If you want to be happier get off Facebook

Log off Facebook
 

I recently spent a bank holiday weekend on my own. Meagan was working in London and the kids were at her mothers.

This was my Saturday:

Wake up and wonder why I can’t hear Monty crying or Fred shouting, then I realise I’m in the house on my own.

I grab my phone, check my email then look at Facebook, Twitter, HappyMap and LinkedIn.

 

Bleep Test
 

Get into my kit and do the bleep test in the cul-de-sac, where I live. I sense neighbours secretly looking at me, wondering if I’m sane.

Sweating, I go back indoors and put some coloured washing on.

I eat some cereal watching BBC breakfast. Have toasted banana and honey sandwich washed down with a coffee. Undoubtedly one of my favourites.

I check my email, Facebook, Twitter, HappyMap and LinkedIn.

 

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I go up stairs, shave my head and face.

Have a long shower. As a treat, I decide to use both soap and shower gel.

Get out of shower, pick up my iphone check my email, Facebook, Twitter, HappyMap and LinkedIn.

Go downstairs, edit a video and start to write a blog.

Check my email then look at Facebook, Twitter, HappyMap, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Go to Asda.

Someone vacates the best car parking space right outside the shop doors just as I approach – I smile to myself, thinking, “Yes!”

Spend far too long looking at the ingredients on various packs of ham.

Get back home put the food away and hang the coloured washing out.

 

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Go on a bike ride to Winchester, where I discover a bike route that takes me past some very picturesque scenery.

Get back and tidy away all the kids toys in the garden.

Notice cats poo in two different areas. That’s the neighbours cat. I assume its their cat, although he’s a bit odd.

Check my email then look at Facebook, Twitter, HappyMap and LinkedIn.

Put some more washing on.

 

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Order a chicken korma, pilau rice and peshwari naan from the local curry house.

As I go to pick it up Liza Tarbuck makes me laugh on BBC Radio 2.

She gets a text, “Liza I had an ex-boyfriend who used to de-eye potatoes for a crisp maker. He gave that up to be a muesli mixer. He reckons it was more interesting”.

Eat the curry whilst watching, Grand Designs. Against all odds (again) the couple featured just manage to secure some extra financing, to finish their project.

Watch Britain’s Got Talent.

Switch everything off and go to bed.

In bed, I check my email then look at Facebook, Twitter, HappyMap, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Try meditating for 5 minutes.

Go to sleep.

BORING WASN’T IT????!!!!!

Well most of it was but there were bits I really enjoyed, like the cycling, the banana and honey sandwich and the blog writing.

There was also little pleasures like getting a good car parking space or laughing out loud to myself in the car but that’s life. Most of it isn’t mind blowingly amazing.

Happiness arrives in short little bursts. It’s not a 24 hour party.

There’s one thing I discovered from my day on my own. Facebook, more than any other social network, made me feel depressed.

 

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I felt like I was missing out on a lot of stuff. My life felt dull, ordinary and boring compared to what others were doing.

Then I realised that most of the stuff my “friends” post on Facebook (or Instagram) isn’t an accurate reflection of their lives.

It’s their highlights. It’s their best bits. It’s the bits they want me to believe IS their actual life but isn’t. It’s their attempt to show everyone they don’t lead dull, ordinary, boring lives.

It isn’t reality, it’s them boasting about anything they’ve done that is out of the ordinary.

So I started typing, into Google, “Is Facebook d” but it auto filled the rest for me…

 

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The results are conclusive.

A study from the University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross found that the more people used Facebook the less happy they felt.

The data, he argues, shows that Facebook was making them unhappy.

This is why more people than ever are closing their Facebook accounts down.

You will never look back over you life and say to yourself, “I wish I’d spent more time on Facebook”

These days, we are so addicted to Facebook (and Twitter & Instagram) sometimes the only point in taking pictures is to boast them… sorry post them on Facebook. This is not a good reason to take a picture in the first place.

Taking a picture just to post it onto a social network dilutes the worth of that experience alone.

First and foremost an enjoyable event should be experienced and enjoyed in the moment not held up to prove to other people we have an interesting life.

If we have to do this, we have no interest in our actual life all we’re doing is comparing our experiences with others and comparison is the thief of joy and security.

 

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If it’s “likes” we’re after, our enjoyment resides solely in the hands of our, “friends” on Facebook.

You’re probably thinking, “Hang on happymap.com is a social network similar to Facebook.

Yes, you’re right but here’s 3 big differences.

