“Most folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds to be.”
Who do you think said that? A - Abraham Lincoln. B - Abraham Maslow. C - Amy Poehler.
Give yourself a gold star if you said the 16th President of the United States Abraham Lincoln.
I know what you are probably thinking. People in the olden days didn’t really know what they were talking about. They thought the earth was flat for goodness sakes! Well a couple of years ago a Doctor at the University of Washington named Richard Davison hooked up 128 sensors to some peoples heads and studied their prefrontal cortexes. He discovered that 40% of peoples happiness comes from the decision to be happy. 50% is down to our genes and 10% is unaccounted for. 40% of our happiness comes down to our choice. I am going to suggest the unaccounted 10% has something to do with eating cookies. So Abe was right then - happiness is a choice!
We have a saying in our house - “everyday is a whole new day and you can choose to have a good daisy.” What this means is every morning when you wake up you get a fresh start. It doesn’t matter what happened yesterday, today is a blank canvas and you can make the choice to have a good day.
One of the reasons you can “choose” to have a good day is because we see what we look for. Our 5 senses pick up millions of inputs. If we had to consciously process all those inputs our brains would explode. So we have this thing called the Reticular Activating System in our brain. It filters all those inputs for us. How does it do that? By only showing us what we were expecting to see. You see, our expectations are the engines for our perception.
Lets do a quick experiment. I want you to look around the room and count all the red things you can see. OK, now tell me how many green things there are! You probably can’t. Your brain ignored the green things your eyes saw because they weren’t relevant at the time.
How does this apply to having a good day and being happy? Well if you make the decision at the start of the day that today is going to be “good”, you will see things that prove that expectation. My old friend William (William Shakespeare) said “it is neither good nor bad but thinking makes it so.” You interpret events to be “good” or “bad.”
Stuck in traffic? That gives you time to prepare mentally for the day.
Criticism from your boss? They want you to get better!
Too much work? That means you are a valued employee to the business.
Making the choice to have a good day is probably the most important factor in having a good day. But wait - there is more! The next most important factor is making sure you start your day right. How you start your day sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Start your day right by reading something positive or inspirational. Listen to some uplifting music as you are getting ready. Get things ready the night before, it will make your morning less stressful. Eat a good breakfast. Good daisys need fuel to grow.
As your day goes on there are some things you can do to continue having a good daisy. Go for a brisk walk. Do a good deed for someone without telling them. Leave someone an encouraging note. Write down 3 things you are grateful for. Limit negative input (like tv news). Have a reset button if your day starts to go off track (eg a powerful quote to, a happy song or an NLP trigger like snapping your fingers.) Watch a video online that makes you laugh out loud. Spend time with someone particularly positive. Get a good nights sleep. Smile at a someone you don't know. Offer to help a stranger in need. Bring baked goods in to work for your team. Spend some time playing with a child. Engage in conversation with an elderly person. Be kind to the person serving your food or drink. Pay for the drink of the person in line behind you. Send someone a hand written note telling them how great they are.
So here is your recipe for having a good daisy.
Choose the daisy seed. Choose to have a good daisy.
Plant the daisy. Start your day right.
Water the daisy. Ensure you have a good daisy. Deliberately do things through the day to make sure you have a good daisy.
Have a good daisy!