Week 19- Happiness is an ‘Inside Job’

Happiness is Determined Before the Effect~

This week started with a terrific Ted video, called “Wisdom of Play” by Shawn Achor, where Shawn shared some of the ‘secrets’ of happiness.  Most people are pursuing happiness, as if it were something to find ‘out there…….somewhere.’  We think that if we could have the thing we most desire, we’d be happy.  Yet, when we get it, our brain puts another ‘carrot’ in front of us, and now we’ve forgotten the last thing we needed to make us happy, and we begin to pursue the next thing; then the next, and so on.  It becomes a pattern in our brains, to keep pushing for the next thing. So, basically it develops into a pattern of discontent.  No wonder we aren’t happy when we get stuck in this rut!  Discontent is the opposite of happiness.

As Shawn Achor talks about in the video, we’ve all pretty much got it completely backwards.  Happiness is a cause, not an effect. It is not somethings we can pursue.  Oh, I suppose you can if you want to pursue it, but you’ll find it is futile, and will never bring you to the happiness and bliss you wish to have.

What does it Take to be Happy?

As most people know, it takes 21 days to create a habit.  Yes, we will fall off the wagon or get caught up in the affairs of life, but we must determine to walk on the path that leads to our bliss.  What each person desires may be different, but the journey is similar. I figured it out a month or so ago, that those of us on the MKMMA journey, are being set up for success.  We’ve been asked to do five things:  list three things we’re grateful for; perform random acts of kindness; recall a positive memory of the day; exercise so we reinforce within that our behavior matters; meditate each day.  These five things help to rewire and train our brain, creating new pathways.  In Shawn’s video, he shared this same list of five things, that will change your ‘happiness factor’ from within.  Doing these things on a daily basis, helps to reorient your mind, from a negative to a positive mindset.  Shawn said, “It’s not the reality that shapes us, but the lens through which the brain views the world that shapes your reality.  If we can change the lens, not only can we change our happiness, but we can change every educational and business outcome.”  That’s a very powerful statement!

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