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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Guest Post: The Reverend Peter K. Stimpson

Did you ever wonder if there were secrets about life, the answers to which would help you find happiness? Well, over my life of being both a priest and a therapist, I have found 3 secrets, which now I share with you.

  1. INSECURITY: This may be a shock to you, but all people feel insecure. Growing up, I had this image that on the other side of the hill were all these “normal” people, and that when I went through that magic door into adulthood at age 21, I would be like them. Well, I am now 67 and there is no magic door. I have counseled people from all walks of life to whom others often turn for advice: clergy, doctors, lawyers, professors, corporate executives, as well as others who are rich and famous, and they all have one thing in common, they are human! They are just as insecure as you and I. If they honestly admit and face their clay feet, they grow. If they hide behind masks of superiority, making you think that they “have it all together”, they don’t.

  1. POWER: Who has the power to define your self-worth? Thinking that love is conditional upon performance, most people nervously give their power away to those from whom they hope to get praise and affirmation: parents, teachers, employers, and spouses. Giving away your power condemns you to always worry about what others think. Remember, all people feel insecure. So, why are you giving them the power to determine who you are? The secret is to take back your power, and define your own self-worth. OK, so you have some weaknesses, join the club. But, in general, you are probably a nice person. Once you rely upon your own judgment about yourself, it is as if you are wearing a psychological suit of armor. Others can hurt your feelings, but their demeaning criticism can no longer devastate you to the core. Why? Because you, not they, have the power.

  1. SUCCESS: Most people equate success as attaining something big: a job, title, house, car, bank account, etc. If they do not, they feel like a failure. But, while pursuing achievements is good, it is the “little goal”. The “big goal” is how your personality develops along the way. Homer once said that “the journey is the thing”. Your job will end with a gold watch, your house will pass to someone else, your car will rust, but your soul will live forever. Who you become is defined by the choices you make in life: to be kind or cruel, loving or manipulative, humble or a snob. Life is a process of creating a work of art: YOU. Your death signals the end of your growth, and the judgment of God is to simply accept your judgment, allowing you to be as you have chosen to be, for all eternity. So, don’t get mixed up; the big goal is who you become – the little goal is what you attain. Your Lexus will not fit into the coffin with you, but your soul will.

The Reverend Peter K. Stimpson

Title: Map to Happiness
Genre: Inspirational/Self-Help
Author: The Reverend Peter K. Stimpson
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 206
Language: English
What is my purpose? How can I be happy? For thousands of years, people have pondered these big questions, often finding the answers elusive. In Map to Happiness, Peter Stimpson, an Episcopal priest and experienced therapist, doesn’t claim to have all the answers. Still, he generously shares a wealth of wisdom he has learned by counseling and ministering to people for more than thirty-five years.
Stimpson anchors happiness in a pyramid of principles: insecurity, power, and success. He explains that by understanding everyone is insecure, we can take back our power from others to define our worth and reach for success in lasting values, not things. His message is clear: who you become is more important than what you attain.
Stimpson illustrates the power of his trilogy by answering today’s ubiquitous questions related to love of yourself, your spouse, your children, and life’s challenges of stress, work, illness, anger, and death. Using both spiritual and psychological perspectives, Stimpson frankly discusses how we stray off the path to happiness, but more important, how we can get back on track.
If you are confused or lost, open this map and begin your journey. You’ll find help sifting through confusing issues with easy-to-understand explanations and ready-to-use solutions.

Purchase Your Copy


Peter K. Stimpson is an Episcopal priest and a licensed clinical social worker. He has counseled people from all walks of life since 1972, has written a popular advice column since 1983, and is the director of Trinity Counseling Service in Princeton, New Jersey.

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