One of the most powerful forces in human nature is our belief
that change is possible. ~ Shawn Achor
I am limping into 2016 determined to make the year less crappy. We retired in 2007 and every year after has had a good deal of crappiness. This year I said, “Enough is enough!” and have declared this year, one of happiness.
I started by watching Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday television program, hoping to be inspired and I was. The show is a mixture of interviews with and lectures by Spiritual Gurus designed to improve your life. It airs Sundays, on OWN.
I was most taken by Shawn Achor who along with Elizabeth Gilbert author of “Eat Pray Love” has admitted to crying on the bathroom floor. Shawn has studied the Science of Happiness since his days at Harvard and talks about Positive Psychology and redefining Happiness. I was unaware that Happiness is a science, but what he said makes sense.
The traditional formula, Hard Work = Success = Happiness, does not work because happiness is on the backside of success. We are always chasing the carrot because it is moved continually . Since 90% of happiness is derived from how the brain processes the world, we can train our brain to be happy just as we train our body to be strong, with exercise. The train your brain exercises he recommends are; a gratitude list, journal about what makes you happy, exercise, meditation, and random acts of kindness.
You can watch his lecture on Super Soul Sunday or visit his website for particulars.
While we have heard some of this before, Shawn supports the “Happiness Advantage” theory with findings. He found that people engaging in any of the activities for 21 consecutive days, were happier. In other words, happiness is a habit and good habits, like smiling, make a difference.
Since writing make me happy, and writing about what makes you happy is on the list, I am introducing the Happiness Series, with “Striped Sweater.”
Snow falls throughout the night into the early morning. Soft sugar like flakes that tickle your face then flutter gently to the ground, remind me of creating angels in the snow. We are snowbound. The roads are driveable but it is safer not to. The accumulation is six to seven inches and the air crisp.
Our eleven-year-old granddaughter is playing computer games with Aunt Janine and doing handstands on the living room floor. The Christmas tree is still standing with scattered presents beneath the artificial branches.
Alexandria Antonia resembles my side of the family: fair skin, freckles, hazel blue eyes, and her dad’s auburn brown hair. She will more than likely be tall.
Alex, as she prefers to be called, sings throughout the day, off tune. Her voice is wonderful to hear. She sings, “Striped Sweater, a sweater with a stripe” a song she wrote. There are no other words just this simple refrain. Papa wears an old green sweater that inspired the catchy tune. She denies liking to sing and in between handstands excuses herself to use the potty.
We then listen to her joyful rendition of Jingle Bells from behind a closed door.
This is happiness.
. . . . just saying
I think you are right in that happiness is practiced and repeated. Very cute story of your grand daughter. She seems like a cute girl. I’m glad you had such a happy time wit your family over Christmas.
Thank you. She brings a smile to my face.
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From crappy to happy…a journey that could take a lifetime (nothing changes if nothing changes) or just a few inspired moments. THANX, Claudia
Diana, “From crappy to happy” I’ll be using this. I’m hoping for a 21 day journey but get your point . . . . just saying
Look up trackyourhappiness.com. I listened to a TED talk about happiness last month and found this fascinating.
I have experimented with it and believe it works. Love you girlfriend, Kathe
Kathe, I will peek at trackyourhappiness.com – back at you . . . just saying
Thank you. I need to start practicing happiness as well. I love the striped sweater song.🎵
Sherrie, Thanks for joining the movement. I wish I could capture jingle in notes, it’s memorable. Claudia
Let’s all be happy this year…..I guess you have to see what unhappy is to really understand that happy is every aspect of our daily lives, our love ones and the beauty all around us when we stop to see it. Thanks for a good reminder to let it flow, let it flow……
You are so right, I didn’t realize I was the “learn the hard way” type . . . . just saying