Have you ever thought, “once I have my ‘schooling completed, get a good job, find the right person, save x dollars, buy a house,’ then I will be happy”?
Is your happiness goal-based?
Forget about goals, have you been in survival mode for so long, that you don’t remember what makes you feel good?
I’m all for goals but we have it backwards. The happier we are at this moment, the better our brains are for learning, creativity and achieving our goals.
And likewise, if we are working with others to improve their lives, we need to create an atmosphere that encourages joy, happiness, innovation (and with innovation, there will be unexpected results/failures), re-evaluation, and laughter (a long time ago, I read about an investor who would walk around a company he was considering. The ONLY thing he was focused on was laughter. No laughter=no investment. While laughter did not always equal profits, an unhappy environment was never worth the investment).
Feeling good = learning more and being more creative.
We need to reverse the formula for happiness and success . . . If you can raise somebody’s level of positivity in the present, then their brain experiences what we now call a happiness advantage, which is your brain in positive performs significantly better than it does when in negative, neutral, or stressed. Your intelligence rises Your creativity rises. Your energy levels rise. In fact, what we found every single business outcome improves. Your brain at positive is 31% more productive than your brain at negative, neutral or stressed.
~Shawn Anchor, from: The happy secret to better work.
If you have 10 minutes watch this entertaining and informative clip. Well worth your time.
Take Action NOW
At the end of his talk, Shawn Achor (quoted above) lists five things we can do to make our brains more productive and for us to feel happier. The comments following each one are mine.
1. List three gratitudes. A great bedtime ritual so the brain is filled with gratitude before drifting off to sleep. It has been suggested that at least one of the three should be something very mundane – sunshine on the face, petting a dog, the taste of a food.
2. Journaling. Lots of people love to journal. Most will never do it. Part of what makes journaling so healthy is clarifying feelings. That can be implemented into your life at any time. Stop reading this for three seconds and ask yourself: What am I feeling?
Also, when talking to others, ask how they felt about something. It surprises me how often I’ve guessed the wrong emotion.
Sometimes people bristle at the topic of emotions but if you want to be happier, and happiness is an emotion, wouldn’t it make sense to be aware of what increases and decreases happiness and do more of the former and less of the latter?
3. Exercise. This one should be a given. Our brain works better and we are happier when our body has movement.
4. Meditation. There are many definitions of meditation, but to begin, just take one to three deep breathes before eating a meal, while at a red light, while waiting in line or waiting for a page to load. Better imperfectly done than perfectly not done. A few deep breathes might not equal meditation but it is progress.
5. Random acts of kindness. Don’t feel pressured to have to add something more to your to-do list. Instead, change reality by changing your perception. If someone is irritating you, is not listening (for the 100th time), or life in general is a drain, ask yourself a question like, “What if this person is doing their very best they can manage at this time,” or “What if this is happening because I need to learn something. And it will keep happening until I learn the lesson. Maybe I need to change my perception so I can move past this.”
6. I would also like to add to Shawn’s list a question for you to ask yourself: What things make me happy? Have I done any of those things today?
Let’s say you like to travel but that is a far-off experience. First, do you like to travel because you enjoy experiencing new things, relaxing and reading, spending time in the water or family time with no interruptions? All of those experience can happen, albeit on a smaller scale, this week. Second, add a bit of it to you day or your week.
It is your duty to be curious about what brings you joy today and puts your brain into a state of learning and creativity. You can’t share joy and happiness if you don’t have it to share.
Now, it is with happiness and joy that I announce the winners of our Lap Pad and Cat Collar contests!
Kelly Westlake wins the weighted stuffy for giving us feedback on how to improve our lap pads. Kelly, please contact me with your choice of weighted stuffy and where you would like it sent.
Colleen Breitkreutz wins the prototype cat collar for her contribution on improving the prototype. Colleen, please contact me with the address of where you would like it sent.
Thanks everyone who entered.*
Have a self-induced week of having and spreading joy and happiness.
Providing calmness & comfort, learning & laughter,
P.S. *If you have ANY COMMENTS about our lap pads and the new cat collar, please let me know by Friday, April 13th - the deadline for sending the samples to the rep.
Very excited that we will soon have new products to share with you.
Stay tuned - we will have a time-limited intro sale when the new products arrive.