Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Evidence Based Happiness

My daughter and I have a routine.  Everyday on the drive to school we talk through what her day is going to look like.  It goes something like this:

Mom-What kind of day are you going to have today, Lia?

Lia-An Amazing, Fantastic, Wonderful Day. (This is after months of practice. In the beginning the answer was, "I don't know."  Bzzz wrong answer.)

Mom-How are you going to feel when you walk into class today?

Lia-Strong and Smart.

Mom-What happens if there is a surprise quiz today?

Lia-I'll ace it.  'Cause I'm smart (did you hear that positive declaration?!)

Mom-What things do you see during your day?

Lia-I'll see people who are alone and ask them to play.

Mom-I like your day!  That sounds like an amazing, fantastic, wonderful day!

Now some people might say: "That is silly.  You can't just tell yourself your going to have a great day and then have one.  What if something bad happens?"

To that I say, of course you can plan your attitude.  We do it everyday.  The kind of day you will have is based on what you expect.

For example, look around the room you are in and find 3 red objects.  Now without looking, tell me what is blue in the room.  I know, that's not fair, I told you to look for red so you did.  You looked for what I told you to look for and ignored anything else.

And every day my daughter and I tell each other to look for the happy things, and every day we find them.

My amazing grandmother used to tell me that "Happiness is a Choice."  It took me years to discover the truth behind the simple saying.

For example, two people washing up dishes after dinner, with different attitudes, are having two entirely different experiences.  One is miserable and can't wait for the chore to be over so that they can be happy.  The other is already happy, and knows that they will be happy after they finish as well.


Attitude is not thrust upon us by some unknown force.  We are that force.  We choose the attitude.

So everyday that my daughter and I plan for a happy day, we find it.  It isn't perfect; bad things still happen.  But we find the good in each day.  Because it is there!  The evidence is all around us.  We simply EXPECT to see it.

I challenge you to try it.  Who knows?  Today may be an amazing, fantastic, wonderful day for you too.

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