The Institute for Advanced Developement | Dr. Larry Iverson | Strategies for Success | Creating Exceptional Health, Happiness, Relationships and Wealth
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Who Would You Rather Be Around?

The Practice of Happiness
The Dozen Core Components To Creating Abundant Happiness (Part 2 of 14)

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(…continued from last week)

Only Partially Situational

The Mayo Clinic said that only a small percentage of people’s reports of happiness can be explained by their situation. It really seems that the majority is determined by their personality, and more importantly, by their thinking patterns and their behaviors, by what they’re doing and those things can be changed. So you can learn how to be happy, or you can at least learn how to be happier.

Though you may have thought (as many people do) happiness comes from being rich, or from being beautiful, or handsome, or having no stress, or being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want the reality is that the people who have wealth, who are the most beautiful or the most handsome, who have no stress, whose life is just a piece of cake, on average are not any happier than those people who don’t have all that stuff!

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People who are happy really seem to know that their happiness is part of life choices and that their lives are built on the following pillars–devoting some time to friends, family, and having rich associations. To appreciating what we have. To maintaining an optimistic outlook. To looking for the good, finding those good things in their life. To feeling a sense of purpose that you’re making a contribution, to making a difference to doing something that’s worthwhile. And to living in the moment, living right now, not worrying about the future excessively, nor dwelling on the past, but living in the present. Taking the good of this moment and really taking it with you.

Happiness Is A Practice

William Makepeace Thackeray said, “Those we love can but walk down the pier with us, the voyage we must make alone.” And so it is. Your happiness is not determined by the world around you, nor what’s going on at this point in time, necessarily, though that can influence it. But it’s by really what’s going on with inside of you. You must make your own voyage, your voyage of happiness, your voyage of sadness. Your voyage of positive, fun experiences, your voyage of tough times.

Part of happiness is literally a form of practice. If you’ve been seeking happiness, the good news is your choices, your thoughts, your actions, your level of happiness can automatically go up right now.

Relationships Work

It’s not as easy as flipping a switch, but you can turn up your level of happiness. Here’s one of the ways you can get started on it. Invest in the relationships around you, surround yourself with happy people.

Being around people who are contented, who are having good experiences in their life, who love life, who have values that align with yours will lift your mood too. By being happy yourself you give that to the people around you.

Who would you rather be around? Someone who’s always grumpy and sad and upset? Or somebody who has a positive attitude, believes in the good, works to do things that are positive for them, their families or communities, their church, their civic groups. Who would you prefer to be around? It’s the same on the other side – be that person others would choose to be with as well, by choosing to be that positive person. Your friends, your family can help you celebrate life’s successes and they can also give you that lift, that boost when times are tough.

In many cases it’s very easy to take friends and family for granted, these relationships need nurturing. You’ve got to put some time and energy into them because they’re so important for each of us. We must be doing things that really lift us and lift them.

You build up your emotional bank account with kind words, with actions, with being a good friend. When you are careful and gracious, watching how that comes back to you is not hard, you see it. If you’re somebody who’s always giving critiques to people, how much do you like to be around people that are always telling you your faults? It’s nice to have feedback, but if that’s all the relationship seems to be again and again is critique, critique, critique–it’s not really fun.

(to be continued…)

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