I’m reading The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. If you haven’t watched his TED Talk, it’s a must. He reminds us through years of research he did while at Harvard that happiness comes before success. Not the other way around.
So many of us think we will be happy when we meet that special someone, graduate, get a job, earn a promotion, buy a house, have children or lose weight. But research shows that if we are happier where we are, we will end up getting to where we need to be at a much quicker pace.
We become what we believe.
Our minds are beyond powerful. Achor talks about a study where Japanese researchers blindfolded 13 students and told them that poison ivy was being rubbed on their arm. All 13 students broke out in hives and a rash on that arm. The thing is they were only being rubbed with a harmless leaf. Their skin reacted to what they believed was happening. How they defined the situation in their mind.
Then they were told a harmless plant was being rubbed on their other arm although it actually was poison ivy. Only two of the 13 students broke out in hives and a rash on that arm.
What our minds can do.
Envision where you want to go. Believe you are enough. Take action to move in that direction. Are you travelling or teaching or speaking to crowds? Are you running or working flexible hours or fundraising for a cause you believe in? Whatever your goal is, see yourself doing it and enjoy the ride taking you there. But embrace and love the person you are today. Because that is the person who will make your dreams come true.
As Persian philosopher Omar Khayyam once said, “Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”