How to use psychology to be happy now. Happiness is a choice – this is how and why.
Questions are power tools of change. Power tools work best when plugged in and turned on. Sometimes the questions we ask are not really questions. My friend and creative editor, Tom Cantrell, called me on this recently when he asked, “Was that a question, or a statement disguised as a question?” Here’s a common example: “How can I be happy with all of this going on?” That’s not a bad question, if it is used as a question. Normally a question like this really means, “I can’t be happy with all of this going on” – it is a statement disguised as a question. Another example is in my last message – “What could possibly be good about this?” Another great question, if you stay plugged in to the question. “Nothing could possibly be good about this” is the statement that sometimes gets into that question’s disguise. Plug in the power – turn it back into a question and get
The motivational master, Earl Nightingale promoted Pathological Positivity when he suggested that we learn to habitually respond to even devastating circumstances by saying “that’s good” – then engage our marvelous minds to discover or create what’s good about it. As a psychologist, I see the power in this strategy. Our mind will dutifully fulfill our commands and requests. If we ask our mind to find out what is bad about something we can certainly find supportive evidence. If, on the other hand, we ask our minds to find out what is good about something, our minds will get to work on that. “What could possibly be good about this!?” Well, that’s not a bad question – get busy finding a legitimate answer instead of assuming that there couldn’t be one. life loans It’s our attitude in life that determines life’s attitude toward us. ~ Earl Nightingale
Sometimes I am accused of being pathologically positive, like Pollyanna from the 1960 Disney movie. Is this a compliment or a criticism? I wasn’t sure so I rented the movie. I remember as a child liking the movie. It seems that when I got older, I joined in with the other popular opinions that it was just corny and, well, pollyannaish. Watching it this time, I really paid attention to what Pollyanna was doing in light of my positive psychology practice. Here is a kid who was orphaned at an age when she could understand what was going on. Unquestionably a huge and painful adversity. Her father had been a minister, and taught her a game that she liked to play whenever something difficult or unpleasant was happening – the glad game. The game is that you intentionally look for something to be glad about related to your situation. It is
A common theme lately in my practice has been that of choosing happiness. We stumble around and search and strive for that which will make us happy thinking, “I will be happy when…” or “I would truly be happy if…” The illusion that success will bring happiness traps us in a state of perpetually waiting for it to happen. The real secret is that happiness brings success, not the other way around. Choose happiness – no matter what. Small Business Credit Card Some people stumble through life trying to find the way to happiness, they don’t understand the way IS happiness. Wayne Dyer
Decisions, choices, options… Those words delineate freedom and control over various aspects of life. They also strike fear into the heart, mostly because of the chance that your choice will be WRONG! But not making a choice is itself a choice with a full spectrum of consequences. You can’t not choose, so choose wisely. Don’t worry about making a mistake – that just gives you the opportunity to learn something you didn’t know before. When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice. http://www.spellys.com/mydata/ – William James
I want to put a warning out there to all of my friends. The warning has to do with a deception that is creating a lot of havoc in the lives of unsuspecting people everywhere. This deception is the most prevalent and potentially dangerous of any I know, and a major part of your energy should be dedicated to identifying and combating it – for if you are deceived by it, your life will predictably become miserable as a result. The deception of which I speak is the belief that you have no choice. This is the most damaging part of a victim paradigm. What happens to you or around you in your life is not nearly as important as what happens within you. You can’t always control what is happening, but you will always retain what Viktor Frankl called “the last of human freedoms” – to choose your attitude
There are times when my kids have some kind of a choice to make among a variety of options, and faced with the difficulty of deciding they may ask, “Dad, which kind should I get?” My response is predictable as I say, “Whatever kind you want.” It seems so obvious to me that it is just a matter of choice and preference. Well, recently my wife called her dad, who was unavailable to answer the phone. She got the routine message of, “I’m not available… please leave a message…” etc., but then the ending took her by surprise. Just before the beep Vicki heard, “Have whatever kind of day you want!” It is, after all, just a matter of choice and preference. We’ve been getting a lot of mileage out of this one as we encourage each other now to do just that. I’m trying to give up the selfishness