1. We only encourage people to spend an average of 1 minute per day to answer the question, “What made you happy today?”

The rest of the day is for living.

2. HappyMap is also about being grateful not showing off. There’s a massive difference..

3. HappyMap makes people happier.

So if you feel depressed after looking at Facebook, you are not alone, close it down and do something!

Does HappyMap make you feel happier?

According to our data we’ve collected yes – but don’t take our word for it read these testimonials from people who have completed our 21-day happiness challenge.

 

 

 

I need your help please.

Thank you for taking time out to read this, it really means a lot to me.

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As our 21-day happiness challenge has been running for a few months, we have some good news and some bad news.

The good (or excellent) news is this:

EVERYONE, who has completed the challenge has expressed that it’s made them feel more positive or happier!!!

 

Yes survey monkey
 

Apart from the data we’ve also had some lovely testimonials including this one from Sue.

The bad news is this:

As it’s a challenge, on average, only 1 in 4 people manage to complete it.

 

21 day happiness challenge 005
 

Whilst we know this is not a bad thing, in itself, we would like more people to attempt it, which would mean more people complete it.

This equals more data, which means it becomes more accurate and more reliable.

If you’d like to know why answering the question, “What made you happy today?” is so important to your well-being click here to read the science behind it.

We’re excited about the data we have so far, we really think we’re onto something special and that’s why we want to scale it up BIG TIME!

Here’s how you can help.

You’d be an absolute star if you could do one or all of the following:

1. Take our 21-happiness day challenge.

2. Tell a friend about our 21-day happiness challenge.

In fact you could click here to tweet about it

3. Do both of the above.

 

 

Ps – if you want another reason why our 21-day happiness challenge would benefit you please read this post, “The Secret of Success

 

 

 

 

What made you happy today?

Please think for a few seconds to find an answer to this question.

It’s not easy to think of something straight off is it?

This is because our brains have become unconditioned to looking for and highlighting the positive.

Here’s the good news: it’s quite easy to re-wire our brains (neuroplasticity) to automatically focus on the positive AND this will benefit us in all areas of our lives.

Here are just two, of the many documented, benefits of what a positive disposition can achieve*:

 

sisters_ND
 

1. 180 Catholic nuns, all born before 1917, from The School, Sister of Notre Dame were asked to write down their daily thoughts in an autobiographical diary.

More than 5 decades later, at the age of 85 their entries were analysed for positive sentiment.

The nuns who journal entries contained more overtly joyful sentiment lived nearly ten years longer than the nuns who entries were neutral or negative.

By age 85, 90% of the happiest quartile of nuns were still alive compared to only 34% of the least happiest quartile.

 

Anne
 

2. “My twin sister was a terrible pessimist, she died when she was not yet 70 because she never laughed, never. Laughing is beautiful though,” says 108-year-old Alice Herz-Sommer. 

“I’m an optimist, for me it’s only the good things, never a bad thought,” she says.

Born in 1903, Mrs Herz-Sommer has managed to retain a positive outlook despite a horrific start to life. The oldest living survivor of the Holocaust, she was imprisoned in Terezin (also known as Theresienstadt) concentration camp, near Prague, with her young son Raphael.

She survived the war by playing the piano in concerts within the camp. Her husband died in Germany at Belsen concentration camp.”

It turns out our brains are not only hard-wired to perform better when happy but can adapt and improve faster under positive conditions.

Studies have shown our baseline happiness can be adjusted. In short, it’s possible to train our brain to think more positively and this is the key to become happier.

Before you bought the car you now drive did you notice how many of them were on the road?

 

cars-gm-lot
 

Then right after you bought it, you suddenly noticed all the other cars on the road that happen to be the same, colour, make and or model.

Of course, these cars were always there, it’s just your brain is now more in tune with cars that are the same as yours.

Your brain can be trained to look for anything it wants to.

Try this: shut your eyes for ten seconds and whilst they are shut think of the colour red.

Then open your eyes.

 

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Does the colour red stand out more than any other colour.

Now try to think again, what made you happy today?

When you ask yourself this question, your brain scans its memory for anything positive in your day.

When you do this on a regular basis your brain gets better at looking for the positive. In technical terms it strengthens it’s synaptic pathways.

This video explains it better.

 

 

This is why I set up happymap, to learn and consciously practice positive thought.

HappyMap encourages us to post something that made us happy everyday and by doing this your are training your brain to look for the positives.

Does it work?

Yes, we have data and testimonials stating it’s helped people do the following:

– Think more positively

– Worry less

– Feel better about themselves

 

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Why not give our 21-day happiness challenge a try (by clicking here)?

