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The Key to Happiness: Making More Money, Better Health & Living Longer

“You can live as if nothing is a miracle or you can live as if everything is a miracle. Really it’s up to you.”


What are you thinking right now?

What thoughts are running through your head on most days? Are you running the show or is the show running you?

One of the most powerful things that I’ve learned is that you are. what you think about most of the time. Okay, let’s be honest, just because you imagine yourself to be a princess, or the next president won’t make it magically happen. But you might just feel better if you begin to think better and who knows what new doors might open up for you (or could already be open but you just don’t see them yet.)

I’m not talking about living in the clouds and wearing rose colored glasses. It’s about being a realist. Hey "stuff" happens. We know this, take Thomas Edison for example. Remember that guy? Well in 1914, Edison's lab burned down, and years' worth of his work was absolutely destroyed. Some would say that this was the worst thing that happened to Edison. He chose to look at it differently, as an opportunity to have an exciting new start. Edison reportedly said at the time: "Thank goodness all our mistakes were burned up. Now we can start again fresh. So, how do you change the way you think?"

Easier said than done right? Well, it depends on how you look at it (LOL.) Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1) Change the record

Begin with one thought at a time. Let’s say for example you tend to tell yourself “I’m never going to get this done on time.” When you hear your inner voice (or outer voice) bringing you down, notice it, and then replace it with an empowerment statement like “I’m going to knock this out of the park” or “We’re gonna do it (to the theme song of Laverne and Shirley.) What matters is that you make it work for you.

2) Play

Yes, when is the last time you went for a bike ride like you did when you were a kid, played a sport for fun or went for a walk in the park (yes, I know it’s February but we’ve had some lovely 60 degree days thrown in there.) Try it, you might like it!

3) Learn and socialize

Learn something new-something that inspires you, something you’ve always been curious about. Read about it, watch a video about it, join a meetup group and talk to others that share the same interest.

But don’t just take it from me. There are bookoos of studies out there with stunning results on how changing how you think about things, can help you see opportunities instead of only seeing the threats. Here are just a few conclusions mentioned in Barbara. L. Fredrickson’s (1998, 2001) broaden-and-build theory research, Open Hearts Build Lives. Her work and the work of several before her conclude that positive thinking can assist in the following:

  • Friendship development (Waugh & Fredrickson, 2006)

  • Marital satisfaction (Harker & Keltner, 2001)

  • Higher incomes (Diener, Nickerson, Lucus, & Sandvik, 2002)

  • Better physical health (Doyle, Gentile, & Cohen, 2006; Richman et al., 2005)

  • Living longer (Danner, Snowdon, & Friesen, 2001; Moskowitz, 2003; Ostir, Markides, Black, & Goodwin, 2000).

In fact, a meta-analysis of nearly 300 findings concluded that positive emotions produce success and health as much as they reflect these good outcomes (Lyubomirsky, King, & Diener, 2005).

The more you pay attention to how you think as well as what you think about the more you will achieve the results that you want. And who doesn’t want that right?

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