Have you ever found yourself contemplating whether it’s the events in your life that make you happy or sad, OR if it’s the way you interpret those events? Well, since it’s Friday and I like to keep the mood light with good vibes, I thought I’d let you in on the wonderfully good news…… You CAN think yourself happy!
According to the New York Times, John Hopkins and Wake Forest Universities conducted a study where they measured students’ levels of primary control (meaning the things in their lives they can directly affect) and secondary controls (meaning how they interpret those events events in their lives.)
The study the two universities conducted then measured how satisfied the undergrad students were with their own lives. The results turned out to show that students with high levels of secondary control were happier with their lives than the hustlers and go-getters who were attempting to “bend the world to match their will.”
Of course, the study wasn’t trying to say that having ambitious goals was a negative thing, and you definitely should take as much action as possible to achieve those bench marks. But unless you learn to successfully control and manage your emotions on your beautiful journey called life, you’ll most likely end up stuck in a rut and unhappy.
So stay out of that rut. It’s as easy as 1..2..3. You can increase your secondary control levels by simply changing the rules you use to evaluate the events that happen to you. Here is the three step process (it’s easy, I promise):
1. Write Down Your Current “Rules”
Set aside about 30 minutes of alone time and being honest with yourself, write down the answers to the following questions:
- What needs to happen in order for me to be happy?
- What needs to happen in order for me to be unhappy?
Looking at your answers, are you making it easier to be miserable than to be happy?
2. Create a Better Set of Rules
Put your imagination caps on and create a new set of rules that will make it easier for you to be extraordinarily happy, and more difficult for you to be miserable. For example…..
- “I am so excited to see the people at the office every day.”
- “I’m not a fan when people are late for our meetings.”
3. Post the New Rules Where You’re Forced to See Them!
When you’ve completed your rules, make copies and post them in multiple places. Your bathroom, your car, on your desk at work… leave these rules up. Now, eventually you will memorize these rules that are going to change your life, but continue to leave them up. Because eventually hard times and the unexpected invades all of our lives, but we have the power to choose. We can take “secondary control” of our lives and we can think ourselves happy.
What’s your secret to keeping the good vibes flowing and keeping a positive attitude on a daily basis?