Can you complete it? Yes of course you can…. think positively 🙂

 

buddha-you-are-what-you-think-Choose-positive-thoughts
 

There’s also another, amazing, benefit to becoming more positive – to read about it click here.

* Source: The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor and the BBC – How to live beyond 100 – by Lucy Wallis

 

 

 

This is the secret to success

secret to success
 

If you’re anything like me at least one time in your life you’ve said to yourself, “If I win the lottery then I could stop worrying and be happy”.

Or we think we will finally be happy when we get one (or all) of the following:

A promotion at work

More money

A bigger house

More holidays

Weight loss

A meaningful relationship

 

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In his book, The Happiness Advantage Shawn Anchor reveals new research in psychology and neuroscience has revealed this type of thinking is not only backward but serves as a severe disadvantage to you achieving any real success.

You are much more likely to achieve success, in any area of your life, from relationships to work, if you are happy or of a positive disposition.

The PROVEN benefits of a positive outlook include:

– 3 times more creativity

– 31% higher productivity

– 23% fewer fatigue symptoms

– 37% greater sales

– 40% more likely to get a promotion

– 10 times more engaged

– A healthier longer life

It turns out our brains are not only hardwired to perform better when happy but can adapt and improve faster under positive conditions.

 

Branson
 

Have you ever wondered why companies like Google, Yahoo!, and Virgin cultivate work environments that help their employees experience positive emotions on a regular basis?

As Richard Branson said, “More than any other element, fun is the secret of Virgin’s success.”

Fun isn’t just… fun, it also leads to serious bottom-line results.

So being happy or having fun should never be postponed until after you’ve accomplished your goals it should be used as serious fuel for you to achieving these goals.

Why seriously fail when you can be a happy high achiever?

So the secret to success is happiness BUT how do you achieve happiness?

Studies have shown our baseline happiness can be adjusted. In short it’s possible to train our brain to think more positively and this is the key to become happier.

This is why I set up happymap, to consciously practice positive thought.

HappyMap encourages us to post something that made us happy everyday by answering this question:

What made you happy today?

 

 

In trying to answer this question, your brain scans your memory for the positive experiences you encountered during the day.

Does it work?

Yes, we have data and testimonials stating it’s helped people do the following:

– Think more positively

– Worry less

– Feel better about themselves

 

Screenshot 2014-02-14 16.34.41
 

Why not give our 21-day happiness challenge a try (by clicking here)?

Can you complete it? Yes of course you can…. think positively 🙂

 

henry-ford
 

 

How to stop worrying, think positively and be happier
How to stop worrying, think positively and be happier

According to research most of the things we worry about are based in the future. This is because we fear the unknown.

As humans we don’t like the unknown, we prefer certainty, stability and security.

There’s only one thing, for certain, we know about the future and thats the fact that it ends in death.

Knowing this fact, does nothing for our stability or security.

 

Stop worrying quotes 003
 

Death is the ultimate loss and fear is all about loss.

So because we know we will lose our life this fear seeps into every other aspect of our lives. We fear losing our job, our money, our house, our health and the ability to look after ourselves and loved ones.

These fears are all in the future.

BUT what if we could visit the future.

OK we can’t visit our future but we can listen to people who have most of their lives behind them, the elderly.

For his Legacy Project, Professor Karl A. Pillemer asked 1,200 elderly people this question:

“What do you regret when you look back over your life?”

The most popular answer, by far, was:

“I wish I hadn’t spent so much of my life worrying.”

John Alonzo, 83, is a man of few words, but I quickly learned that what he had to say went straight to the point. A construction worker, he had battled a lifetime of financial insecurity. But he didn’t think twice in giving this advice:

Don’t believe that worrying will solve or help anything. It won’t. So stop it.

James Huang, 87, put it this way:

Why? I ask myself.

What possible difference did it make that I kept my mind on every little thing that might go wrong?

When I realized that it made no difference at all, I experienced a freedom that’s hard to describe.

My life lesson is this: Turn yourself from frittering away the day worrying about what comes next and let everything else that you love and enjoy move in.

 

Stop Worrying Quotes 002
 

So what can we learn from this?

Three things:

1. Accept the facts, forget the fiction.

We will die, that’s a fact but we don’t know if we’ll lose our jobs, money or houses so there’s no point worrying about things that might or might not happen.

We can only live our lives in two ways: needlessly worrying or trying to enjoy it.

