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How to be Happy

A Complete Guide to Rational Living

By Joseph Miller

Copyright 2006 All rights reserved

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How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 2 of 104

Please Read This FIRST!

Terms of Use

This Electronic book is Copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. No

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Disclaimer

The advice contained here might not be suitable for everyone. The

author provides the information only as a broad overview by a lay

person about the subject based on her personal experience and

information from sources believed reliable, but the author neither

implies nor intends any guarantee of accuracy.

The author, publisher and distributors never give legal, accounting,

medical or any other professional advice. The reader must always

seek those services, when required, from competent professionals

that can review their own particular circumstances.

The author, publisher and distributors disclaim any liability, loss, or risk taken by individuals who act on the information contained

herein. All readers must accept full responsibility for their use

of this material.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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Contents

Please Read This FIRST! .................................................................... 2

Terms of Use............................................................................................................ 2

Disclaimer ................................................................................................................ 2

1. How to be Happy – An Overview.................................................... 6

2. The ABCs of Happiness.................................................................. 8

3. The Secret of Happiness............................................................... 10

4. Where to Begin Your Quest for Happiness ................................. 11

Possible Locations for Happiness....................................................................... 11

Where to start your Quest .................................................................................... 11

5. Characteristics of a Psychologically Healthy, Happy Person ... 13

Specific and Evident Characteristics of Self-Actualizing People..................... 13

6. Is Happiness a Conscious Ultimate Concern? ........................... 15

Your Goal fixes your happiness level ................................................................. 15

Is it possible to make Happiness your Conscious and Ultimate Concern?.... 15

7. Why is it Wrong to Make Happiness Your Top Goal? ................ 17

8. How to Focus Your Energy and Intelligence to Attain Happiness

............................................................................................................ 19

9. How Satisfaction of Values Determine Our Happiness.............. 21

10. Learn How to Be Happy – Preparing Your Self-Development

Plan..................................................................................................... 23

11. How to Control Your Emotions .................................................. 25

Factors helpful in controlling your Emotions..................................................... 25

12. The External and Internal Routes to Happiness ....................... 27

13. Using Self-Exploration and Problem-Solving Skills to Achieve

Happiness .......................................................................................... 29

14. Six Steps to Find the Underlying, Internal Causes of

Unhappiness...................................................................................... 31

15. How to Make Radical or Lifestyle Changes to Attain Greater

Happiness .......................................................................................... 33

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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16. How to Know What Will Make You Happy ................................. 35

17. How to Resolve Your Conflicts to Bring Happiness................. 37

18. Self-Actualization – Learn to Attain Higher Self Power............ 39

19. How to Imagine and Create an Internal Model of Happiness in

Your Mind........................................................................................... 41

20. Two Worldviews - Negative versus Positive Thinking ............. 43

21. How Can You Be Happy in an Imperfect World? ...................... 45

How to be happy amid such imperfections ........................................................ 45

22. Deficit Motivation vs. Abundance Motivation ........................... 47

23. How to Develop Positive Thinking and Feel Happier in

Everyday Life ..................................................................................... 49

24. Increasing Your Self-Worth to Get Greater Happiness ............ 51

25. How to Develop a Positive Self-Image....................................... 53

26. Learn to Accept Self and Others ................................................ 55

27. How to Be More Self-Confident .................................................. 57

28. Using External vs. Internal Expectations to Evaluate Yourself59

29. Sources of Dependency and External Control ......................... 61

30. Sources of Internal Control ........................................................ 63

31. How to Be Internally Directed and Effective with Others......... 65

32. How to Control Other People ..................................................... 67

33. How to Achieve Peak Functioning of Your Mind and Body..... 69

34. Optimal Learning as the Basis of Happiness............................ 71

35. How Does Harmonious Functioning Affect Happiness............ 73

36. How Does Harmonious Functioning Affect Emotions ............. 75

37. How Mental Control Increases Your Level of Happiness......... 77

38. Learn to Be a Master of Your Emotions .................................... 79

39. Resolve Your Inner Conflicts to Bring Harmony and Happiness

............................................................................................................ 81

40. Looking at a Problem from a Higher Level of Understanding . 83

41. How to Overcome Depression and other Negative Emotions . 85

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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42. How to Overcome Grief, Sadness and Apathy in Your Life..... 87

43. How to Lower Your Anxiety and Stress and Increase

Confidence......................................................................................... 89

44. Learn to Be Happy in All Situations........................................... 91

45. How to Funnel Your Energy to Maximize Happiness ............... 93

46. How to Stay in Control of Your Life and Be Happy .................. 95

47. How to Achieve Your Goals in Life and Be Happy ................... 97

48. How to Manage Your Time and Create Happiness in Your Life

............................................................................................................ 99

49. Your Checklist about How to Be Happy .................................. 101

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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1. How to be Happy – An Overview

Happiness is an emotion and, ideally, an individualistic view. To

you, happiness is something different from what somebody else

feels. It is a particular state of mind. Everybody has different views

on happiness and so, the ways of attaining happiness will differ from

person to person.

