Amid all the cacophony in politics, financial markets and the government and corporate sectors, it’s easy to get caught up in negative spirals. These are weighty concerns that likely will impact our lives substantially in the New Year. If/when they do, we’ll have to adjust and deal with the issues to the best of our ability. But not today.
Today can be a day of joy, fulfillment and happiness—aligned with the same feelings we get when we receive customer service that respects, acknowledges and satisfies our needs and wants. In this case, however, these fine feelings come from within. Let’s give the gifts of good customer service outcomes to ourselves in the New Year.
There’s a saying prominently featured next to my desk:
“Happiness is a choice.”
I finally get it. Today and each day, we need to do our best to create those good feelings for ourselves in everything we do and with everyone in our lives.
Sound sappy? Maybe. But, happiness is indeed a choice—and a very powerful hedge against all the negative stuff going on in the world. How do you achieve it? Here are some ideas to get you started:
Identify what’s joyful, fulfilling, empowering, supportive and happy in your life. Look to all your “communities,” including family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, gathering places both religious and non-religious, community centers, associations, organizations, groups and forums with common interests and desires. You’ll hopefully discover that in this realm at least, we can find and develop positive ways to support, energize and inspire one another. In the process, we do the same for ourselves.
Think positive and you will get positive in return. Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle helped me through one of the darkest times of my life with a simple statement about how we don’t have to be a prisoner of our thoughts. Franklin D. Roosevelt supported this idea with his quote,
“Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.”
Finding the reassurance that comes with faith can work wonders to help free yourself from that prison.”
The power of positive thinking has been presented in many forms, from “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale to Dale Carnegie who said,
“Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.”
For those wanting something scientific to peg this on, there’s quantum physics. A Huffington Post article in late 2017 points out,
“The Extraordinary Scientific Proof That Positive Thinking Works…Ninety percent of success in any walk of life is a direct result of how the mind is used. Top athletes, top business executives, top parents, top entrepreneurs, and the most successful individuals all understand the important truth that the mind is what counts…Up to this point we have never had a way to scientifically explain the power of thought, but the field of quantum physics is now doing just that. The great mystics and philosophers throughout time, including Jesus, Buddha, William James, and Marcus Aurelius, have always known and taught the power of the mind, but as westernized scientific societies we couldn’t go on blind faith alone.”
Find ways to create positivity that work for you. We can choose to let the toxicity so evident in government, corporate America and elsewhere permeate us and drive us to a very pessimistic dark side that overwhelms everything joyful and happy. In a similar vein, we can let self-doubt, neuroses, obsessions, feelings of inadequacy and fears about anything and everything personal consume us. Or, we can choose to acknowledge all of this, care about it, be scared and concerned about it—and then let all our positive power wash over it.
Far from denial, this is actually a very healthy and scientifically-proven way to enable the positive to “overpower” the negative. Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a communication and personal development protocol created in the 1970s by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California, and which later was popularized by Tony Robbins. I studied it decades ago. One enduring tenet I learned from NLP was that when you think a positive thought, then ponder a negative one, and let the two “meld together,” the positive washes over the negative and diminishes its impact. It’s not a perfect system, but I’ve found it works more often than not—with the net result being a heightened level of happiness and fulfillment.
Find faith and comfort that you will be taken care of if you follow the “path” laid out for you. For some, this is a deeply religious experience. For others, it’s a spiritual experience that reveals the path to follow in the universe. While I don’t follow the tenets of any organized religion, I have a strong belief in God—and three decades ago figured out how to identify how to follow my own path, which I’ve variously referred to as everything from following God to tuning into the universe. I’m not concerned with how it’s described. I am awed to this day about its “right-on outcomes.” It’s proven an almost infallible system. As a result, through thick and thin, I have discovered the ability to trust that it will be okay.
Mark Lusky is a veteran writer, storyteller and author, with 40+ years of public relations, advertising, marketing and journalism experience. Author of A Wandering Wondering Jew… and co-author of Don’t Get Mad, Get Leverage, Mark (aka The Happy Curmudgeon) is the owner of a Denver-based marketing communications firm celebrating 36 years in business in 2018.