In the past researchers focused on negative thought patterns and depression and now researchers like Martin Seligman, Tal Ben Shahar, Sonja Lyubomirskyand Gretchen Rubin are focusing on positive thinking.
When a negative thought enters your mind what do you do with it? Do you dwell on it as if it were true? Take an example from your past, a time when a negative thought just turned over and over in your mind. What was that thought?
Evaluate the thought through the prism of these four questions to see if the thought is true.
Is the thought true?
Can you absolutely know that it is true?
How do you feel when you have that thought?
Who would you be or what would you feel if it you didn’t have that thought?
Now, reverse the thought and change it to its opposite.
Is the thought false?
Can you absolutely know that it is false?
How do you feel when you have that thought?
What would you be or what would you feel if you did something with this thought?
Which scenario is more valid, the positive thought or the negative thought? Which thought has the possibility of creating a better mood and better outcome?
Take time to think about the positive outcomes and your life will become more positive as a result.
“Kindness is a language we all understand. Even the blind can see it and the deaf can hear it.” Mother Teresa
How do you spread kindness? How do you encourage others to reach their full potential? When was the last time you were encouraged, thanked, appreciated, or acknowledged?
If you have been acknowledged recently those around you probably haven’t been either. What a great way to start a trend – acknowledge those around you and see what happens. Brighten their day to brighten yours!
What is the point of living if you are not willing to change? Any ideas? There are people who resist change, run from change, pretend not to change all in the effort to remain the same. It is the sameness of everyday life that is reductionary, that sucks life from us and drains joy from us. Sameness … what is your sameness? What patterns are regularly repeated day in and day out that should be changed? There are patterns that bear repeating day after day … so not those, but those patterns that trap us in sameness, what are those?
Part of change is to improve or bring upon oneself greater happiness. Not the kind of happiness associated with laugther but the kind of happiness that feels good for long periods of time without any form of corruption.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi writes, “What I ‘discovered’ was that happiness is not something that happens. It is not the result of good fortune or random chance. It is not something money can buy or power command. It does not depend on outside events, but, rather, on how we interpret them. Happiness, in fact, is a condition that one must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended privately by each person. People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy.”
Learning to control the inner experience … leads to happiness.
I don’t know how many people find meaning in suffering but it might just be that in suffering you discover more about yourself than you do when you are in a state of joy.The questions are asked more often in suffering.Questions of why – why me – why?Perhaps that is the wrong question to ask.When there is suffering the goal is to make it go away and that it does go away and in most cases it will.
When we experience joy more often than not we know it will subside overtime and go away.It is unlikely that the question is asked how can I keep joy going when we are in a state of joy.It seems as if we accept joy for what it is when it is present.
Business leaders try to examine the success of others so that they can apply that knowledge to their line of work in order to increase their chance of success or to increase their current success.Now what would happen if individuals focused on improving their lives, their joy and their success, what do you think would happen?
Constant incremental improvement – constantly improve the joy in your life by focusing on what makes you filled with joy.
Try it!Spend a few minutes each day and write down the things that were good – joyful.Even if it is just one thing write it down and the next day try to find two things that were joyful.You may have to work on making joy enter your life – try it!
In suffering try to find joy and it may mean helping someone else find joy.