Normally, happiness is synonymous with joy, well-being, delight,

love, safety, and health.

The term, “happiness’ traces its origins to the Greek ‘Eudaimonia’,

which means being a good soul. It refers to having virtuous habits

through moral and honorable deeds. However, people define

happiness differently. It is a culmination of achievement of specific

ideals like (not in particular order) health, family, money, physical

appearance, intelligence and humor.

It can be spiritual and refer to attaining certain goals. Every culture has their own idea of what makes them happy. And, every person in

that same culture will find happiness in different levels. To some,

happiness can be praying that there will be supper and supper

appears. Happiness means different things to different people.

You can take for an example, a person with an attractive

appearance with clothes of the latest fashion and that person will

feel happiness. Now, take a lack of either attractiveness or the

latest design clothes and a person can have lower self-esteem,

which could hurt their feeling of happiness.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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Another group defines happiness as a fulfilling life according to one’s ideals. Normally, you can attain such happiness through dedication,

hard work, and sacrifice.

It is not possible to define happiness in definitive terms, as it is a

subjective feeling. It is an internal experience and characterizing or

labeling it in clear language terms may be a difficult, if not an

impossible, proposition.

Happiness is often associated with feeling content. Satisfaction is

the key to achievement. You find contentment in trusted family,

friends, or community relationships. You have to open your feelings,

talk, and discuss things to experience happiness. Again, happiness

comes by talking about topics of your interest. A music lover may

not find sports interesting and may not find happiness in such

discussions.

Engaging and immersing yourself in what you excel at is a source of

happiness. Such engagement leads to contentment, producing

happiness. Looking forward to something like a vacation brings

happiness. An optimistic focus of life, with the view that the glass is half-full, creates feelings of happiness.

Happiness is the utmost in giving unto others. Happiness is within

you and you can experience it by sharing with others.

Happiness can be momentary, such as setting a goal and reaching

it. The feeling of euphoria that one can get with reaching a goal can

be happiness.

Let’s see what you can do to become a happier person.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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2. The ABCs of Happiness

Happiness is a subjective feeling. So, you determine happiness by

your preconceived views and opinions of what should happen or not,

by the incidence of an event. You are guided by your thinking,

rather than occurrence of the event.

This is the main determinant of people locating and identifying

happy situations everywhere.

In simple language, you should accept events as they happen

without giving any credence to pros and cons of the event, its

occurrence, implications on future events and so on. Your ideas

about happiness or occurrence of events governing your happiness

levels fall within certain segments. These segments define your

philosophy and beliefs on life.

Such a clear proposition does not engulf you in different negative

emotions like fear, anger, and depression or shame. They,

therefore, do not preclude the presence of your greatest positive

emotion - happiness.

You should proceed by stressing on the ‘It could be better’ factor

rather than ‘It should’ factor. The first proposition highlights your

compromising and rational attitude, while the second tends directly

to anger, a negative feeling pulling you away from happiness.

Feelings of shame can arise if you are unable to perform or reach

accepted achievement levels in society. This could be about

anything like your smartness, reputation, family background, and

similar facts.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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Shame is self-disapproval or criticism for not being able to attain

accepted norms. Accept such incidents as occurrences in life and

look ahead to overcome obstacles on your way to achieving

happiness.

Dwelling on past mistakes is not the road to happiness. You must

learn to forgive yourself for mistakes and learn from them as a

lesson in life. Punishing yourself over and over for mistakes is

painful and will hinder future attempts at finding happiness.

Depression arises from irrational thinking. It is also a culmination of all negative emotions, leading to lack of self-confidence. The

underlying cure for depression lies within you. You have to love

yourself first to be able to love and receive love from all. This opens doors to your happiness and success.

