Do you feel that sometimes your circumstances or feelings are running you? Do you feel like you don’t have a choice about how you feel? While I do believe there is a point at which one has gone down the “rabbit hole” to the point where it’s a lot harder to get out, I do think there is an amazing under-utilized tool each of us possesses: the superpower of our emotions.
Positive Psychology is based on the idea that 40% of your happiness comes from Intentional Activity: that is, your actions, thoughts, beliefs and attitudes—all of which are malleable—and, in your control. I believe people think certain thoughts many times over, they subsequently have a feeling associated with the thought, and it then turns into a belief they think to be the true. In not much time, these “truths” set up the way we think of others, our world, and ourselves.
There are many different personality and trait surveys available—yet one major oversight of most of these assessments is that they fail to define emotive qualities that span your entire way of being. Determining your character strengths in comparison, is to find out the basis of how you optimally operate and how you utilize and implement all your other skills and traits. Further, most look to assessments to find out what the best job they could be placed in would be, but seldom do people survey themselves to find out what parts of them, when cultivated, will lead to more fulfillment and happiness regardless of where they utilize them (key: once discovered, use them in every area of your life).
You may have heard the sage advice, “if you don’t change the present, you past predicts your future.” Simply the contemplation of this can radically change your disposition, if not your focus-point (at minimum) for the moment. The foundation of this advice lies in understanding your place of power, which is—and only can be—in the present moment. Now is the only time you have a choice in what to do, think, and believe.
This photo was taken on one of my many hikes in the hills—and I just fell in love with it. As I was hiking through nothing but grass, I spotted one single flower. Not anywhere around that day, nor since, have I seen another. Its splendor seemed amplified with its brilliant purple hue, naked stem, piercing upwards through the green grass into the blue skies. Sometimes we feel as though we are the only ones, yet we fail to notice the beauty in this—the deep knowing that where there is one, there might grow to be more. And, in the moment that we are but solitary, we can shine in such brilliance that the world has yet to see.
Being as it is the month of America’s Independence Day, it seemed apropos to write a little bit about independence and freedom, albeit sans the political slant. I personally, like to look at the big picture and life-enhancing philosophies of concepts and notions. Most of us are aware of Webster’s sense of the words independence and freedom, so I’d like to look at it from a different vantage.
This past weekend I flew to Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore. to attend a Buddhist Psychology Seminar with renowned meditation teacher, psychologist, and author Jack Kornfield. Although Jack and I go back a number of years, I always find new takeaways and ever-important reminders of the important things in life. To me, that’s what mediation and (loosely) Buddhism means, to become centered, reminded, and grounded in the essence of who we all are.
If you’ve decided that 2013 will be better than 2012, it’s time to stop dreaming and start taking action. And an Alchemy and Commerce personal development program is the ideal way to kick-start your new life.
Many times people will ask me the “secret” to positivity. It’s of no surprise that there aren’t any secrets… but there are a few practices that studies have shown that positive and optimistic people have in common—none of which more strongly so than the seemingly simple practice of giving thanks.