Most of us tie our happiness to things that happen to us or around us. We are extremely sensitive to the external environment and numb to our internal environment. Often we can’t control what is happening out there, however we can control our internal thoughts and feelings. People who have suffered enormous misfortune in hindsight look at it as a blessing or a lesson or gave them an appreciation about all the great things in their lives.
When something bad happens to you cultivate an attitude that it will to your advantage or benefit in the future. It will bring even greater success and happiness to your life.
I remember applying for an academic position once at a university I really liked, working with people I admired. I spend weeks on the application getting every detail in perfect order. I have fantastic experience in the area and felt there is no one better than me in this specific and I matched the job description perfectly. I knew I would make a huge contribution to the role. I could not think anything negative about the role, the university, the people or my credentials. I was 1000% convinced I would get the position. However, within a few days I got a rejection letter. I did not even get an interview. I was devastated and could not believe it. It kept preying on my mind and I could not shake off the disappointment for a long time.
After about 12 months from this incident I heard that the university was closing down the department and senior staff were also looking for jobs. Whilst I felt sorry for the person who was appointed, I was glad that I didn’t get the job. If had got the post then I would be on the dole and my academic career may have been stalled if not shattered. I felt that not get that job was a blessing in disguise.
I decided to change my attitude towards failure and rejection. I would welcome failure and rejection and enjoy it. I would reflect and see what the lessons are and then move onto to something else immediately. If something bad happens then look for the blessings in it’ Look for the lessons learned. Ask yourself why is this great? If your brain says nothing, then ask why could it be great in the future? If you keep asking positive questions your brain will come up answers that will make your life better and increase your joy and happiness.
Happiness Key 3
If something bad happens the ask yourself the following questions and write down the answers.
- What is the lesson here?
- How can I use it to my advantages now or in the future?
- How can I feel great about this painful experience?
- How can I look forward to similar situations in the future?
- How can I go after things that are 10x bigger and better?
- How would I feel if aimed for the stars and reached them?
There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.
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