Fear is worry about your ability. You should be brave enough to

allay your fears and confront them. Do not lie low and accept

everything. Instead, strive to do beyond your expectations. This

focus is more likely to bring you happiness.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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3. The Secret of Happiness

The secret of happiness lies in your decision to be happy.

Happiness is missing in you if you fill your mind and heart with

weary and dreary thoughts. You disturb your state of mind with

doubts and set preconditions for attaining a level of happiness.

If you are able to meet your conditions, you are happy. If not, you

may be unhappy and depressed. Hence, you decide about

functioning of your brain and set preconditions for your feelings of

joy or happiness. However, the irony is that once you meet the said

conditions, you decide on another set of conditions. This goes on

and so, happiness evades you or, rather, you do not allow

happiness to come near you.

The secret of happiness lies in your continuous decision to remain

happy, whatever be the circumstances. You should enjoy your

journey to reach your set goals.

Some people tend to stress over the activities and behavior of other

people as determinants of their happiness. Your happiness is yours

and you must not blame others for the lack of your happiness. You

control your mind, your thoughts, and hence, you hold the sole

decision toward your own happiness.

Simple solutions to secure happiness are to be optimistic and look

to the present without worrying about the future or the past. Boost

your confidence levels to attain higher self-esteem by being true to

self, and always striving forward.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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4. Where to Begin Your Quest for Happiness

Happiness does not only mean feeling joy; it can be a feeling of

peace, serenity, and tranquility. Rather, happiness is something,

which pushes away all negative emotions like stress, sadness,

anger, guilt, depression, and apathy. All these stressful emotions

are often the cause of many illnesses like cancer, cardiovascular

diseases, AIDS, and other infections.

Possible Locations for Happiness

You could look for happiness at different locations like your family,

friends, career, and education. Your aim is to do away with negative

occurrences like illness, poverty, failure, rejection and other difficult situations. Hence, your key to happiness lies in striving and rising

above such negativities to attain the level of happiness.

Where to start your Quest

The foundation of your happiness lies in your choice to be happy.

You have to commit yourself to be happy and make it the most

important aim of your life. The onus of your happiness is with you

and you cannot transfer this responsibility to anybody else. You also

cannot hold anybody else responsible for causing you unhappiness.

Both happiness and unhappiness lies within you and you alone can

make the right choice of the two.

Although there are different social organizations, self-help books,

and counselors to help you in your quest for happiness, nothing

works better than your own effort for your quest for happiness. The

first step towards this quest lies in prioritizing your personal growth.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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Set goals, achieve, and then set higher achievement levels for

yourself. Do not overdo your goals as then it could lead to more

unhappiness if you keep setting goals one after another. Focus on

realistic and practical goals.

Consider an obstacle as an opportunity to grow and reach closer to

your goals. Your failures are your steps to your success. Do not

brood over your disappointments and look beyond them. Learn from

your mistakes and proceed towards your main goal of being happy.

Become mentally strong to deal with all hurdles and become

capable of dealing with difficult situations. Locate role models like

happy and successful people to start with your quest for happiness.

Look deep into their attempts to overcome depression, stress, and

other negative emotions and come out as a highly successful person

in life.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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5. Characteristics of a Psychologically

Healthy, Happy Person

A psychologically happy and healthy person achieves happiness

and strives to go beyond through process of self-actualization. Dr.

Abraham Maslow, father of humanistic psychology, has shed light on

various characteristics prevalent in a healthy and psychologically

happy person. Of course, Dr. Maslow was himself a self-actualizing

person. Most such happy persons are the key contributors to the

health and happiness of the society and community as a whole.

Specific and Evident Characteristics

of Self-Actualizing People

A happy and healthy person dispels following individualistic

uniqueness in his personality and character:

Stoic acceptance of the facts of life without questioning their

occurrence

Humanity encompasses not only family and friends but also

everyone and everything interacting with human existence

Perceiving, believing, and reasoning truth and dwelling deeper in to

the surreal realities to develop accurate perceptions in life

Such perceptions help understand and mark clear discriminations

between right and wrong or good and evil

Resolving conflicts easily because of their easy acceptance of the

basic philosophies of life

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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An aura of calm and peace with themselves and therefore able to

focus on higher realms of life and consequent happiness

Avoiding being self-centered and being more creative due to intense

naivety and spontaneity

Placing greater importance on the character and values of a person

rather than materialistic parameters and concentrating on problem

solving rather than on its occurrence.