 

2. Worrying makes things worse.

Happy people are more successful in all areas of their lives.

Worrying impacts happiness.

Being unhappy for long periods of time affects both your mental and physical health. You are more likely to lose what you hold dear, to yourself, if you’ve lost control of these faculties.

Likewise if you’re happy you’re more likely to be healthier and therefore both mentally and physically stronger.  You’ll be more successful in retaining what you value in this state of being.

 

3. Learn to enjoy the positives in your life right now.

Your past and your future is only made up of what’s happening right now. If you are positive in the present then your past and your future will also be happy.

One of the most important words in the above sentence is, “learn”.

Our minds are predisposed to creating a certain amount of worry. This is healthy. A little amount of worry is a good motivator, it helps us improve, to flee from danger or prepare for it.

The problem comes when we worry too much.

Think about the old analogy: the glass half full or empty and how you perceive it.

 

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Is it half full or half empty?

Now imagine the water is your life. You have to drink it to survive but when it’s all gone you will have nothing else to drink and therefore no more life.

So what do you do?

Enjoy drinking the water while you still have it or not drink it, worry about it evaporating and die of dehydration.

We’ve got to learn to see the glass half full.

We’ve got to learn to enjoy it now while we still can or we will look back on our lives and wish we hadn’t worried so much.

The more we practice anything the better we get at it.

Think of something you’ve started doing something that required some mental attention like, Sudoku, Crosswords or a game on your mobile. You need to do them repeatedly to improve.

This is the same with positive thinking. You have to regularly practice thinking positively before it becomes more natural to you.

 

Stop worrying Quotes
 

This is why I set up happymap, to consciously practice positive thought.

happymap encourages us to post something that made us happy everyday. Then when we look back at our past posts we can see that not only did everything turned out OK but it was a pretty pleasant experience.

Does it work?

Yes, we have data and testimonials stating it’s helped people do the following:

– Think more positively

– Worry less

– Feel better about themselves

Why not give our 21-day happiness challenge a try (by clicking here)?

Can you complete it? Yes of course you can…. think positively 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Sue, a happymap member, has just completed our 21-Day Happiness Challenge and I asked her to write about her experience.

Testimonials – Sue from Romford.

 

Susie photo
 

The last few years have produced a few personal challenges for me.

I kept on keeping on, getting out of bed, putting one foot in front of the other, just about keeping my head above the water until last Autumn I finally crashed and burned.

The tipping point was my eldest child leaving to go to University (albeit only 50 miles away). All of it affected all aspects of my life. Socially, mentally, physically, my work – although I was too proud to tell anyone there or to ask for time off.

Then things changed. I can pinpoint the day – Valentine’s Day this year – I reached a turning point.

Suddenly I could walk down the street with my chin literally up and not looking at the ground.

Now, I’ve been following Justin since his days at Capital FM when he made me laugh aloud in the mornings, then his Blog and now MyHappyMap.com.

This was my chance to be positive, to be the old Susie again.

So here’s the thing. Being positive brings positivity around you and the happymap has helped me focus on that.

I found myself at the end of the day thinking all about the good things that happened, not obsessing about the ONE BAD THING. People see me differently, they think I’ve changed my hair for example (I haven’t).

The lovely people who also post there make me smile and the encouragement and support that they give is invaluable.

Today I am happy because I have been asked to be an Ambassador for happymap and I accept that title with pride.

 

 21 day happiness challenge 005
 

To read about our 21-Day Happiness Challenge click here.

To read about becoming a happymap ambassador click here.

 

 

 

 

 

How to win from a mistake

 

Jack Cinema Screen
 

The other week I was asked to host a cinema showing, of a the new Muppet’s film, for the radio radio station I work for, JACK fm.

Before the film starts I, basically, stand at the front with a mic, play a few games with the audience and throw out some prizes.

This time we were about to do the same and I was really looking forward to the game we were about to play.

Pete in the office had created an animated little graphic, to go on the big screen. It was a film clapper board that generated a seat number when the clapper shut.

The person sitting in this seat would win a prize.

 

Jack Cinema Screen clapper
 

Sounds good yeah?

There was only one snag, five minutes before we started, the game, my boss said to me, “There’s been a clerical error and only 150 people will be showing up rather than 300”.

I said, “ok” thinking nothing of it then I realised something.

What if the clapper board generated a seat number nobody was sitting in?

This was very likely to happen, as one half of the cinema was empty. So potentially 5 of the 10 prizes, we had to give away, would go to nobody.

