Take a minute to do this awareness exercise:
Look around the room and count how many red objects you see.
Write that number down.
Now that you know how many red objects you saw, do you have any idea how many blue objects were there?
If you are like most of us, you didn’t notice the blue objects.
So look around one more time and count the blue objects around you.
It’s similar to when we buy a new car and suddenly we are more aware of a particular brand or color.
If our mind is focused on one thing, we often will see more of it around us.
Think about this.
Is your mind more focused on negative or positive emotions?
As I mentioned in Episode 8, it’s difficult to ignore the negative.
Negativity screams at us. When we bite a really hot chile pepper – we feel it!
Positive emotions are like eating a comfort food. We enjoy it, but we are not always fully aware of that positive feeling. It’s more difficult to focus on positive emotions. Our body is wired to notice the negative, and we have to train ourselves to counteract this tendency.
Sonja Lyubomirsky, in her book, The How of Happiness, explains that our well-being is determined by:
– 50% – a genetic set point
– 10% – life circumstances
– 40% – intentional activity (what we think and what we do)
This is essential to keep in mind – scientific research shows that 40% of what determines our well-being has to do with our mindset – what we think and do daily.
This means that we can train ourselves to see more positivity around us.
We can train ourselves to focus on what bring us:
Joy | Gratitude | Serenity | Interest | Hope | Pride | Amusement | Inspiration | Awe | Love
This reminds of the old story, adapted by the Positive Psychology researcher and author, Barbara Fredrickson:
One evening, an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside all people.
– My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all.
One is Negativity. It’s anger, sadness, stress, contempt, disgust, fear, embarrassment, guilt, shame and hate.
The other is Positivity. It’s joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspirations, awe, and above all, love.
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:
– Which wolf wins?
The old Cherokee simply replied:
– The one you feed.
Everyday, every moment we have to decide what wolf to feed – negativity or positivity.
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Think of the possibilities.