Simple, spontaneous, and natural existence placing high value on

essential habits and emphasizing higher-level values like Meta

values

Dr. Maslow stressed that you need to meet and satisfy lower and

basic needs like safety, health, belonging, love, and status before

proceeding to higher Meta values. Such higher Meta values include

simplicity, perfection, completion, goodness, uniqueness, honesty,

justified approach, and a feeling of continuing aliveness invigorating

everything.

Psychologically healthy and happy people support a free mind and

proceed towards a more productive and peaceful phase. However, if

there arises any danger to their basic values in life, they still

proceed ahead toward their higher goals without perceiving any

danger to their basic values. The broader perspective of such happy

people differentiates them from the other commoners.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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6. Is Happiness a Conscious Ultimate Concern?

Your ultimate concern in life determines your goal in life. The same

is true if you say it the other way round. Your goal in life determines the ultimate concern in life. Hence, you have to analyze your inner

self to arrive at what is your topmost concern in life. You obviously

work concentrating towards attainment of this sole aim or goal in

life.

Your Goal fixes your happiness level

Following from that, your aim or ultimate concern determines your

happiness level. Hence, you are making a conscious effort towards

attainment of happiness by arriving at your main goal in life. Paul

Tillich, theologian and philosopher of the modern era, stresses that

your entire existence, personality, and life itself depends on

attainment of happiness through satisfaction of your goals.

Different individuals place importance on different ideals in life like money, love, happiness, family values, education, and the list goes

on. The underlying functioning of your instincts finds governance

through such ideals. If at any time something comes in your way

towards attainment of your main goal, your main aim will be the

eternal winner of this conflict.

Is it possible to make Happiness your

Conscious and Ultimate Concern?

Sure, why not?

Often people decide from many goals like money, social status, or

career status their main goal in life. They feel that fulfillment of

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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these goals can bring them happiness. It sure can. Nevertheless, if

you place maximum stress on attainment of these goals alone as

your end happiness, then any disturbances in attaining or if you are

unable to attain set goals, you become unhappy.

You lose your level of happiness. You remain so very much focused

on attaining set goals that you forego many happy experiences on

your path to happiness. Hence, you trade happiness for your goal in

life. Ultimately, non-attainment of desired levels of goals in life only contributes to your unhappiness.

Therefore, making happiness your ultimate concern is a better

proposition. Here you evaluate every activity as to which yields you

more happiness. Therefore, you only trade happiness for more

happiness.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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7. Why is it Wrong to Make

Happiness Your Top Goal?

Making happiness your goal in life is a subjective fact. Yet, many

are reluctant to disclose that happiness is their ultimate concern in

life. In that case, you need to understand the route to your

happiness or the means you adopt to achieve happiness and satisfy

your most important goal in life.

Immanuel Kant poses a maxim for attainment of happiness. Kant

stresses that the end universal aim of all rational beings is

attainment of happiness. The underlying fear of making happiness

the sole aim in your life stems from the probability of turning selfish and centered on achieving happiness through any means. Here you

need to distinguish between your means of attaining happiness.

Happiness and success go hand in hand. If you are ready to sacrifice

your happiness for the sake or success of others, then you cannot

be happy, as the other person would also try to sacrifice his

happiness for yours. Ultimately, no one is happy.

There is a subtle but clear line of demarcation between pleasure and

happiness. Lower brain centers function to meet the needs of these

centers like hunger, touch, thirst, and others. However, making

pleasure the main goal in life makes you addicted to such thrills. It

does not yield happiness. Pleasure also assumes the character of

selfishness and at times, transforms you into a criminal. This is

because pleasure is irrespective of any care for other’s needs or

feelings.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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However, happiness is on an entirely different strata. The highest

brain centers function towards attainment of higher values in life

like truth, love, beauty, and similar others. This deviates from the

normal pleasure-seeking attitude and hence, is away from

selfishness.

Therefore, giving brings greater happiness than selfishness. Self-

interest at a higher level provides a balanced parameter of giving to

others or giving to self. Here, therefore, making happiness your

prime goal in life does not pose any problems. Hence, you are not

wrong in making happiness your top goal.

Similarly, conscious effort in making happiness your goal is not

necessary. Instead, achievement of other associated goals could

lead to happiness. Rather, happiness is an accepted and welcomed

by-product of this occurrence.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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8. How to Focus Your Energy and

Intelligence to Attain Happiness

Your aim in life could be to attain happiness. You can attain

happiness through various means, which are in a way your goals

too. Such goals could be feeling of love, personal success, success

in career, or intelligence. Again, all such adjectives have a definition of their own. Your perception of success may not be the same as

that of the society. Hence, your satisfaction at your success cannot

be on the same level in society.

