How To “Install” the Happiness Habit

how to be happyI have written extensively in the past about how our reflection of “self” impacts our daily actions and therefore is a significant driver for our current results.

Our self-image and our habits tend to be significantly correlated.

Change one and you automatically change the other.

In his book, “psycho-cybernetics” Dr. Maltz gives a great metaphorical explanation for a habit:

“The word “habit” originally meant a garment or clothing…. This gives us an insight into the true nature of habit. Our habits are literally garments worn by our personalities. We have them because they fit us. They are consistent with our self-image and our entire personality pattern. When we consciously and deliberately develop new and better habits, our self-image tends to outgrow the old habits and grow into the new pattern”

Habits are the things the we do automatically, most of the time, without thought or decision.

95% of your behavior, feeling and responses are habitual. If you are a saxophonist, you don’t have to ‘decide’ what to do, you just strike the pads. If you are a native english speaker, you don’t “decide” how to conjugate a verb… it’s automatic.

Attitudes, emotions and beliefs can and do become habitual as well.

In the past, whether right or wrong, we learned that certain attitudes, reactions or emotions were “appropriate” for certain situations.

Now, whenever confronted with the same “situation” or stimuli, we react “appropriately”.

What you need to understand, is that these habits can be installed, modified, reversed and eradicated by simply making a conscious “decision” to change them.

The saxophonist can make a conscious decision to hit a different key, the dancer can consciously decide to learn a new dance step – and in time will become a new habit, thoughtlessly performed.

If you wanted to learn another language, you could with time become fluent.

If you want to be happier, right now, decide for the next 30 days to have happy thoughts, be mindful of the way you speak to others and yourself. No matter what, even when you don’t feel like it, force yourself to act happier.

If you catch yourself behaving different than how you want to, immediately acknowledge it and then say out loud “ok, enough of that, now back to being happy”…

See what happens in 20-30 days from now. My guess is you will have become ‘habitually’ happier!

You can install any new habitual behavior, thought or emotion that you would like to experience.

It DOES require constant vigilance and and practice before a new emotion, habit can become permanent and automatic, but it certainly can be achieved.

And YOU can do it!!

I believe in you!

Living, Loving, Giving Large

Jeff

3 Comments

  1. Eli Wilhide on January 9, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Love it! this is definitely the time for some new habits! Thx for this!

  2. Kevin Duford on January 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Thanks Jeff…good kick in the rear for me. I'M STARTING RIGHT NOW!

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