Reverse-engineering happiness and success

The old story of how to feel good goes like this: “If this (insert success here) happens, then I’ll be happy.” You know what that looks like — when we get the job, land the contract, get the love interest, win the lottery then we’ll be happy.

Those pretty big-ticket items are fairly obvious, but it can look a little sneakier on a daily basis. What are your small wishes? For someone to clean the bathroom, unasked? For your spouse to be a little more cheerful? For the weather to be drier/wetter/stormier/calmer/sunny/not quite so hot? And then life would be better?

Here’s the deal: things become better because we are happy, not the other way around. And for those who need it, there is scientific proof of this.

You have got to watch this Ted Talk by Shawn Achor. It’s twelve minutes of worthiness, with humor. I promise you that if you skip over it you will be wondering later about what you missed out on. I mean really, subtitles in 48 languages sure says it’s hitting home…

He gives 5 actions to train our brains to scan for positives, first. Which will you do first? Which do you already do?

Changing the lens of how we see the world changes our happiness. Do we by default see the tough stuff, or do we first see the good stuff? Just today, I experienced this. Here I was, slogging away at one of my concurrent six large projects, and at the end of the day I thought to myself, “Wow, I worked so hard today and I have so much yet to do that I feel even more behind.” And then I caught myself:

Wait a second. I actually really rocked this today. Yeah, there’s a lot involved. Sure, there’s a long way to go. But holy wow, look how much I got done today! SO much more than anticipated! Look how well this project is going! Flowing SO much more smoothly than I would have thought! This is working, even with all the other projects I’ve got going on, too! I feel great, I’m doing really well, and I am kind of amazing!

What is is that you are going for, reaching toward, opening up to receive?

Be happy now. It will then absolutely find you.

Happiness word cloud collage, heart concept background

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