We had neither the time nor resources to change the seat numbers on the animated graphic, as the audience started taking their seats.

All of a sudden this excellent little game, we’d come up with, was quickly turning into a damp squib. It would be a bigger flop than… well whatever the biggest film flop you can think of is.

My boss said, “Hmmmm”

So I thought for a while and said, “How about we say, “If the number generated is an empty seat, then the first to sit in that seat, wins the prize”?

“Yeah good idea”

 

never a failure always a lesson
 

It turns out, seeing children and adults alike frantically scurrying around in a semi lit cinema, desperately trying to find the empty winning seats, was the best part of the game!

You think about it.

If the cinema had been full, all people would’ve had to have done was raise their hand to claim their prize.

With the cinema half empty, most of the audience would have to get up and leg it to the row and seat they thought was the winning one. It provided some excellent comedy value with people falling over each other and jumping rows of seats.

In fact, I liked it so much I’ve suggested that we do the same next time, that is, slightly under book the audience and select winning seats located at the extremes of the cinema.

Thank goodness for the clerical error, if it wasn’t for the empty seats we wouldn’t have had half the fun, or a better plan for next time.

 

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Is there a positive side to depression?

 

Is there a positive side to depression?

 

I know this headline might sound like a superficial way to grab attention but I believe it to be partially true.

I’ll explain.

I often experience bouts of darkness, where I feel hopeless and therefore useless. This state, I thought, was super de-motivational.

In hindsight this turns out to be the opposite.

The most creative ideas I get are born during these periods.

I’m not just going to rely on a survey of one here. It’s no coincidence that history’s most creative people (I’m not including myself amongst these people) have documented their struggles with depression e.g Ernest Hemingway, Steven Fry, Spike Milligan.

We need some type of stimulus to motivate us.

 

Is there a positive side to depression?

 

This motivation doesn’t always originate from a positive place. In fact, stimulus from a dark place is probably a lot more realistic because it’s been created with a backdrop hopelessness.

I recently interviewed John Dennis who is about to undertake a mammoth 12,000km solo walk to the south pole. This is months after recovering from him being bed ridden through chronic depression.

If it wasn’t for this suffering he’d never have even contemplated this life changing mission.

So if you come up with an idea or solution when you’re feeling negative, it’s more likely to be a winner than the idea you came up with when your head is full of unchecked optimism.

If you come up with an idea when you feel that nothing is worth it, you can guarantee that idea has made it through every negative cynical filter you have, before you’ve decided it’s a good idea.

Ideas created when you’re in a good mood suffer no such scrutiny.

 

Is there a positive side to depression?

 

Therefore, it’s the ideas you get at the bottom of the curve that motivates you to reach the top of the curve.

In other words, it’s your dark moments that not only fuels your bright moments but enables them to exist. You would not experience happiness if it wasn’t for the sadness.

This is not just a question of appreciating the contrasts, it more re-evaluating the usefulness of depression.

Depression is a fertile bed from where your best ideas and actions grow.

Maybe we should therefore stop looking on depression as a negative force but as the complete opposite.

If this is true and studies seem to suggest so, depression let’s us, ultimately, perform better.

So we maybe we should not see it as the end of the world, more the end of dead thought and the beginning of new ideas.

 

Is there a positive side to depression?

 

Click here to download a copy of my ebook: 50 Motivational Quotes: To inspire you think more positively.

 

 

Why it’s bad to let off steam

 

Why it's bad to let off steam

 

How many times have you heard the phrase, “It’s good to let off a bit of steam”?

This is often after someone has beaten up a defenseless inanimate object, usually a computer.

It happened to me recently.

I hit my Mac Book Pro and cracked the screen – “that’ll teach it”, I thought.

Did this make me feel better?

No, especially when I got a quote for replacing it, which came in at £350 plus VAT. It’s still has a cracked screen and at that price, will stay that way.

I now see it as a good reminder that getting angry doesn’t pay.

 

Why it's bad to let off steam

 

Don’t take my word for it, just ask Dr David Banner. Every time he lost his temper he had to fork out for a new set of clothes and an extra large pack of baby wipes to clean the green make up off himself.

Not only that but for days after I felt really bad about my outburst.

I’ve since discovered that if I’m ever tempted to lose my temper, the best solution is to close my eyes, breathe deeply and count to 10.

It also better for my health.

Why?

Imagine a car rev meter.

 

Why it's bad to let off steam

 

When you lose your temper that’s like you putting your foot to the floor in first gear. You rev meter needle goes into the red.

