How happy are you? Really?
At Pendulum ’18 recently another of the world class speakers was New York Times #1 Best-selling author, Marci Schimoff, having sold more than fifteen million copies of her books in more than 30 languages, Marci co-authored six of the Chicken Soup for the Women’s Soul series and featured in ‘The Secret’. Marci is one of the bestselling female nonfiction authors of all time.
And she spoke to me. Well, she spoke to the thousands at Pendulum, I was one of them.
What I heard and what I want to share is that happiness is a decision!
It has been said that people are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be – have you made up your mind to be happy?
A lot of people haven’t.
They want to be happier, they wish they were happier but they haven’t made up their minds to be happier.
And they don’t practice Happiness Habits. – Yes there are such things and it’s not happy-clappy mumbo jumbo.
Marci gave voice to something I had been considering for some time. And that is we are all name Vic – the question is – what’s our second name? Tim or Tor.
Yes we are either VicTIM or VictTOR, and though most of us can be both at different times in our lives, it is impossible to be both at the same time.
Victims are lived. They are lived by others. Stuff happens to them. They are victims of circumstance, victims of birth, victims of race, victims of nationality, victims of poor education, victims of discrimination; of lack of opportunity. It is never their fault. Woe is me is the attitude. The glass is always half empty!
Vctors on the other hand live. They take control. They happen to stuff. They are victors despite circumstance, victors despite birth, race, nationality, poor education, discrimination; they take responsibility; they create their own opportunities. If it is to be it is up to me is the attitude. The same glass? Half full, naturally.
Marci reminded me we are all handicapped, though most of us manage not to show it. There are those in wheelchairs and the like that are clearly disabled (or differently abled), and those we know that have some form of mental handicap that has them function differently to the majority – these are the few in society whereupon the rest of can clearly see their handicap and can, if we choose, make allowances for it. For the rest of us, our handicaps are less visible – often invisible – more hidden, but often times more insidious.
Most of us are handicapped by our thinking.
To find out more, watch the video, listen to the podcast or read on below…
Prefer Podcast? Click here.
Happiness is one area where some of us are handicapped – we pretend to be, we smile, but the smile rarely reaches our eyes – we play happy-clappy to the crowd but then we dissolve in private and overthink only everything.
And in so doing we rob ourselves of the essence of life. We rob ourselves of our own happiness.
Happiness is a decision. Happiness is internal and we can do something about it if we understand some simple principles:
· We are all handicapped
· We all have a Happiness Set-point
· We can create Happiness Habits
We touched on the handicapped piece earlier, so let’s look at our Happiness Set-point – we all have one and it is influenced in three ways:
1. 50% genetics
2. 10% circumstances
3. 40% habits
Look at that for a moment.
Victims will see validation, 50% genetics, – I’m screwed! And total 60% – more than half when you throw in circumstances – I knew it! No wonder I’m not happy and I’m right not to be.
They deliberately choose to ignore the remaining 40% (almost half) that they can do something about! Why? Easier to wallow and blame I guess. This is glass half empty thinking.
Our Victor friends see the same data and say woohoo! Look at that, all of 40% that I can control – I can ignore my genetics and circumstances, or at very least I can do something to counteract them! How cool is that? This is glass half full thinking.
So how do we become happier?
This is down to the third point, Happiness Habits.
We can actually rewire our brains to create more happiness in our lives but we need to understand what is happening currently.
We think 60,000 thoughts per day and, wait for it – 80% of them are negative (happiness robbing thoughts)!
It is in how we speak to ourselves.
Try curling up in a ball and saying, “I am motivated, I am motivated!”
Try standing up, arms in the air, jumping up and down and saying, “I am depressed, I am depressed.”
Both are laughable. The body can’t lie. It is within our power to change.
To correct the imbalance we need to begin to live life with all our heart and all our soul.
And here are three tips Marci gave me that I am happy to share with you.
Take some time at the beginning and end of each day to
1. Think of three things you are genuinely happy and grateful for in your life.
2. Internalize and savour each for 20 seconds.
3. Go for 3:1 ratio throughout the day. If you find yourself swinging back towards victimhood, stop, remember the three things you identified to be happy and grateful for, concentrate on them each for 20 seconds and watch your mood change.
Happiness really is a decision.
As the famous Nike ad said, “Just do it.”
HIRE ME TO SPEAK? Consider me speaking at your event, launch, awards, after-dinner. Find out more here.
MORE? Some of the issues touched on above have been discussed in earlier “Coffee with Colm” Blog posts:
- Body can’t lie – the overwhelming effect of non-verbal communication. Click here
- How to create sustainable change in your life. Click here
- Understanding the Gravity of Bad Habits (how to break free from it). Click here.
STAY CONNECTED? If this is your thing, consider joining in the conversation here.
FREE BOOK? If would like a complimentary copy of my book “Feeding Johnny – How to Build a Business Despite the Roadblocks” in audio, narrated by yours truly so you get all the nuances, feel free to grab one here.
GO DEEPER? If you would like to go deeper in your own personal journey, you can review the first step in my “12 Steps to Create the Life You Really Want” for FREE. Check it out here.
Thanks for thinking with me.
“How can I help?”