Jan
15

2011

Rediscover Passion and Happiness In Your Life.



My passion is looking for scientifically proven tools to:

  1. Turn down the volume on negative emotions (e.g., anger, fear, sadness) and neutral emotions (i.g., apathy and disengagement).
  2. Turn up the volume on positive emotions (e.g., contentment, joy, love, curiosity, amusement, interest, relaxation, pride)

Only in the past few years has the field of psychology recognized

  1. The significance of positive emotions
  2. That we can teach sustainable happiness and meaning in life
  3. Why it is critical that we learn to turn up the volume on the positive

 

Over the past 100 years, psychology typically asked ‘what’s wrong with you?’ Or ‘What’s your underlying problem?’ This is a mechanistic approach similar to how you would approach a car that is not running properly. What is broken? Identify the broken part. Replace the old part with a new part. We aren’t as simple and straightforward as a car, however.
In my experience as a speaker, an author, a psychologist, a coach, a person with depression, and a person with social anxiety, I have come to the conclusion that we’re all a bit crazy. And that’s okay. It’s our idiosyncrasies and oddities that make us human and loveable. Besides, I’m not shooting for ‘normal’ and hopefully you aren’t either. I’m aiming for something way beyond normal. I am aiming for purpose, passion, meaning.

My goal is to change the emotional landscape for men. I want to change how men view their emotions, to help them understand that emotions are a normal part of life. We all have them. Emotions are not feminine. They are human. And, here’s the most important part. Emotions are manageable. Once we learn to manage them, we become extremely powerful because we are coming from a place of authenticity and passion. Then our message resonates with others at a very deep level. And so we begin to change the world one person at a time – a ripple effect if you will. So let me ask you this… What are you doing now that you are passionate about? What gets you excited to get out of bed in the morning? What would you enjoy doing even if you weren’t paid to do it? What are you really good at that also energizes you? In this day and age, there are no questions which are more important. Research has shown that only a mere 10% of people in the United States are leading thriving, happy, meaningful lives. Think of how much better the country would be if we brought that number up to 20%. We’d have higher productivity, more creativity and innovation, greater employee engagement, better parenting, and a happier place to live. The best news is that research is now being done at top universities around the world to discover exercises that can help us to sustain positive emotions such as happiness, contentment and love. Research has shown that, no matter how old we are, we can change our behaviors, thoughts and feelings. Studies are coming out daily demonstrating ways to discover meaning and passion and strengths. So let me share some of the wisdom that is coming out lately on happiness and purpose. How do you foster positive emotions? Part of sustaining positive emotions is attitude; part of it is practicing exercises that have been shown to have a positive and lasting impact on your mood. How do you go about changing your attitude to one that is more positive? When you come right down to it, the secret of having it all is loving it all. Unconditional love is the intentional conscious decision to look for the best in people, other living creatures and any part of nature. Albert Einstein had a brilliant quote, ‘The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or a hostile universe.’Other people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. By noticing the good in others that surrounds us daily, we can lift up not only ourselves but others as well. 1.) Seek Out the Good in Others: Actively look for good traits and noble deeds in other people. Only use positive and supportive language. When you compliment other people, be specific about the behavior you are praising. For example, rather than saying “Nice work,” you might say, “Hey, you did a fantastic job closing the sale with Ace Hardware!” Remind those around you of their unique talents on a daily basis. 2.) Become More Aware of Your Internal Tapes: Watch the internal conversations that take place in your head. Challenge every negative thought that you have. Let go of your negative judgments about others AS WELL as yourself. Judgments are deadly. Judgments create negative emotions such as guilt and shame and tear down self-esteem. Judgments are unfair. You can never be aware of the circumstances that have led another person to a particular point in their life. So you are never in a position to judge their actions and decisions. 3.) Self-compassion: Go easier on yourself. Forgive yourself for your mistakes and shortcomings. Picture yourself as a small child. Now picture yourself parenting yourself. Forgive yourself as you would like to have been forgiven as a child. Mistakes are merely learning opportunities. Fail your way to success! 4.) Recognize Strengths: Few people have an idea what their strengths are. Discover your strengths. What do you do well? What are your talents? Once you begin using your strengths every day at work, you will increase the degree to which you are engaged at work. Being engaged in work is similar to being in the ‘zone’ for athletes – you are more satisfied, time flies, creativity flows, and your talents are maximized. Exercises To Help Foster Positive Emotions To begin: Think about what you excel at. Think about the activities where you lose track of your ‘self’. Become more aware of these areas.

2.) Discover your dreams: Ask yourself… What makes me ‘really’ happy? (Go outside of your comfort zone!) Why is it important to me? How will it serve other people? When do I want it to happen? What is the first teeny, tiny step I need to take to make it happen? 2.) Blessings Exercise: Every night write down 3 things that went well for you that day, even if you have had an awful day. You can still find 3 things that went well. Write them down and then write why they went well. This is a very simple exercise that has been proven to improve your mood on a long-term basis. It is an easy yet powerful way to shift your thinking from focusing on the negative to becoming aware of the positive in your life. The benefits of cultivating more positive emotions are vast: a longer life span, greater success at work, higher quality of relationships, and increased productivity, just to name a few. So get comfortable in your discomfort. Take a chance. Step outside your comfort zone. You’ll be happy you did! To book Dr. John for a speaking engagement, coaching or training, call now. (925) 944-3440. Or visit the website at http://www.GuideToSelf.com. You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi

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Author:

Victor Sinclair. VP of VSC International, Founder of the Positive Imperative and the Positive Music Imperative movements/concept and community, has a wide background in teaching, broadcasting, the music industry and business and most recently served as a founder and Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada (AmCham Canada). He has also dedicated more than 30 years of his life to volunteerism and not for profits including Big Brothers, Memorial Boys and Girls Clubs, Minor Leagues Sports and as a President and board member of several not-for-profit boards. Interests include family, biking, tennis, reading, music and PI/PMI of course. http://www.vscinternationalcorp.com http://www.positiveimperative.com http://www.positivemusicimperative.com http://www.twitter.com/posimperative http://www.facebook.com/Vic.Sinclair http://www.linkedin.com/in/victorsinclair

 
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