Mike Dooley, philosopher and entrepreneur, is famous for saying “Thoughts become things…Choose the good ones.” And I think everyone as heard the saying “Time flies when you’re having a good time;” which proves the validly of Einstein’s theory of relativity.
These are nice, concise ways of expressing, what researchers in the field of positive psychology have documented; that positive thoughts lead to positive emotions and results and negative thoughts have negative results.
Positive psychology tells us the steps to lasting happiness are not something that we can climb one time; so that when we get to the top and then we’re done. The steps to lasting happiness must be practiced.
Bottom line, what you think, how often you think it, and what you do about it (your behavior and actions), will determine your success at finding lasting happiness.
Back to Mike Dooley, you have the ability to “choose the good ones,” a process that will grow over time with practice, in other words you can train your brain. But what do you use to train it.
Sonja Lyubomirsky, the author of “The How of Happiness,” and other books on happiness, suggested 12 different activities which will help train your brain. For example, Practice Expressing Gratitude, Avoid Over-thinking and Social Comparison, Practice Acts of Kindness, or Practice Taking Care of Your Body and Your Soul.
I also ran across an article by Jan Bruce, CEO and co-founder of “meQuilibrium,” in which he offers some “exercises” to help build our “happiness muscle.”
Here’s a couple:
Tune Your Happiness Radar
Ask yourself, “What’s good about my life right now?” It can be a big thing, like say a promotion, or a small thing, like enjoying a good laugh. This is what helps you change the channel on your mental radar and tune in to the good stuff.
Write It Down
Rather than let these moments slip away, extend their positive effects by committing them to paper (or to Evernote, for that matter). Call it a gratitude list, call it whatever you like. The important thing is that you make a habit of writing down three to five things every day that are going well. And every day, they have to be different. This leads you to actively seek out new ones.
Can’t think of anything? Consider these:
What’s been going well at work that you’re excited about or proud of?
What small comforts have you enjoyed today — a delicious latte, a yummy lunch? Maybe you’re wearing your favorite shirt.
What’s going well with your health? Rather than focus on the headache, think about the fact that you’re strong and energized. Maybe your mother is feeling better or your son is sleeping well again. These are good things too.
We talked about how your emotion radar is always scanning for future threats. Let’s recalibrate it so that it becomes attuned to moments and experiences of happiness. Continue reading here…
Enter Deepak’s Happiness Prescription
In the “Happiness Prescription” he offers practices (based on the 7 Spiritual Laws of Success) that are not only a means to achieve lasting happiness but to experience expanded states of consciousness or bliss.
Finding true self-esteem is one of Deepak’s recommended steps or practices.
The Practice is to awaken greater self-esteem by beginning to identifying with your true-self or authentic-self, as opposed to the part of you that craves approval, and sees your self-worth bound up it things that are outside of you, a process known as “object referral.”
Being true to yourself has five qualities, none of which are reliant on any external factors. The practice is to begin implementing and integrate them in to your Life.
1. Your true being is connected to all that exist
2. It has no limitations.
3. It has infinite creativity
4. It is fearless, and willing to step into the unknown.
5. Intention from the level of being is powerful and can orchestrate synchronicity (a perfect meshing of outside circumstances to bring about your intention).
In shifting your identity to your authentic-self you open yourself up to experience real freedom, abundance, joy and happiness.
The practices offered here by these three teachers, scholars and researchers are transformative if put into action and a nice place to start climbing the steps to lasting happiness.