One Secret of Happiness
Author: Catherine Pulsifer ©2007
How many times have you thought, “It doesn’t get any better than this!” How many times have you actually said to someone else, “It doesn’t get any better than this!”
It is not that all days seem to be filled with all the best there is. But, each day has its own blessings. Even when a day may be comprised of challenges, each challenge is an opportunity to move beyond something viewed as a problem and viewed, instead, as an opportunity to find and implement a solution.
This is not to say, however, that every problem has an immediate solution. It may also be that a problem cannot be resolved in this lifetime. But, there is still an opportunity. That opportunity lies within our ability to utilize lessons from whatever problem may be without a resolution to better appreciate that which we have already been given. Sometimes the problem before us gives us pause to reconsider other issues that may lead indirectly to an improvement to us personally or to help improve someone or something else. Within the deepest recesses of problems lies the kernel of something renewed or to be born anew.
Each day is open to positive thinking or negative slumping. But when each day is viewed afresh in those things that delight rather than diminish, it is your chance to declare thoughts of happiness. Make a conscious decision to use this thought as many times a week or a day as you can. Don’t wait for a major accomplishment in your life to verbalize this thought. See how many times you can express it in your day-to-day living.
This happiness thought can come from the simple things in life. It doesn’t have to be a major event. If we change our attitude to one where the simple things are ones we cherish, we will be much happier. Simple things like:
– Enjoying lunch with a friend
– Walking with that special someone in your life
– A child’s hug
– Someone who thanks you for helping them
– Reading a good book
– Watching a sunrise or sunset
– Watching birds come to a feeder
– Watching children laugh and play
– Waking up in the morning and feeling well
– Attending a child’s school concert
– Learning a new chord on a musical instrument
– Skating for the first time without falling
An Attitude Change
When I first heard the expression, “It doesn’t get any better than this”, I started using it at every opportunity I could. It made me appreciate all the little things that happen in my everyday life that made me happy. Things that previously I may have just taken for granted. It was amazing how my attitude changed to one that recognized more of the blessings in my life.
“Happiness consists more in small conveniences of pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man on the course of his life.” Benjamin Franklin
Life is full of nuances and bumps, and slides and hills. There is always a challenge to meet, a mountain to climb, a river to cross but there is also the beauty of the moment, the peace of a babbling brook, the quiet solitude of sitting alone with nature, and the comfort found in friendship. And, while we would love to move through life without having to face problems, issues or unwanted circumstances, we know that this will not happen. Nevertheless, each gift is not diminished but only enhanced when viewed afresh each day amongst the vicissitudes of life.
One strategy that embellishes your total being from that of having negative thoughts to one where positive thinking prevails is to use a technique you have probably heard of before but one that has been proven to actually form a great habit. This mechanism is that of journaling. Here is how it works.
Start off each day by simply writing down one thing you are thankful for. This entry into your journal could be that you are thankful that you have a job that supports your ability to feed yourself and your family. The next day, your entry records another thing you are grateful for. Each time you write down something you are grateful for, you are signaling to your mind things that are positive, things that allow your mind to start focusing on the good not the negative.
Keep making journal entries every day for twenty-one days. In some cases, this record uses three entries per day. The point here is that the more things you write per day, the more your mind will move towards looking for the positive and thus categorically relegating the negatives to the back of your mind. By the end of twenty-one days, you will most likely find that your mind has been trained to now look towards everything that is good and positive and thus not focus on anything negative or pessimistic.
This procedure of positive journaling has been used in corporations to change the outlook and positive attributes of many of its employees. Do not dismiss the power of this technique thinking that it is just to common or ordinary practice that cannot work. The opposite is true for this simple but powerful strategy.
Take It Further
Now that you have mastered the art of journaling for your own benefit, there is another strategy that you can employ to help others see the positive in life rather than focusing on the negative. One environment where you can use this positive orientation is your particular work environment. Instead of sowing seeds of discontent, sow seeds of contentment. Part of this strategy is to start by sharing with another colleague something that is a positive in your life. You don’t have to expect a positive response in return because all you are doing is sowing seeds of gratitude.
The next step is to continue sowing seeds of contentment or gratitude to another colleague. Bear in mind that this should not be forced into normal conversation. Instead, it should flow naturally whenever the opportunity arises. It may take place at the coffee machine, or before a meeting commences, or during a lunch break. The intent is to help other people around you to see past events that are causing concern and to focus more abundantly on the good things that are evident.
Part of this strategy is to create an atmosphere of appreciation rather than an atmosphere where issues, problems or concerns are given the main attention. If negativity is allowed to dominant discussions, it becomes a divisive environment where others are more influenced to join in dissent. A happy work environment lends itself to not only happier people but to more positive contribution to the job at hand as well as the influence of well-being amongst their colleagues.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
“As we learn to be more grateful for the blessings we have, we tend to be more positive.” Stephen Shaner, The Art of Being Awesome
“What helps make your future a brighter one is if you’ll make the decision today to choose to be happy and thankful for the present, and just let the future be.” Matt Morris, How To Live In The Present Moment
“The obstacles you face are. . . mental barriers which can be broken by adopting a more positive approach.” Clarence Blasier
“Don’t forget to count your blessings and appreciate what you have – it’s proven to increase your sense of happiness.” Joanna Jast, Laser-Sharp Focus
“It takes a lot of courage to have an ‘attitude of gratitude’ during the ‘dark’ times. But once you have it, it empowers you.” Joshua Tongol, The Secret to Awesomeness
“See that happiness starts with your own attitude and that it’s not dependent on the reaction of someone you have never met before.” Peter W. Murphy, Always Know What To Say
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