The thought gurus in the movie and book The Secret agree that in order to create the life we want, we need to quit focusing on what’s happening to us and focus our thoughts and words on a picture and feelings of what we really want.
Unfortunately, most folks look at what’s happening and react to that. If what’s happening to you is not what you want, then by focusing on it you just get more of it. What we focus on expands. What we think about, comes about.
Yet according to Sonja Lyubomirsky in her book The How of Happiness our circumstances only account for 10% of what contributes to our happiness. She’s proven that 50% of what contributes to our happiness is our upbringing and genetics. We can’t do anything about that. However, it’s the other 40% that’s vital. Because that 40% is based on our intentional determination and we can choose to have it override the other 60%.
Shawn Achor, Head Teaching Fellow for Harvard’s popular Positive Psychology course shares how scientists have proven that happier people actually have an unfair advantage over others.
Adrian White, an analytic social psychologist, studies happiness and found Denmark to be the happiest nation in the world. The USA ranked number 23. A recent 20/20 television show on happiness referenced a study where Denmark was third. Still not too shabby!
I found these two factors particularly interesting in how they relate to work life happiness.
1). The tax rate in Denmark is 63% of income and the social services given by the welfare state are so supportive and all-encompassing that there isn’t as much need to take risks or try to be wealthy. Because there is a much narrower gap between the rich and the poor, the Danes have created a society where every job is valued and respected. This results in more people simply choosing to do what they enjoy doing without concern for how much it pays or what others think of them.The Danes have created a consumer-less society that’s truly brilliant. They have less reason to compare themselves to their neighbors. Most everyone is on the same level as the Joneses, so the need to keep up with them is removed.
2).Talk about social connection, an astounding 92% of adult Danes belong to either a singing or a dancing club. Imagine a life without financial concern and comparison. In such a life, being the social animals that we are, building relationships would become naturally more of a priority.
Singing is a physical act that draws oxygen in and makes the blood stream richer and opens up the brain so I can think more clearly and get intuitions I didn’t have before. So, I always look to get into action whenever I’m stuck. If the mind is stuck, if the spirit is low–I let the body lead the way even if I don’t feel like it. Steve Chandler
To summarize here is your action recipe.
- Whistle and sing before and while you work.
- Know and act on the basis that being happy will get you more of what you want.
- Know and act on the basis that you can choose happiness and by doing so you can create the life you most want to win.
My heart goes out to each of you who continue to look at what’s wrong or what’s lacking in your life. Please stop that nonsense now. Yes, tough things happen to good people. But struggle is optional. Isn’t it time for you to wake up and come alive in the glory of your own making?