can find just that.”
(Barry Neil Kaufman),
Co-founder of The Option Institute and Autism Treatment Center of America
|MY BOSS YELLS AT ME||I’M GOING TO GET FIRED||FEELING–FEAR|
BEHAVIOR–AVOID BOSS, JITTERY,
ON EDGE AROUND HIM
|CHOLESTEROL LEVEL IS HIGH||I’M PRONE TO A HEART ATTACK||FEELING–ANXIETY|
|MY PARTNER TELLS ME|
HE/SHE LOVES ME
BEHAVIOR–HUG, KISS PARTNER
|CAR IS REAR-ENDED||WORST THING THAT COULD|
HAPPEN TO ME NOW
BEHAVIOR–YELL AT DRIVER
|I YELL AT MY KIDS||I’M A BAD PARENT||FEELING–GUILT|
BEHAVIOR–AVOID BEING WITH KIDS
Option Process® Dialogue:
Introductory Questions to raise your Happiness I.Q.™
- What is the stimulus?
- How do I feel about the stimulus?
- Why do I feel this way?
- What is my belief?
- Why do I believe that?
Copyright © 2017 The Option Institute and Fellowship. All rights reserved.
Definition: The measurement of a person’s capacity to choose emotional comfort and happiness irrespective of the stimulus.
Happiness I.Q. is determined by core belief structures about ourselves and our ability to decide how we feel and what we think.
Low Happiness I.Q. Beliefs:
High Happiness I.Q. Beliefs:
Copyright © 2021 The Option Institute and Fellowship. All rights reserved.