August 03, 2017

"Our happiness depends on the 'habit of mind' we cultivate.  
So practice happy thinking every day.  Cultivate a merry heart, 
develop the happiness habit, and life will become a continual feast."
-  Norman Vincent Peale
While an occasional battle of the blues is often unavoidable, you may be surprised to learn that much of your day to day happiness is within your control.  It's been proposed that 60% of your happiness is determined by your genetics and environment.  While there is little you can do to alter your genetics, your environment is another matter entirely.  The remaining 40% of your happiness is, well, up to you!  That's right.  What this means is that whether or not you experience happiness is greatly determined by your own mind.  It's called mindfulness, and it's a powerful tool to train your mind to cultivate habits that either encourage - or hinder - your happiness.  Begin the process of breaking happiness-robbing habits by studying the list of the top 5 culprits.  While changing thought patterns is not always quick and often requires practice, you may find that the reward of improved happiness is more than enough incentive to "kick the habits."
1.  Comparing Yourself to Others
President Theodore Roosevelt once remarked that, "Comparison is the thief of joy."
He was right.  Guard against this at all cost.  Observing the good fortunes of others is natural, but allowing someone else's success to diminish our own joy is utterly self defeating.  Become mindful of your own personal attributes, talents and blessings - and never let someone else's circumstances diminish your joy in your own.
2.  Working a Joyless Job
Always, always be in pursuit of work that is engaging.  This does not mean that you must feel pure joy every moment of your working day, however, if your occupation brings you more discontent than satisfaction, it is time to look for an alternative.  Sometimes this can be achieved without leaving your current job.  Seeking new or different responsibilities may be all it takes to engage you and improve your happiness.  Ask yourself what changes you can make in your own approach and attitude toward your job that may improve your situation.  If you've done all you can do, it's time to look elsewhere.
3.  Allowing Worry to Control You
"Worry is like a rocking chair.  It gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere."  Truer words were never spoken.  Time spent worrying can also dampen your ambition and hinder real change.  Strip away the worry, anxiety and uncertainty that may invade you mind.  It is harmful and happiness is never found there. Speak to it. Tell it who's boss.  Instead, focus on your dreams and ideas and move toward those with confidence.  
4.  Thinking That Pursuing Pleasures Brings Happiness
The pursuit of pleasure will never - ever - bring you enduring fulfillment.  Instead, it often leads to emotional letdowns and feelings of emptiness.  Instead, you must pursue a life of engagement and meaning.  Know what your best strengths are and use them in the service of something larger than yourself.  Try it.  You'll see.
5.  Taking Your Unwelcome Thoughts Too Seriously
Human brains are amazing.  Your advanced thought processes are great for complex problem solving, but also have the innate tendency to overthink things.  This can lead to negative thoughts that constantly replay themselves in your head.
Important:  You are not the sum of your thoughts.  Negative thoughts are unreliable and misleading.  Common culprits are thinking you're not good enough, smart enough, or successful enough.  These are lies.  Command them to go away.  Command them every single day if necessary
Some source material from Power of Positivity

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