This is not good for the car and it doesn’t really get you anywhere fast.

Closing your eyes, taking a deep breathe and counting 10 is like changing up a gear and mentally pulling away from the situation.

What’s the life expectancy of a car engine that is always in the red?

It’s the same with us humans.

 

holding on burning

 

If we are always getting stressed and losing our temper then we’re seriously increasing our chances of breaking down from complications as a result these situations.

Research by The Harvard School of Public Health revealed that a hot temper increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke and the the risk is cumulative, meaning temper-prone individuals will be at higher risk still.

Stress is completely self created. It’s in our heads and so is the solution to beating it.

I don’t want to get all hairy fairy but recently I’ve be trying meditation. I’m a complete beginner but I think it’s starting to help.

If you’ve never tried I’d urge you to try. A good place to start is to try Headspace for an easy guide via an app, it only takes 10 minutes a day.

Not convinced? Then try this.

This is my 30 seconds happy mediation guide to feeling better.

Close your eyes.

In fact don’t do that yet otherwise you won’t be able to read this.

1. Close your eyes

2. Exhale slowly through your mouth.

3. When you can’t exhale any more hold your breathe for 4 seconds.

4. When you start inhaling, through your nose, start forming a smile. Make sure the smile increases in size in direct relation to the inhalation.

Therefore the further you inhale, the bigger your smile.

5. When you can’t inhale any more, hold you breathe and hold the smile for 4 seconds.

6. As you exhale, through your mouth, slowly let the smile go.

7. Go back to step 3 and repeat all the steps again as many times as you want.

 

Ps – if you know anyone who can fit a 13 inch Mac Book Pro screen for less than £100 please let me know – thanks.

 

Why it's bad to let off steam

You don’t deserve happiness

 

You don't deserve happiness

 

I was finding life hard going the other day.

This was all in my head. In actual fact, my life, when I really analyse it, is very good.

Having said that it’s no good just dismissing my thoughts as being, “all in my head” as the mind is the most powerful instrument we possess. So if the mind isn’t flourishing, nothing is.

 

You don't deserve happiness

 

I questioned why I didn’t feel happy then suddenly thought, maybe this is the problem.

Who says I’m meant to be happy?

No where does it state that my default setting should be happiness. So why do I think I automatically deserve happiness?

If happiness is the ultimate goal in life then why do I expect it to be such an easy quality to possess?

 

You don't deserve happiness

 

Being happy isn’t meant to be easy so just expecting to be happy is part of the problem.

If I don’t let him do what he wants, Fred, my four year old son, will often have a tantrum screaming and shouting, “Awwwww it’s not fair!”

I reply, “I know it’s not fair Fred, you’ve got more than a lot of other children”, attempting to flip his logic on it’s head.

 

You don't deserve happiness

 

He doesn’t understand what I’m talking about.

What I’m getting at is, when we believe we have a right to something and don’t get it, we feel cheated.

So we feel bad we don’t get that thing and bad because we were supposed to have that thing. We feel doubly bad.

The problem is, we’ve all been brainwashed by sayings such as, “As long as you’re happy, that’s the main thing”.

This type of sentiment suggests if you don’t get what you want at least you have happiness to fall back on, as if it’s a God given right.

What if we start believing that we don’t automatically deserve happiness?

 

You don't deserve happiness

 

What if we accept that most of our lives will be a difficult trudge through a barren uneventful dry desert, interspersed with the odd oasis?

Wouldn’t we learn to appreciate the oasis more, due to their scarcity?

Or would we get sick of trudging through the hot sand and settle down in the oasis?

Of course we’d settle down in the oasis.

Unfortunately after an extended period of time, the oasis doesn’t seem a luxury anymore because we become used to it, it becomes the accepted norm.

Add to this fact that we no longer have to experience the trudge through the unwelcoming desert and it has no contrast against which to compare it.

 

You don't deserve happiness

 

It’s not hard to enjoy the oasis, it’s hard to enjoy the desert but if we can accept that sometimes we have to experience the desert, then the oasis will always seem like paradise.

The trouble is we often feel unhappy because we take for granted what an easy going life we have with no real hardship to compare it to.

All I’m trying to say is, I should never take happiness for granted, it’s a privilege and even more amazing because of it’s very scarcity. I should therefore enjoy it as much as I can whenever I am lucky to experience it.

The problem I have is expecting more happiness rather than appreciating the happiness I have.

It’s about gratitude. this is why I’ve added a gratitude status bar to happymap. What are you grateful for today?

 

You don't deserve happiness

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