New Year Resolutions | Happiness through Action | One Mini Habit at a Time

It’s the Winter Solstice as I write this, and a new moon. I posted earlier today a blog https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/happy-winter-solstice-new-moon-be-like-water-aboriginal-dreamtime/ mentioning the fact that it’s a good time to initiate new activities and plant seeds; coinciding with these events on our horizon. Certainly the pagan celebrations of the solstice must be the origins of the tradition of ‘New Year Resolutions’.

At this tipping point, it’s a good time to dive in.

Bruce Lee learn to swim jump in the water

Bruce Lee learn to swim jump in the water

As we all are inspired by certain images and have ideals we wish to reach, here’s what I have to say. Happiness is not so much derived by a thing, but by what you do. Sure, having something that is an excellent state-of-the-art tool is great, yet it’s what you actively do, what you craft through your actions, that results in feeling excited, enthusiastic, joyful and a sense of accomplishment. It’s through performing activities and being immersed in them and witnessing the little thresholds of achievement and just knowing the work that was put into it, that we derive happiness.

I’ve recently come across a post of a freelance writer’s guide, in Episode #20 of the International Freelancers Academy. The topic is to forget goals, and focus on habits instead. Ed Gandia states that more than 40% of the actions we do every day are not due to conscious decision making, but habits! When we are doing something habitual, we are not using all of our brain; we’re sort of on autopilot. Our minds are hard-wired that way. The mind chooses neuropathways that are already developed, the path of least resistance. That means that as we develop new habits, we’re already on our way to effectively driving change.

Specifically, he talks about creating new mini habits.

Charles Duhigg has a TED talk about his book The Power of Habit.

You can not eliminate a habit, you can only change it for a better alternative.

Though we all have various goals, often they are out of reach because we are holding them out there in front of us, and not actively participating in them. And like standing on the edge of the diving board frozen with fear, the longer we wait to dive in, the more the fear envelopes us. With this in mind, the smaller the better, so as to not intimidate yourself.

I’m working on this right now; forming new mini habits which I gradually embrace and do more of: stretching, reading, writing, composing music, contributing to the book I’m writing.

The other side of the coin, is just being present and mindful of what you are doing at that time.

Language is important as well, because this is how we  visualize and conceptualize. Eliminate ‘trying to, would like, wish to’…and

Just Do It.

We All Know This Slogan.

 

 

 

The point of developing Mini Habits, is that when we bring an action down to a small size that isn’t intimidating, we can easily jump in. Notice my change in words! Certainly, diving, jumping or just sliding in to an activity rather than looking at it from a distance, is enough of an action in itself, to push through a threshold; to consistently build new habits – gradually raising the bar of quantity and quality. Whoops, I guess that by virtue of being of western culture, the future concept of goal, slides into the picture. Best thing is to just do what makes you happy and be present as you’re doing it and go with the flow.

Bruce Lee Knowing not enough Apply Willing not enough must Do

Bruce Lee Knowing is Not enough, We must Apply, We must Do

Don’t ask me why I’m on a Bruce Lee kick, so to speak,

Steven Ho, flying kick

Steven Ho executing a flying kick

 

it just so happens that the meaning is the important gesture 🙂 Focus on what you wish to aim for, not on what you don’t want.

 

 

True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.”  — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Among many other achievements, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is the author of the fabulous book “The Little Prince“.

The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Image from The Little Prince written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 

The Science of Happiness – An Experiment in Gratitude | SoulPancake | Upworthy: Things that Matter

Since I’ve been blogging about happiness a number of times and then had the surprise and delight while living back in the United States to attend these college courses for several semesters at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania – a consortium on the subject of “Happiness” – I’m very happy to share this with all of you. I’m really starting to like upworthy.com the more I receive the postings. This particular video made me cry, bringing tears of gratitude, to realize what is truly important in life. ‘-)

Soul Pancake is, in their words, a brain batter of art, culture, science, philosophy, spirituality and humor.

SoulPancake is, in their words, a brain batter of art, culture, science, philosophy, spirituality and humor.

According to this SoulPancake production, scientists have discovered that one of the overwhelming indicators of how happy you are in your life, is how much gratitude you show.

They did an experiment, and encourage you to do the same.

one of the subjects of the experiment

one of the subjects of the experiment

 

another subject in the experiment on gratitude

another subject in the experiment on gratitude

The experiment, conducted by SoulPancake, can be watched in this short video on the ‘Science of Happiness – An Experiment in Gratitude’, presented by upworthy.

I’ll have to test it out too! As the saying goes, we can’t choose our family or genetics, but we can choose what kinds of people we associate with and our ‘responses’ to situations. I choose to be around people who have tolerance, respect and gratitude along with sharing humor and joy in life. ‘-) Feeling self worth and recognizing one’s value, can be disfigured, if you hang around people who constantly criticize, or for that matter, completely ignore you. Listening to one’s intuition is very important, in terms of moving towards or staying away from people, in terms of how they respond to you. Ultimately, tuning in to what makes you happy and what you love to do most, reflects those things you do best, and the path that you should be following. Often what is truly worthwhile, what has value in life, are the simple things. It has little to do with material acquisitions or wealth, and everything to do with how much one appreciates the little things and how one navigates through the little decisions and circumstances. As a single female, I recently encountered a scenario in which I began sharing company with someone who I felt did not value my presence or company. Fortunately, the ‘red flags’ went up. I can’t be happier to go in the opposite direction, and enjoy being. Enjoy!

Earlier in the year, before even concretely making the decision to return to Berlin, I was also blogging about the Science of Happiness https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/tools-for-decision-making-freewill-astrology-the-science-of-happiness/

The blog links to the Futurist, featuring two articles having to do with the subject of happiness. One written by two psychologists, David G. Myers and Ed Diener on the “Science of Happiness”. The second is about Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of the “flow” theory of happiness, in which he hones into the connection between creativity and happiness.

Following are two poignant quotes by Albert Einstein:

Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

Think about it and well, feel and digest what he means!