Can Anything Make You Happy?

Ever since reading “Delivering Happiness” a few weeks ago, I’ve been pondering the whole concept of happiness. With all due respect to Sheryl Crow, many people will say something or someone “makes” them happy. But if you believe your thoughts create your reality and you are responsible for your own life creations, then nothing can “make” you happy or unhappy. It’s all in your perception.

I was in the Washington, DC area last week, where I was incredibly happy. In the past, I might have thought or said that being there makes me happy. However, the change in perspective now leads me to say being there CONTRIBUTES to my happiness. Sure, it’s semantics, but choosing the right phrasing is important in conveying what you mean. As Mark Twain said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

Changing this phrasing can change the whole way you see people, places and events in your life. It’s like a new benchmark of evaluation. Try it out. Think of a person and say to yourself, he or she contributes to my happiness. Does it ring true or not? If not, you may want to see how you can reduce time spent with or around that person. Do it with the place you live, the people you work with, the activities you participate in every week. Finding anything interesting? For me, it’s about to change everything.

See my review of the book “Delivering Happiness” by clicking HERE.

One Response to “Can Anything Make You Happy?”

  1. Patrick Barbanes Says:

    Lori – Couldn’t agree with you more. There have been plenty of books (and studies) about self-talk and the words we use. For me, the best teacher of this is Anthony Robbins. He covers a lot of stuff, of course, in self-development, but some of the key things he maintains that influence how we see the world and how we behave are the metaphor(s) for life that we use (i.e. “Life is A Struggle or Life is A Game” etc.); the questions we ask (i.e, “How could I be so stupid?!” vs. “What’s good about this situation, what *could be* good about it?”); and – as you point out – the language we use. The language and words we choose when we’re communicating with others and with ourselves can directly influence how we feel about something (and vice-versa, of course). So, for instance, if you tell yourself that you HATE something, well…that’s a lot of emotion to invest in something that probably isn’t worth an emotional investment of hate. But by using the word, you almost automatically have a physiological reaction, one that probably doesn’t serve you well. So if you try – just try – saying something like “that really PEEVES me”…lol…see if that doesn’t change how you feel about it and about yourself, LOL.

    As Sarah Palin might say, feel free to refudiate my point about words mattering. : )

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