Are you as happy as you’d like to be? If not, do you believe things can get better for you, or do you feel things are essentially fixed and will not improve much regardless of what you do? You may not realize it, but your beliefs are incredibly important and powerful and will dictate your efforts, your actions, and even your abilities. If you believe in yourself and your abilities, you will do much better than one who has much self-doubt. If you focus on your strengths, you are going to do much better than if you focus on your weaknesses. It is up to you what you focus on.
Many people cannot break the pattern of seeing the negative things around them. They do not realize they have a choice in how they view the world. Interestingly, one of the problems with watching or listening to the news is that most of the news items are negative. People who watch the news all the time are being exposed to a lot of negative information, and this does affect their outlook on life. Many health practitioners suggest limiting how much news one should take in.
There is a relatively new field called, positive psychology. One of the findings from this field is that external circumstances only predict about 10% of our happiness. So, if you are not happy or not as happy as you would like to be, there is much you can do about it.
An interesting example has to do with whether or not you like your job. Two people could have the same or very similar jobs. One person enjoys the job while the other person dislikes it very much. It all depends on how one perceives the job. You may see yourself working strictly for the income. Perhaps you see the job as a career, which is more favorable than a mere “job.” Or, you may see the job as a “calling” where you feel you are helping people and truly love what you are doing.
Another very important finding has to do with how you interpret what has occurred. Individuals who sell life insurance have an average of 9 out of 10 rejections. Many people quit this job due to the high rejection rate. However, some are able to actually thrive, despite these odds. What is the difference? It all has to do with what you tell yourself after the rejection. If you tell yourself you are not very good at selling insurance, you will likely quit before too long. If, however, you think you are getting better, or that you are getting closer to success, you are much more likely to persist and succeed. In addition, if you think you can improve, you will get better. If you think things will stay as they are, then that will be the result.
An interesting study focused on whether people see themselves as lucky or unlucky. People were asked, If they were in a bank that was being robbed, and the robber shot a bystander in the arm and then escaped, would they consider this person lucky or unlucky? Close to 70% of the people asked said the person was unlucky. However, the other 30% said the person was lucky, because the bullet could have killed him or her, or that no one was seriously hurt, etc. Again, your interpretation of what occurred, or your “explanatory style,” is so important.
I hope you are beginning to realize that you have a great deal of control over how you view your life and how happy you can be. You can change your patterns if they are not leading to the happiness you desire. One great way to help you do this is through the use of hypnosis. Hypnosis can help you change your thinking patterns, and it can do so in a relatively short period of time.
Phil Rosenbaum MA