In all, success and its measure is a subjective tool. Therefore, you

have to analyze your perception of success and decide on its

degree. You have to fix your priority levels and seek answer to the

question - What is most important to you?

Accordingly, if your answer is happiness other aims like career

success, personal success, love, or anything else is only a means to

attain your ultimate goal of happiness. Therefore, you can measure

your happiness by your levels in these subsidiary goals.

Similarly, your ability to transform these paths of happiness

positively is an important point for seeking happiness. You have to

focus your intelligence and energy towards fulfillment of these

goals. Dr. Wayne Dyer dwells on a similar concept in his book-

‘Happiness IQ?’ Your capacity to perceive and arrive at the solutions

to your problems is your intelligence. Therefore, intelligence

produces positive results for happiness.

Similarly, happiness needs to be giving unto others for being with

you or for you to be happy. You cannot be happy by causing

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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unhappiness to others. Stressing on your means to happiness alone

is good no doubt. At the same time, this stress should not be at the

cost of unhappiness of others or without giving any credence to

basic values in life.

In that case, you become a mere machine pursuing your goal and

you cannot locate happiness anywhere. Rather, you have lost your

way to happiness in your attempt to acquire something

materialistic. Therefore, keep your means of attaining happiness

alive and do not allow it to die in your milieu to attain happiness.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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9. How Satisfaction of Values

Determine Our Happiness

You assign certain values as your measuring stones to happiness.

These inner values could be the ones to satisfy your biological needs

and yield happiness. It could also be the Meta values belonging to

the upper category of values like truth, spirituality, and sublime

beauty bringing in happiness. Hence, your satisfaction of values is a

major determinant of your happiness.

You can evaluate your level of happiness by listing your categories

of happiness like career, family, friends, and health, financial

stability, and so on. Rate your happiness in each category on the

same scale and construct a happiness graph with these values. A

yearly progress of the graph determines your level of happiness.

Your different parameters of success depend on your perspectives of

each parameter. If you feel you can be happier by succeeding in

your career, you contribute to a happiness level in one area only.

Each of your perspectives is a pillar for the foundation of your goal

of happiness.

Hence, success in each sphere contributes equally to your

happiness. This also extends to your lending happiness to others. In

the same vein, you can say that you are able to make others happy

and be happy yourself too.

Every perspective needs coordination. If you are confused about

any of your perceptions to success and consequent happiness, clear

it at the onset. Proceeding with a confused mind is to progress

without any clear conceptions, rather a blind approach. This just

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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cannot lead you anywhere. Therefore, your happiness remains

elusive.

Clear your confusion as it often leads to monotony. A confused state

of affairs cannot locate anything conclusive anywhere. Therefore, it

is equal to staring into a blank space. This is the onset of boredom.

Your efforts at securing happiness can bog you down.

You can rekindle your efforts by seeking newer avenues and

developing better patterns for attaining happiness. You therefore,

have to assess your capabilities, strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, and

other guidelines to progress on your path to happiness. Satisfying

each of these parameters alone can determine your level of

happiness.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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10. Learn How to Be Happy –

Preparing Your Self-Development Plan

You can draft a self-development plan to achieve happiness by

following these steps:

Although happiness is your prime goal, you need to place equal

stress on truth, health, love, and similar others as your means to

attain happiness. Neglecting or placing excessive importance on any

one goal disturbs your formation for attaining happiness.

Probe deeper into your self to diagnose and eliminate causes for

your unhappiness. Instead, stimulate your happiness producing

elements.

Develop feelings of higher category like spirituality, love, and truth

with a positive attitude towards life.

Conquer your fears and cultivate confidence and accompanying

peace within your inner self. Although you should hope for the best,

being prepared for the worst is the best way to build up your inner

strength.

Accept yourself and others unconditionally. Overcome your

negativity to create space for the positive feelings to settle. Improve on all your capabilities to develop an overall complete and fulfilled

image.

Be self-dependent, confident and avoid overt need of others.

Maintain assertiveness and develop a controlled relationship with all.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller

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Rise above the negativities of life like anger, frustration, anxiety,

fear, jealousy, resentment, and similar others. Aim for a

harmonious functioning of your total self.

Continue learning and developing newer patterns of achieving

success and consequent happiness. Do not become static and try to

be happy in all situations.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller